Bailee Madison, 12, is a child star on a meteoric rise. You likely watched this dimpled-darling on the big screen with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston in “Just Go With It,” earlier this summer and can watch her in her first lead role as Sally Hurst in the horror flick, Don’t be Afraid of the Dark,with Katie Holmes, in theaters now. When we spoke with Bailee, she was beginning work on Cowboys and Angels, the story of Ida, a feisty and rebellious young girl, who while searching for her rodeo-rider father, discovers her own innate talent for trick riding. Of this film she said, “I’m very excited about this one; it’s a cowgirl film so that will be good fun!” Bailee takes another star turn in the dance drama,Dance of Mirlitons, with Kristen Bell and fellow child star, Chloe Moretz in 2012. Hollywood Mom Blog recently spoke with Bailee about her life, her white hot career and her family’s recent decision to use Invisalign.
We met over the phone and instantly agreed that the robotic voice (which announces that our call is being recorded) would be off-putting except for the fact that it’s the robotic voice of a proper English gentlemen. “We love English accents!” Bailee squeals delightfully, much as her character Maggie would have in Just Go With It. My immediate impression is that Bailee Madison is a modern day Shirley Temple; she’s extremely gracious and polite, and speaks in a sincerely joyful cadence of optimistic, run-on sentences, peppered with giggly, infectious laughter. We chuckle at our electronic host, introduce ourselves and jump into the interview. Bailee shares that although she did her first commercial at 2, she was almost 6 years old when her professional Hollywood career took off.
Bailee: I had done two other films [Judy’s Got a Gun & Lonely Hearts] but “Bridge to Terrabithia” was my first really big one that I was like, ‘Oh, this was incredible! What do we do now?!”‘ you know what I mean? So my mom and I really weren’t expecting anything out of it because [it was] my first time being in the business and learning how to deal with things. I was in New Zealand for four months with Anna Sophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson and that was so, so much fun. They were like a big brother and sister to me. We wrapped that, came back to Florida and then went out [to California] to the premiere. And ever since then I’ve just been completely blessed. It’s been a crazy ride and I’m simply grateful and just cannot wait to do more. I’ve been having tons of fun!
HMB: Well, you’re so talented, obviously that’s why there’s so much work for you.
Bailee: Oh thank you.
HMB: So you live in Florida?
Bailee: Yes, Florida is where I’m from. I still go back there to go to [sic] Christ’s Church school and I’ve been there ever since pre-K. I’m really sad though because it’s my last year with them. Fifth grade ends in that school so we’re kind of trying to figure out what we’re going to do with me and my pencil and paper. [laughs] Whenever I’m not in Florida I go back here and I have packets sent to me with all the work that they’re doing and I can still work on [set] and I still have the choice to go back to Florida and sit in my own desk and see all my friends.
HMB: Oh that’s the perfect, perfect situation I think. That’s really accommodating of them.
Bailee: It is definitely. That’s why we’re so upset though cause we’re like can’t you just go back to sixth grade maybe, add another grade on there!
Bailee and her mom Patty Riley split their time between their home in the suburb of Los Angeles and Florida. With her career on the fast track, Bailee admits getting back to Florida isn’t always as easy as it once was.
“It gets a little bit crazy with all the traveling,” Bailee said, “We’re always trying to fit it in and God knows that we like to go back to Florida sometimes, so we just pray and usually hope for the best. Sometimes it works out which is nice. It’s nice to have that difference. I actually I leave this Monday to go back to Florida [because] my brother is getting married! I’m going back for the wedding and I cannot wait! It will be tons of fun and it will be nice to see everyone back there. And I think that’s really where I stay humble, going back to school, putting on my uniform. That’s why I really realize how blessed I am to be able to live the dream that I’m living. It’s great to be able to have both options.
At the time of the interview, Bailee had just landed a highly-coveted, lead role in “Dance of the Mirlitons” a sort of “Billy Elliot” meets “Little Miss Sunshine” meets “Mean Girls,” tale of inspiration, hope and conquering demons, personal and otherwise. The story centers on a chubby but determined want-to-be-ballerina (played by Bailee) with an overbearing, former ballerina mother (Kristen Bell) who will stop at nothing to become a star. As HMB readers know, director Evan Greenberg and the producers spent months trying to cast the lead for the role. Chloe Moretz (Kick Ass, Let Me In) will play the star ballerina and Madison’s nemesis. Former Child Actor Earle Haley (Bad News Bears) plays their less-than-lovable, Russian ballet teacher.
HMB: I heard you recently scored the lead role in “Dance of the Mirlitons?”
HMB: It’s a starring vehicle. It’s going to be your movie!
Bailee: Thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever really read a script and believed in it like I do when I read this one. I was completely like, “Okay we need to get on this, like I love this film!” So, I was super excited. I went in a couple of times cause there’s always that [process] where you’re having an actor and then the ballet dancer as well. So, I was worried that ballet would maybe trip me out because I’ve never taken ballet lessons before. So, I went in there and I met with everyone. They were all just so sweet and I walked out of there just hoping. I know it’s all in God’s hands. Sometimes you don’t always get what you would prefer and everything happens for a reason. So I knew that, but at the same time I was like, “Please God, please let me get this!” So, when I found out [I got it] it was a huge moment. I was super, super excited!
HMB: How much time passed from when you first auditioned to learning that you had the role?
Bailee: I think it was a while. I went in a couple of times just because sometimes it can get a little crazy if the director is not in town and then you’re not in town. I think it was a couple of months because I’d [gone] in a couple of times I think.
