Madison Pettis on her New Movie
Free Style with Corbin Bleu opens in theaters Oct. 9
Kid Reporter Caitlin Wardlow interviews Madison Pettis about her life and her new movie, Free Style. (Photo Courtesy Caitlin Wardlow)
Free Style is a new movie starring High School Musical's Corbin Bleu as Cale Bryant, a young man who wants a spot on the Grand National motocross racing team. The movie, which opens on Friday, October 9, also stars Madison Pettis, who plays Corbin’s younger sister Bailey in the film. The Scholastic Kids Press Corps recently sat down with Pettis, a regular on Disney TV's Corey in the House.
SKPC: I've read that you've been acting since the age of 5. What made you interested in acting at such a young age?
PETTIS: I think I just like performing. I started dancing when I was 4. I just like being on stage and making people happy. I think that that's what drove me into it.
SKPC: How does it feel to be the youngest Disney Channel star ever?
PETTIS: Funny, I don't even think about that. It's really cool. I feel like the little baby of the channel. There are all these 17-year-olds, and then I’m the little 11-year-old.
SKPC: I read in your bio that you are allergic to dairy products. I am too. Do you ever feel different that you can’t eat certain foods like pizza and ice cream like kids your age eat all the time?
PETTIS: You know, at birthday parties it's hard because pizza, ice cream, and chocolate cake are like the generic party foods, so it's a little bit challenging. But my friends already know, so if I go to their birthday parties, they'll have like lemon sorbet when they’re all having ice cream, or pizza with no cheese just for me if they’re all having pizza. My friends are learning to make it work.
SKPC: What is your favorite and least favorite part of being an actress?
PETTIS: One of my favorite parts is traveling. One of my least favorite parts is getting up early to travel.
SKPC: Free Style looks like a great movie from the movie clip I have watched. I cannot wait to see it. What made you interested in doing this film?
PETTIS: I think that I just love [co-star] Corbin [Bleu]. You know, he's just a sweet guy, and I knew him before we actually filmed the movie. I was really excited to work with him. He’s so sweet. After the premiere, he had to miss the after party to go work on his new show. So he invited us over to his apartment afterward at like 1:30 in the morning and he was baking us cookies! We walked in and said, "That’s such a great smell. That's a great smelling candle." And he said, "Oh no, I'm baking sugar cookies. You guys want some?" I was like Wow! Who bakes sugar cookies after a long day at work?
SKPC: My friends are all dying to know, what was it like working with Corbin?
PETTIS: Working with Corbin is so much fun. He's just like a brother to me. You know, one of the first times I met him was at the Disney Channel Games in 2007. I was a correspondent and he was competing. It was at Walt Disney World in Florida and they shut the entire park down and we could go on any rides we wanted with no lines! All the kids were pairing up to go on a roller coaster, and I was waiting to see who I was going with. Corbin grabs me by the hand and says, "You're riding with me." And then pulls me up to the front. It was so much fun.
SKPC: It seems that the movie has a meaningful storyline. What message do you hope people walk away with?
PETTIS: I want people to realize that they can dream big. In the movie Corbin has a big dream to be a professional motocross racer. And he doesn't give it up no matter what people say.
SKPC: I loved the television show Cory in the House. How is it different starring in a movie than in a television show?
PETTIS: I think that TV shows are more like working at a home. You know you're going to the same place every day, working with the same people, the same cast and crew. You're in a dressing room instead of a trailer, so I think that that's more of a normal sort of lifestyle. When you're working on a movie, I think that it's sort of like a vacation, working with a different cast and crew. You're in a whole new place, you have a trailer instead of a dressing room. I think it's a lot different and fun to do both.
SKPC: Which do you prefer?
PETTIS: I like to do both. I like to work on TV because it's like a normal thing, and then I like to do movies when I'm on break or hiatus.
SKPC: What is the next project you’re working on?
PETTIS: I have episodes of Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?, the game show. I’m taping 55 of those, so they will be airing two episodes a night every night from Monday through Fridays on CMT network. Then I'm starting to do voice-overs, so I'll be on a new Playhouse Disney show. I play a little animated girl pirate who's in a group of all boy pirates. It's a really cute little character.
For more information on the movie, check out the Free Style Web site.