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St. Louis native guest stars in Netflix series with Michelle Obama

Kennedi Butler guest stars in episode four titled “Pickles,” of the new Netflix series, “Waffles + Mochi.”
Credit: St. Louis American
(Left: Kennedi Butler, 11, a budding actress and model from St. Louis, who now lives with her family in Los Angeles has been diligently working to make a name for herself; Right: Kennedi Butler, 11, featured in the promotion for Netflix’s new show “Waffles + Mochi,” alongside former First Lady Michelle Obama, and fellow actor Ayush Rajmachikar, 8.)

ST. LOUIS — Kennedi Butler, 11, a budding actress and model from St. Louis, who now lives with her family in Los Angeles has been diligently working to make a name for herself in the entertainment industry.

In the beginning stages of her career, she already has quite an impressive resume. She’s been featured on ABC’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” with Tiffany Haddish, she’s featured in season three of the HBO series “True Detective,” with Mahershala Ali, and she stars in Netflix’s “Emily’s Wonder Lab.”

She’s also done voiceover work on Cartoon Network’s “We Bare Bears,” and has been featured in various national and local commercials including Barnes-Jewish Hospital and McDonald’s.

But that’s not all, Butler guest stars in episode four titled “Pickles,” of the new Netflix series, “Waffles + Mochi.” Waffles and Mochi is a children’s show that chronicles the adventures of two puppeteer pals, with the same name as the show. They work in the supermarket with Michelle Obama, the store’s owner in the series, and are on a journey to find healthier foods.

After being chosen for the role, she couldn’t believe she would be working with the former first lady.

“I said, ‘no, you’re playing.’ They were like nope it says Michelle Obama on the call sheet. I didn’t know what to say. I thought it was fake like maybe somebody could’ve just had the same name as her.”

Butler’s mother Charrice Butler shared her sentiments being just as excited to know she would be working with Obama.

“It was nice to see her on set,” Charrice said. “When the production team said she would be working with her we were both pretty excited. It was exciting to be in the same building as her.”

Butler’s role is as Baker’s niece Kennedi, a chef played by Lyric Lewis. She said people can learn a lot from the episode that they may have not been aware of before.

“You can expect a lot of information that you probably never knew or never thought of like, ‘oh wow, you can actually do that,” Butler said. There’s a lot of fun and excitement in the episode that I think a lot of people will enjoy.”

She sees similarities with herself and her character, who she claims over exaggerates, is sweet, a dance lover, pickle obsessed and the life of the party. But, the biggest difference she notices is while she likes pickles, she doesn’t enjoy them that much to throw a pickle-themed party.

“I love to party, people also say I’m nice, and I love pickles too, but not so much to have a pickle party,” Butler said. “I really enjoyed her character. It was fun to play her.”

She gained an interest in acting from watching “Liv and Maddie,” “K.C. Undercover,” and other shows.

“It made me say, ‘Oh my God, I wanna be on tv and do the same things they’re doing’,” Butler said. “It seemed like it would be fun to be a new person, I knew I wanted to be a star.”

Charrice and her oldest daughter Ashley Polk, 30, recall people regularly coming up to them in stores when Kennedi was younger saying she should be on tv. The attention motivated Polk to get Kennedi and her son Christopher Fararr, who is the same age as Kennedi, into modeling and acting around the city.

“I began doing my research on how to get into the industry and both started with the Images Agency in St. Louis,” Polk said. They were able to do more as they got older, which resulted in them auditioning in Los Angeles and it just grew from there.”

The entire family relocated to Los Angeles in 2015 and has been living there ever since.

“I think Kennedi was born for this, because she’s a very fast learner, she pays attention to a lot of things that are going on and can tell you more things than I can about the industry,” Charrice said. “I believe all her dreams will come true if she continues to believe in herself."

Kennedi is signed with Coast to Coast Talent Group and her manager is Annet McCroskey of Artistic Endeavors. Her next project is a role in the film “Bios,” starring Tom Hanks, which is scheduled to be released in August.