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Baby-Sitters Club: Vivian Watson & Anais Lee On Joining the Netflix Show – Collider

Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.
From series creator Rachel Shukert and based on the best-selling book series by Ann M. Martin, Season 2 of the Netflix original series The Baby-Sitters Club tells the story of the friendship and adventures of teenagers Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace), Mary Anne Spier (Malia Baker), Claudia Kishi (Momona Tamada), Stacey McGill (Shay Rudolph), Dawn Schafer (Kyndra Sanchez), Mallory Pike (Vivian Watson) and Jessi Ramsey (Anais Lee). As they expand their babysitting business and their personal journeys evolve, the one thing they know they can always count on is each other.
During this 1-on-1 interview with Collider, which you can both watch and read, co-stars Watson and Lee talked about the coolest thing about getting to be a part of this show, getting to be a part of the club now, how much Mallory and Jessi look up to the founders, what they love about their characters, and what it’s like to find a work-life-social media balance as teenagers.
Collider: Thank you for talking to me about this. I love this show on two levels. I get the nostalgia factor from reading the books when I was younger and it also proves that good stories and good characters are universal, no matter your age. What has it meant to you guys to get to be a part of The Baby-Sitters Club? What’s the coolest thing about being a part of this world and doing this show?
VIVIAN WATSON: It’s so great. I know that Mallory and Jessi love it, but Anais and I also love it. We got to just spend time with those girls every day, it was a great experience. It was something that I’ve never done, so it was great.
ANAIS LEE: Yeah, I’m so glad that we got to bring these characters to life because of the nostalgia factor. A lot of people read these books growing up and I’m so glad that we can portray these characters on screen. It’s so cool to see everyone saying, “Jessi is my favorite character from the book series. I can’t wait to see her in Season 2.” I’m so happy to bring the character to life.
You guys get added as members of the Baby-Sitters Club this season. Were there nerves about joining, in that way? What reassured you, during your first day on set?
WATSON: I think that having Anais there was a great thing to bring my nerves down. The other cast had been shooting for many months before us, so when we came, we were scared that we would not fit in. So, having Anais there was great because I got to just do it with someone. The girls were welcoming.
LEE: For Season 1, I was so nervous coming onto set because all of the other girls knew each other already. I felt a lot like Jessi and Mallory when they joined the club. I knew they were gonna be nice, but it’s like, “Are we gonna fit in, or are we not?” Just like with Jessi and Mallory, all the girls welcomed us in, so much. They’re our best friends. So, coming on to film Season 2 was great because we already knew them all so well. We had been texting and FaceTiming for months.
What does it mean to the characters to be included as new additions to the club? What does it mean to them to be able to take that responsibility on?
LEE: Jessi and Mallory really look up to the rest of the BSC. In Season 1, you hear them say they’re world-famous. Jessi and Mallory look up to them, like they’re like celebrities. Now that they’re in the club, it’s really surreal to them to be in the club with their idols.
WATSON: Jessi and Mallory are pretty starstruck. Mallory definitely expresses it a bit more. I’m excited for the viewers to see that.
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What do you guys most enjoy about working with this cast? You get to do a lot of big ensemble scenes together. What’s the fun in getting to do those, and are they just really chaotic and crazy?
WATSON: Yeah. We’re all best friends, so we’re all super comfortable with each other. The group scenes that we had in Claudia’s room were definitely some of my favorites. Lunchtime during those days where we would do those scenes was always the best because we would always sit outside in a circle and eat our lunch and talk. Those were some of my favorite days.
LEE: Yeah, the scenes with all seven of us were my favorite because I just love filming scenes with all of us. It did get a little crazy sometimes because there were seven teenage girls on set, all at once. And like Vivian said, lunches were so fun, especially towards the end of filming. We sat in the parking lot and we’d lay down blankets and our coats, and we all sat and ate lunch together.
What do you most love about your character, and what quality of theirs do you wish you had yourself?
LEE: I love my character because I love how driven Jessi is and her passion for dance. Jessi is such a talented ballerina. Even though I play her, I really wish I had her ballet studio. Her ballet studio is so cool. It was one of my favorite sets to be on because Jessi is so lucky that her parents built that ballet studio for her. I definitely wish I had that at my house.
WATSON: For me, Mallory’s siblings would be cool. It would be a little chaotic, just because she has so many, but I think having a good variety of siblings would be fun. I only have one in real life.
Anais, I’ve been a dancer since I was four and I also wish I’d had Jessi’s dance studio in my house. What do you love about getting to explore that side of her? Is there anything that you did to prepare for her dance ability?
LEE: I’ve been doing ballet since I was two years old, so I would say I’ve preparing my whole life for this part. Even when I was in Canada, I would join Zoom classes with my ballet coach, who lives in London. I would do my ballet classes every morning, and when I didn’t have time to do that, I would do ballet YouTube videos, so I could really be prepared for this part. Dance is such a big part of Jessi’s life. The dance scenes were definitely some of my favorite scenes to film, besides the meetings.
Did you guys have a moment when you felt like things really clicked for you with your character and you really had an understanding of who they were?
WATSON: Definitely. At the beginning, it was hard to develop Mallory as a character, so I had to really think about how Mallory would act in a scene or in a situation, or how she would say a line. Mallory and I differ in a lot of ways. By the end of Season 2, I was able to read a line and just immediately know how Mallory would say it and how she would act in that scene. That was really fun for me to see how her character developed.
LEE: Jessi was such a fun character to play because she’s a lot like me. Jessi, this season, really struggles with her confidence. She pushes herself to always try to be the best and she puts a lot of pressure on herself. I honestly relate to that with her because with acting and dancing, there’s a lot of pressure. Jessi taught me that I’m just a kid and I have to be myself. I don’t have to worry about the future too much. I just had to live life in the moment.
I love the message that comes through with this season, in the episode with the kid who’s famous on social media, about how sometimes you just have to be a kid and enjoy kid things and not have that added stress and pressure. Do you guys feel like you find a balance between living your lives, using social media, also getting to be a kid, but working in an adult world? Do you feel like you’ve really found a sense of that balance, or is that something you’re always working on?
WATSON: I think that I’m still working on it now. It’s very different than a lot of what my friends at home have to deal with. I’m pretty lucky to have the cast be around my age, so if I need any help, I can just come and talk to them. It definitely is a different life that the cast is living, being a child and working on this show, but I think we’ve all found our ways to manage it.
LEE: Yeah, balancing acting and school and just being a normal kid is never something that you can fully master. I’ve been doing it since I was five, and I still haven’t really perfected it. It does get stressful sometimes, but I just take a step back and realize why I’m doing it, in the first place. I’m doing it because I love to act, and even though it can get stressful, balancing school and acting at the same time, I just make sure to push through because I love to act. That is really my passion.
The Baby-Sitters Club is available to stream on Netflix.
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Christina Radish is a Senior Reporter at Collider. Having worked at Collider for over a decade (since 2009), her primary focus is on film and television interviews with talent both in front of and behind the camera. She is a theme park fanatic, which has lead to covering various land and ride openings, and a huge music fan, for which she judges life by the time before Pearl Jam and the time after. She is also a member of the Critics Choice Association and the Television Critics Association.

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