Lennon and Maisy Stella's first taste of the limelight came last summer, when their lovely cover of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend" became a YouTube sensation (it has 13 million views, and counting). Now the real-life sisters, 13 and 9 respectively, are acting and occasionally singing on country-music soap Nashville, where they play Connie Britton's two daughters (by — scandal! — two different men). Lennon and Maisy got on the phone with Vulture to discuss Nashville, their favorite TV shows, and the time Harry Styles mentioned them on Twitter. They were very excited about that last one.
Thank you for talking to me after school on a Friday.
Lennon: Oh, school actually got canceled today, because of the snow. Well, it’s really frost, but last night there was snow.
That’s exciting! What’d you do with your snow day?
Lennon: We actually went to meet Zac Brown. We went to the studio and hung out with him.
Are you friends of his?
Lennon: Well, we are now. [Laughs.] But he just called us. He was a fan.
Have you gotten to meet any other exciting famous people?
Lennon: It’s been more in context of e-mail and Twitter posts. But we met Vince Gill, who I love. And we went to the ABC All-Stars, and I got to meet some girls from Pretty Little Liars.
Maisy: She was freaking out! She was like “Ohmygod, that’s Toby. That’s Toby!”
So are you both Pretty Little Liars fans?
Maisy: YES. Very, very big Pretty Little Liars fans.
What other TV shows do you like?
Maisy: My favorite show is Witches of Waverly Place. And Full House.
Lennon: I went through a phase where I really liked Switched at Birth, and I went through a phase where I really liked Glee.
Are you allowed to watch Nashville?
Lennon: We are.
Maisy: No, I’m not allowed to watch the bad parts.
Lennon: You are, though. On Wednesdays, we have a little Nashville party, and she does watch the full thing, because it’s the show that we’re on, and you never know when we’re coming up.
Are you two going to get to sing again on the show?
Lennon: Well, hopefully. We haven’t gotten any songs or studio work yet.
Maisy: But everyone’s saying, “Oh, we’re trying to fit in a song.” So we’re kind of excited. We’re REALLY excited, because we really want to sing again.
Do you have a favorite song from Nashville?
Lennon: “Undermine,” the one that Juliette and Deacon write together.
Maisy: And I like the one that Rayna and Deacon sing together at the Bluebird, “No One Will Ever Love You.”
What’s been your favorite scene to film?
Lennon: We just recently did a whole crying scene, because our family and our parents are going through a hard time. It was intense.
Maisy: We both had to cry.
Had you ever cried onscreen before?
Lennon: Maisy had for a music video, but I had never done anything. But I’m really sensitive, so even when I was reading the script, I was like [dramatic crying noise] “I can’t.” So it wasn’t too hard.
Maisy: My favorite scene was probably when I had to eat icing.
I want to ask about your YouTube covers. How do you come up with the harmonies and the arrangements for those?
Maisy: With the harmonies, I’ve kind of heard them in my head. Since I started singing, when Lennon sings a note, I hear the harmony.
Lennon: It really just comes naturally to her. But as far as arrangements go, my mom is probably the one who helps a lot. My dad helps me with learning the new chords. So it’s kind of just a family process.
[Mom, on the car phone: “I didn’t tell them to say that.”]
Do you know what you’re gonna cover next?
Lennon: Yeah, we do! But we can’t tell you. Just in case it doesn’t happen.
Maisy: It’s a great song!
I follow you two on Twitter, and the account has both of your names. So this is an important question: Who tweets?
Lennon: Actually, me and my mom mainly.
Maisy: I tweet when something amazing happens. But I don’t really respond to people a lot.
Lennon: She doesn’t have a phone, so it’s difficult for her. My mom really takes a lot of care of it, but I respond to the people.
I saw that Harry Styles tweeted about you.
Maisy: I was crying. I was freaking out. I’m like the biggest One Direction fan, so I was screaming and crying and yelling.
Lennon: It was super exciting, considering that he has, what, 10 point something million followers.
Maisy, is he your favorite member of One Direction?
Maisy: Uh, yeaaaaaaaah. [Laughter.]