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ArtsATL

Your Source For The Arts In Atlanta

Every generation gets its Cheaper by the Dozen. Meet the Louds, a brood of sisters with one mischievous brother, doomed to share only one bathroom. 

The animated series has been adapted in A Loud House Christmas, a Nickelodeon movie set to air at 7 p.m. Friday (and stream on Paramount+). Front and center is Atlanta actress Morgan McGill, who plays the competitive athlete in the family. 

Morgan McGill is a Westminster student.

Only 13, she is already too seasoned to be dubbed an ingénue. McGill started studying acting at 6, and she was part of an advanced improv group led by Julia Jones that competed regionally. Her television breakthrough came in 2019 on HBO’s Lovecraft Country

McGill, a student at Westminster (class of 2027), has signed a multi-film contract with Nickelodeon. She sat down with ArtsATL to talk about her meteoric rise in entertainment.

ArtsATL: Tell us about A Loud House Christmas. Why should viewers tune in? 

Morgan McGill: A Loud House Christmas is a family-friendly movie that follows Lincoln Loud as he gears up for the ultimate Christmas when he discovers that most of his (five older) sisters plan on being elsewhere on the holiday. Lincoln and his best friend, Clyde, embark on a mission to preserve his family’s holiday traditions. It’s really a great movie for people of all ages. It has a great storyline where everyone can hopefully see the true meaning of Christmas.

ArtsATL: You play an athlete. What role has sports held in your own family life? 

McGill: Sports plays a huge role in my family’s life. My dad (Curt McGill) was the captain of the UGA football team and was All-SEC and played in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets. Likewise, my mom (Kelly Baskin McGill) was captain of the UGA tennis team and is an NCAA champion. I have grown up cheering on the Bulldogs. I absolutely love sports and started off playing soccer and basketball and now play competitive tennis and volleyball. I have a super-competitive and athletic brother who is also obsessed with sports, so we are always in our backyard playing a family game! 

Dora Dolphin (from left), Catherine Ashmore Bradley, Morgan McGill and Sophia Woodward in “A Loud House Christmas”

ArtsATL: How close is your character to the person you are? Are you having to stretch much as an actor, or does she mirror qualities you already have? 

McGill: Lynn and I have a lot in common and some differences, as well. She is very sporty like me, and is very competitive, which my family and friends say that I am as well. We are also different in that Lynn is definitely more tomboyish, can be vulgar, and just gross at times. But I think she is also somewhat misunderstood. I had to stretch at times because her voice is deeper than mine and more “bro-ish,” so I had to feel it deeper in my chest as well as in my body language and movement. I definitely had to act more tomboyish in terms of the physicality (and) nature of my character. 

ArtsATL: You’ve been filming around Atlanta. What are some landmarks local viewers can look for?

McGill: We filmed at a really cute house in Decatur, as well as at North DeKalb Mall. All of our in-studio scenes were filmed at Blackhall Studios, so we spent quite a bit of time there, too.

ArtsATL: The Loud House has won praise for celebrating social diversity. What kind of family values does it promote, and does it have any social messages?

McGill: A Loud House Christmas promotes the family values of loving one another, kindness, quality time, empathy and forgiveness. I love that in the Loud house, each sister is beautiful and unique in her own way, as each sister is very different, but also confident, talented and embraces her own individuality and talents.

ArtsATL: What do you hope to be doing in the next five and 10 years? What’s your ultimate dream?

McGill: I hope to continue acting in amazing projects and pursue my education at a high-quality university. I would love the opportunity to play tennis in college as well. As a career, I enjoy helping others and would love to work in the medical field as a doctor or veterinarian.

Morgan McGill as Lynn Loud (left) and the animated character, right.

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