Bailee Madison scored her first major motion picture with the family adventure that featured countless The Bridge to Terabithia quotes, and it was her first silver screen audition! Now she’s starring with two legends and an Oscar winner with Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei in Parental Guidance.
The young actress, who plays Tomei’s daughter in the family comedy that's in theaters now, sat with Movie Fanatic to talk about her new film, who her dream co-stars of the future would be and let us know what song is never far from repeat playing on her iPod (hint: It’s from a certain K-Pop superstar).
Although she admitted that she had never seen any of her onscreen grandparents’ work, the second Madison told her parents, the meaning of securing this role hit home. “To be honest, the moment I told my family they were really excited. Bette Midler is such a class act. It was such a joy to work with her every day,” Madison said. “Billy’s really cared about this project. I learned so much from him.”
As the child of an actress who appeared in over 400 national commercials, Madison can trace her showbiz beginnings to those trips to New York City for her mom to audition. “I would unbuckle my stroller and crash her auditions,” she said and laughed.
Once she nailed that Bridge to Terabithia audition, the rest was history. “I got that part and went to New Zealand for four and a half months. We came back to L.A. and it’s been a whirlwind and a blessing ever since,” Madison admitted.
When arriving on the Parental Guidance set, Madison had one particular day of filming firmly planted on her mind. It is a scene teased in the Parental Guidance trailer, where Midler and Crystal’s grandparents finally break through and have a “moment” with their three grandkids.
“The rain scene, I loved that scene. I love rain machines in general,” she said and laughed.
“It was such an important scene in the movie. It’s the first time you see Billy and Bette, me and my onscreen brothers bond with them. That’s the first time you see them smile. It’s important for my character too because she’s so uptight. It’s a beautiful scene for all the character development.”
When it comes to who’s on her dream list of future co-stars, Madison hardly hesitates before answering. “I would love the privilege and honor to work with Meryl Streep. I would love to join the list of people who want to work with her. I’d be glad to even be at the bottom of it,” she said with a laugh. Then came the duo who gave us those hilarious The Proposal quotes. “Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds -- that would be great. I’d be the happiest girl in the world.”
As her latest film is called Parental Guidance, Movie Fanatic asked Madison the piece of advice she’s gotten from her parents that stands above all others.
"My mom has always said to stay humble. That’s really important, especially in this business. No matter what you’re doing, because one day this could end. Stay grounded, surround yourself with friends and family, and that’s the most important thing.”
Also what keeps her head from shooting into the clouds is the young actress' musical choices. “When I’m traveling, I listen to worship music,” she said. But, pop music is also not too far from her iPod's autoplay button.
“I love Taylor Swift, I love her new album. Then… Gangnam Style,” she proudly exclaimed before leaping up from her seat and doing the now-iconic dance. As she sits down, she smiles. “I love his motto: Dance cheesy, dress classy.”