Miami Living Magazine

Bailee Madison

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Only a few hours ago, Bailee was filming Good Witch's last scenes of Season Four. To commemorate their wrapping, Bailee shared some "lasts" via Instagram stories. "It started off as a joke and then I just kept on going with it. 'This is my last omelette. Here's my last coffee! '" she laughs. On the Hallmark series –returning April 29th—Bailee portrays studious, good-girl, Grace, who possess a "special intuition" just like her mother, Cassie (played by Catherine Bell). "I think we got to discover what happens when you're human and make mistakes and how it affects the people that you love," Bailee shares on Season Four. "Grace has her first boyfriend, she's dealing with the idea of maybe that not being forever, what comes after high school —which are scary thoughts for any teenager… It was fun to have moments of Grace maybe realizing that she's not the biggest know-it-all and not the smartest kid in the class. You also see Sam [played by James Denton] and Cassie's relationship grow." Of all the seasons, Bailee shares that she is the proudest of Season Four –calling it her favorite season to-date for Grace— and is excited for everyone to watch. Since the series is perpetually set in autumn, to evoke that witchy-Halloween atmosphere, I can't help but wonder how Middleton's residents spend their summers. Bailee plays along. "I'm guessing there's probably a creek, like a lake house they all go to. We actually introduce a lake house, spoiler, in Season 4 and my guess is that in the summertime, Grace is reading some smart books and lounging by the lake. Probably refuses to get in the water 'cause that's too much fun for Grace," she says with a smile. "Nick's [played by Rhys Matthew Bond] probably in the water spraying her with a pool toy, annoying her." The cast won't find out whether they will return for a fifth season until Season Four begins. "Hopefully —it'll be a lot of fun if we did." To take a breath, or even a 15-minute nap —as her mom and team have strongly been encouraging— would be out of character for Bailee, who joyfully flits from one project to the next and laughs about the fact that she spends her free time "trying to figure out how not to have free time." Since arriving in New York City today from Toronto, where Good Witch films, the tenacious actress has been on-the- go promoting the debut of her YA novel, Losing Brave —co-written with author Stefne Miller. Now in her hotel suite, before we start our interview, Bailee kindly asks (several times) if I mind that she tries on a couple of outfits with her team in preparation for tomorrow's appearances, which include MTV's TRL. She does a few turns and asks our opinions on each. Once the looks are solidified, she flops down on the couch next to me. "I'm so sorry," she laughs. Beaming over today's official release of Losing Brave, Bailee tells me about how the book came about. Bailee was attached to the film, Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket (2016), and over the span of four years, she went from potentially starring in the film (as long as her Good Witch filming schedule permitted) to a producer, to both when the film was finally greenlit. Since the script was now a few years old, she called on her friend author, Stefne Miller to refresh it. "Stefne came and one night in Nantucket after filming she said, 'Would you ever want to write a book?' I was like, 'Yes! I would love that.' And then came a very big, long-distance relationship [Stefne lives in Oklahoma and Bailee was in Toronto for Good Witch.] of just back and forth writing." Once Annabelle Hooper wrapped and Bailee returned to Good Witch to film Season Three, they got started. "She would set alarms at midnight 'cause she knew I'd be getting home at midnight…We'd write for about two hours. I'd go to sleep for two hours, wake back up, go back to set, write again that night with her. It became a really fun process where we just had to squeeze in any moments of writing that we could." Did you know what you wanted the book to be about? "We did… Something that I've learned with the book is, you go through a lot of different stages in revisions, especially when you get a publishing company [HarperCollins]. It started off as an offbeat, witty, coming-of-age book, and as Stefne and I started talking, I was like, 'what if we made it a psychological thriller?' And that's when we really started focusing on that plan." The story follows, Payton Brave, whose twin sister, Dylan, goes missing. Within the first few pages, readers discover that Payton lives in a funeral home. "That was something that we really talked about, how can we place her in the most unlikely circumstance? Her mom delivers babies. Her dad's a mortician. She's constantly surrounded by life and death and in this specific time in her life, it could not be more pointed because her sister disappeared and no one knows if she's alive and that's just another reminder every day with her parents' professions." Naturally, facets of Bailee's personality have been injected into the sisters. "Now that we've released the book, I'm like, 'OK, I feel like I started off as a Payton, and now I'm a Dylan,'" she says with a smile. Bailee's innate ability to tap into a spectrum of emotions and illustrate them so poignantly onscreen –without any professional training— has made her a sought-after actress. A fixture in film and TV for the past fourteen years, audiences have watched Bailee take on rom-coms (Just Go With It), horror (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark), drama (Brothers), fantasy (Good Witch) … alongside Hollywood's biggest names, including Billy Crystal, Adam Sandler, Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, and Jennifer Aniston. Following in her mother and sister's [Kaitlin Riley] footsteps, Bailee started out in commercials as a baby. "My mom said I used to unbuckle myself from my stroller and try and crash their auditions when I was younger. I was always in love with the arts and Broadway shows... I did my first movie when I was 5. My sister was auditioning for a different role; I was in the waiting room with my mom. They said, 'Would your sister like to audition? We have this role.' My sister took me around the corner and read with me. I went in, and from that moment on, the journey kinda started." You were a child star and now you're 18, how did you manage to stay out of the trouble many child stars seem to get into? "I hear those stories and my heart always goes out to them, because it's a really hard business… and it's very easy for it to happen. The main fact being, that Mom has always kept my circle really tight —my family, at the end of the day, are first and foremost my best friends. And that's who I choose to spend my time with when I'm in L.A. or in Florida. I don't go to parties, unless I have to represent something or someone. And, I was fortunate to always be on location. I was always filming 11 months out of the year. I was waking up at 5 am, and going home and learning my lines, and going to sleep. Plus, I'd always go home to Florida. Florida is where my roots are — where I can go back to cleanse and look at myself for who I am. A whole lot of truth from my family too, when I need to hear it."

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