I recently got the chance to talk to Preston Bailey about his role in ‘Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer’. Here, Preston talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and which three people he would invite to dinner…
Hey Preston. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer’.
No problem. Thank you.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
Judy Moody is a 3rd grader who plans on having the best summer ever. Then her parents leave her with her Aunt Opal and little brother Stink. Her friends even leave for the summer, except for my character, Frank Pearl. Judy and I, team up to have a thrill race to see if we can earn more thrill points than our friends. To earn the points we do things like surf, ride a roller coaster, and see a scary movie. It’s basically about the wild and crazy adventures Judy has, and it turns out to be the best summer ever.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
Frank Pearl is kind of a clumsy nerd. He has a good heart and is very fond of Judy. So he goes along with her plans and does things he normally wouldn’t do to please her. Things that are really terrifying to Frank.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
My agent sent me out on an audition for the role of Frank Pearl. I got a callback, and that’s when I met Jordana Beatty (Judy Moody) for the first time. The casting people had us read lines together to see if we had good chemistry. I guess we did.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
I think it’s unique because it’s a movie the whole family can watch and enjoy together. It doesn’t have bad words or anything like that. Also, it’s based on the book series Judy Moody. So that’s pretty cool.
The film stars Jordana Beatty, Heather Graham, your good self, Parris Mosteller, Kristoffer Ryan Winters and Garrett Ryan – with John Schultz onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
The cast and crew went out of their way to make it really kid friendly and fun. They had contests and parties for us. They gave us Flip Video Cameras to record personal journals of our time on set. Heather Graham was really nice. She decorated our dressing rooms for Halloween. We got pumpkins filled with candy and toys. It was a privilege to work on the set with all those great people. John Schultz was a super fun director, and it was an honour to work with him. I became really good friends with the other child actors and keep in touch with them. And Jordana Beatty who lives in Australia. We hang out when she comes to the U.S.
Let’s talk a bit about you Preston. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I have an older brother, Brennan, who is also an actor. When I was about two years old, he was in theatre. It looked like a lot of fun and I wanted to do it too. A talent agent asked my parents if she could represent my brother and I. From there we did some TV commercials. Then we moved from Oregon to California and got another agent in Hollywood.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
I would say to get into acting if you love it for the art. Not for money or fame. It takes lots of commitment and time. You have to go to many auditions and learn lots of lines. For kids it’s a lot like being involved in sports. You have to go to practice, and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But I love getting to be different characters, so for me, even the auditions are fun.
What is currently on your I-Pod?
Michael Jackson. Journey, LMFAO, Neon Trees, Kings of Leon. Also, Euphoria Audio, my friends from the UK - I got to meet them here in the U.S. They’re really nice guys. They invited my family to their concert and they gave me a UK flag.”
If you could have dinner with three guests, (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Walt Disney. Because I’m a very big fan of Disneyland and all the movies and stuff. I would tell him how the world is a better place for kids because of the things he created. Then President Obama. I would ask him a lot of questions. Too many to list. Last but not least, the Captain of the Titanic, Edward Smith. I would warn him about the iceberg! I’m a huge Titanic history buff.”
If you were stranded on a desert island – what three things could you not live without?
That’s a tough question. Food, water and air. But that’s kind of boring. So….my cell phone, I-Pod, and a warm blanket.”
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
Right now I’m doing theatre. I’m in a musical and I really love it because I get to act, sing and hang out with friends.”
Thanks for the interview!