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Kidsday talks with actress Bailee Madison

Actress Bailee Madison, center, with Kidsday reporters Kathryn

Actress Bailee Madison, center, with Kidsday reporters Kathryn Andersen, Themos Reyes, Kalyn Lovern and Kayla Colvin at the Toys R Us store in Manhattan Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

We met actress Bailee Madison at the Toys R Us store in Manhattan recently. Bailee starred in “Wizards of Waverly Place,” and she has three movies coming out this year.

What is your favorite episode of “Wizards of Waverly Place”?

It would have to be the pageant episode. Because I got to get this crazy hair and makeup done. I had fake eyelashes and glitter, and it was so much fun. I got to wear this straight out pink cowboy skirt. So it was awesome.

Do you still see your friends and family?

Of course, I do. They’re my friends and family. I see them all the time, and sometimes they’ll come out to events with me or travel with me. My sister and my brother. My sister, Connor; my mother and Connor are out there with me, but the rest are back in Florida. It’s great to have them out there, and I’m spending some time with them. It’s great. It’s really sweet, and we have a new addition to the family, which is my puppy, of course. She’s been a new addition for a while now, she’s still my little puppy. She just turned a year, and I wasn’t able to see her turn a year. So since she’s young, I figure I could just throw her a party when I get back and act like that was her real birthday. When the kids are young, you could do it.

If you could act with anyone in the world, who would it be?

I think it would be Meryl Streep. I love her in everything she does. She’s such a classy woman, and I also like Rachel McAdams. Those two.

Do you watch yourself when you star in a movie or show?

Yeah, I do. I’m OK with it. I can be kind of like a critic for when I watch it, but that’s OK, because sometimes I look at a shot and I go, “should I have done that, maybe I should not have done that, and I should have done that.” It’s kind of easy for me. I feel like that’s when you watch yourself, you learn and you grow as becoming an actress or an actor, and I think you look at it; and like “I made a mistake there, but it’s OK — I’m not going to do that the next time.” So I feel like watching it is kind of like a project at school: You’re learning.

Do you have any good luck charms?

I think my good luck charm is just a prayer. I wear my cross around my neck, and I go out for the day; I wear my little “I am second” bracelet, which is God is first and we’re all second. And I just hope for the best, and I feel like prayers are my just kind of healing ways, and I feel like I’m throwing  everything I have to do today, all the craziness, all the hecticness. Whatever happens, happens. I guess that’s kind of like my good luck charm. I also have “blankees” on the plane, and that makes me feel good.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to be an actress?

Just to always follow your dreams and be prepared for the fact that] sometimes you can get a shutdown, and it can happen for a very, very long time; but just get back on your feet, put your head held high and keep going, and going and going. Just say your prayers, stay humble and be grounded by your family, and anything is possible. Just reach for the stars.

Do you like being recognized in public?

I do. I love being recognized. It’s really exciting. I was actually walking on my way here, and it was at Madame Tussauds, and there was this whole class lined up going on a field trip, and I was walking, and all of a sudden I hear this like loud scream. And that’s always exciting. I’ve never really ever gotten that crazy of a reaction before.

Who is your favorite person that you worked with so far?

I have a movie “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark” coming out, and I got to work with Katie Holmes in that. And she’s such a wonderful, wonderful girl, and I’m very, very blessed to have gotten to know her and work with her. It was such an honor. And the last film I did was “Cowgirls and Angels,” and I worked with a great cast there. I got to work with James Cromwell who was in “Babe.” I know dads and moms will probably know him. But he’s such a talented, humble, down to earth guy. He was just so sweet and respectful. That was a big honor.

Do you go to school or do any sports?

Yeah, I go to a school in Florida called Christ Church, and basically I go there and I do some of the work there and some of the work wherever I am. . . and do I play any sports? I’m not on a team because I can’t really be on a team, but I love sports. For fun, I love tennis, baseball and all that fun stuff. I do love that. I’d probably pick tennis as a sport — or baseball. Those two. Soccer is not my favorite. I feel that whenever I go to school, that’s the one thing all the kids have to play. And I’m like “I really can’t play that for the other four months I’m not there.” Lacrosse, I do like that. I play in the park sometimes, and that’s fun.

Do you like working with Selena Gomez?

I love working with Selena Gomez. She is so sweet, and she’s like my big sister on- and off-screen.

What has been your favorite movie or show you have been in?

Each movie and show I’ve been in has been completely different, which is good. Because I’ve never really had to do the same thing over and over again. So I feel that each experience has been new, and it was raw, and it was exciting, and I don’t know — I cannot pick a favorite. It was all so much fun.

What was your first reaction when you heard about Alex’s Lemonade Stand ?

My initial reaction when I first heard of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, I think, was really that we could make this such a huge and big thing. And I think that it is really important for us kids to make a difference and show how blessed we are and that we’re living healthy, and for all of these kids that are going through things that we’ve never experienced before. That we’re able to give back, and it’s really just simple and easy. It’s basically one cup at a time to help raise awareness. And I think that’s really the most important thing. And it was started by a little girl who was younger than us, and she did this lemonade stand because she had cancer, and she wanted to raise money for cancer. So I think it’s really, really important, and I’m so happy to be out here today.

Why did you pick this charity?

Why did I pick Alex’s Lemonade Stand? Like I said, I think, I really felt before I came out here, in business my mom and I turned to each other and we said, we’re not coming out here for photographs or movies or any kind of that stuff; I love all that, it’s really exciting, but I’m out here to really make a difference. I feel like when you’re involved with those things, like what you guys are doing, you’re able to come to these events. To some of them, but with a foundation like this, any kid can do this in their own yard, their own backyard, in a park. So I think it was really, really important to me to start serving lemonade and carrying little Alex’s word and her voice across the world.

From your point of view, what do you think this charity’s about?

I think it’s just kids helping kids, honestly. I think make some lemonade, pour it in a cup, give it to someone, and there you are. You just raised money for a great cause. I feel it’s a simple way of giving back, and it’s so much fun doing it, too. From my point of view, I think it’s a chance to help these kids who are in these hospitals and give them a little bit of hope for a brighter future.

Who is the most inspiring person that you have met or would like to meet?

I met my mom, and she’s very inspiring. I love my mama. She’s everything to me, and she teaches me so much. I feel like if I didn’t have her, a piece of me would totally be incomplete. I feel like for her to know, I feel very, very blessed. Inspiring people? I don’t know. I feel like little Alex is inspiring to me. I was never able to have the chance to meet her, but if I was able to, I know that I’m just so inspired by her, what she decided to do at such a young age. Even though she was going through all of those things, she really didn’t do this for herself, she did it for all the other kids who are going through what she went through or were going through what she went through. I feel like Alex is my inspiration.

What was the youngest and oldest you played?

Youngest would have to be like 5, because I did a movie when I was 5. And then the oldest I think was 12. So a year older than I actually am.

How was it like to be in the Nickelodeon movie, “Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh”?

It was a lot of fun. I love “Drake & Josh.” I love the series itself. It was fun to get to be in a movie. Everyone was so sweet and welcoming. Dan Schneider was the best. It was a blast.


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