HMB: After being on pins and needles for a couple of months and then getting the part – that must have been huge, just so exciting.
Bailee: Yeah, it was really cool. I mean I would go for a month and then I would come back the next, you know what I mean? I met with [the director Evan Greenberg] a while, a couple of times just because – and I met him once in New York when I was filming Law and Order, then I met with him here in Los Angeles and again here and again here and again here. So, it was a crazy journey; [getting the part] was kind like a big breath of fresh air.
HMB: I believe it’s going to be THE child actor movie to see, especially with you playing off of Chloe Moretz who is also so talented.
Bailee: Yes, I’m really excited to get to work with her.
HMB: It’s going to be amazing. You two are such complete opposites to me.
Bailee: Thank you. We have done very opposite films yes, but it will be nice to be able to work with her. I’ve heard nothing but great things and yeah it will be fun to be able to play a different role.
HMB: You always look adorable on the red carpet. Who are some of your current, favorite fashion choices?
Bailee: My current favorite fashion choices. Oh boy. Anything…My favorite fashion choices, like the [designers] I wear out to the red carpet?
HMB: Yes, because you always look so good, so put together.
Bailee: That’s very sweet, thank you, thank you. I have a lot of people who help me because trust me, if you see me roll out of bed in the morning it is a nightmare. It is. My hair is all over, I look like Frankenstein, oh it’s terrible.[laughs]
HMB: Oh stop. [laughing]
Bailee: I love vintage for me. I love the whole look of now like jumpers with like some cool necklaces and bracelets and a fun hat. So, I love that whole style. So anything that’s vintage for me is great. I’ve gotten into Forever 21 [recently]…I actually do the extra, extra small because it also doesn’t really fit, but their stuff is so cute. It’s kind of vintage to me which is great cause that’s what I love and it’s fun. I love kind of bringing back trends so that’s what I’m working on. I’d love people to have my line one time!
HMB: Speaking of red carpets and filming, how does Invisalign Teen Treatmentwork when you’re working? Do you actually wear it during filming?
Bailee: Well, it depends sometimes. I mean, you can’t see Invisalign which is the great thing, so I can wear it on the red carpet; I can do all that kind of stuff. It just depends with filming sometimes because you never really know just in case of anything and you get a good scene and then you have to reshoot it. So it depends, but I definitely wear it on and off set. When I go back to school I slip it in and when I go back on set I just kind of pop them out and that’s the cool thing about it. And yesterday I actually got the aligner on my teeth which helps.
HMB: How do the aligners work?
Bailee: The aligners are just like these little things that they put on your teeth and it’s clear as well, it’s just a little like bumps and you can barely see it and you just pop the Invisaligns in and it helps do whatever the Invisalign’s job is, whatever the teeth need: to be pulled down, to be brought over. Yeah, they’re very, very helpful and no pain at all. Invisalign doesn’t hurt at all, it’s great.
HMB: Do you think that Invisalign is really the only option for a working actor, especially a working child actor, who wants to straighten their teeth? Because you don’t see necessarily a lot of kids running around with braces [in the business] and sometimes traditional braces will even lose you the job.
Bailee: Absolutely. I mean not as much as just wearing it for a film, if that’s what you’re doing, but I think you should ask [yourself], ‘What do you feel best in? Do you feel like smiling with braces? Do you feel good smiling with Invisalign?‘ So, there’s definitely that feeling of feeling confident in yourself. It’s great to have that option for a lot of kids and I think more and more people are starting to turn to Invisalign. I was so excited cause my mom and I were actually talking about Invisalign and then someone said, “How would you feel about having Invisalign?” and we were like, “Yes please!” I definitely think it’s so important for kids to feel confident. I mean kids might feel confident with braces or they may feel confident with Invisalign. So it’s just whichever one [makes] you feel confident!
What Bailee’s family has to say about Invisalign:
Actress Kaitlin Riley, Bailee’s Big Sister: “At 24, after having metal braces numerous times when I was younger, the last thing I wanted was to have them yet again to fix the shifting of my teeth. So when my mom and my sister told me about Invisalign, I couldn’t have been more excited. And rightfully so! The aligners are comfortable, easy to remove, and most importantly to me – undetectable. Not to mention, they actually give a beautiful shine to your teeth! After only a few weeks, I began receiving compliments on my smile from friends, family, and even complete strangers! I’m not sure if they’re noticing the actual change in my teeth or the change in the way that I smile as a result of the confidence that Invisalign has given me. Either way, I couldn’t be happier! And the entire experience has been made all the better by being able to go through it with my family. Watching my mom and my sister’s smiles change, and how happy it has made them, has been priceless. Thank you for giving us the smiles we’ve always dreamed of!”
Bailee’s Mom, Actress Patti Riley: “I had braces when I was a teenager, but over the years my teeth have shifted. I’m so looking forward to having the perfect smile that Invisalign will give me! What I love most about Invisalign is that you can’t see them, because at my age the last thing you want is to wear braces.”
TO ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES:
Beginning August 1, 2011 and continuing through September 30, 2011 at 11:59:59 p.m. (ET), you may enter by leaving a comment in the “Leave a Reply” section of this first blog post about why you think Invisalign would be perfect for your teen. You may also enter by sending a stamped 3” x 5” postcard with your name, address, and contact phone number to: Invisalign and Hollywoodmomblog.com Sweepstakes, PO Box 1093, Chino Hills, CA 91709. Detailed Sweepstakes Rules and Regulations can be reviewed here.