Anais Lee Has Big Goals for Jessi Ramsey on 'The Baby-Sitter's Club'
One of the biggest successes this summer was the reboot of The Baby-Sitter's Club on Netflix. The series brought a wave of nostalgia for '90s kids, who loved the original show.
Anais Lee was thrilled to be a part of the Camp Moosehead episodes because she combined her love of acting with her dance talents as Jessi Ramsey. While the show has yet to be picked up for Season 2, there is already talk about giving Jessi a more prominent role in the storyline. It's something Anais is ready to tackle.
Anais isn't the only talented one in the family, her identical twin sister Mirabelle Lee, who is also making a name for herself in Hollywood. While the 13-year-olds used to share roles as kids due to child labor laws, but they are now branching out and booking work separately.
Anais shared why having her sister by her side is so important and what role she's ready to play as an actress and a dancer.
What was the audition process like for The Baby-Sitter's Club? Did you have to show off your dance skills in the audition?
For the audition, I did have to do a dance routine. So the audition was a self-tape. So I learned my lines. I filmed the scene that they gave me, but the different thing was that I had to come up with a ballet routine. Jessi is a ballerina and it was a little bit challenging because we had to come up with choreography quickly, but it turned out well.
After we submitted the audition, we got a call that they wanted to do a Skype interview with me for a callback. I was so, so excited because I loved this character so much. After I did the Skype call, we just waited a day and they told me that I was one of the top picks for the role.
I was screaming. I was jumping up and down and I had to go to school. The entire day at school, I was so nervous to see what they were going to say. When I got home, my mom called me and she told me that I booked the part and I was jumping up and down there. My neighbors below me probably thought that there was an earthquake — I was jumping so much.
Did your sister also audition for this role?
My sister and I audition for the same role a lot, but we're always still so supportive of each other because we act differently. So sometimes a role just fits me more. So when she got her role in her new movie [Slapface], I was so happy for her. And when I got my role in The Baby-Sitter's Club, Mirabelle was still happy for me. So it's not like we're competing against each other.
What characteristics of Jessi do you see in yourself?
I loved how she cared about other people because you could see in the scene where Kristy said that Karen was missing, she and Mallory just jumped right up to go help. They offered to help right away without any second of thought. In the books as well, Jessi cares about other people. There's this one book, Jessi's Secret Language and she babysits Matt, and he's deaf. She takes it upon herself to learn sign language so she can communicate with him.
I know producers said if there are future seasons of The Baby-Sitter's Club, they're hoping to bring Jessi back. What type of dance scene would love to see if the show returns?
There's this one Jessie book and she plays Sleeping Beauty. I think that would be an amazing scene to film. I always wanted to do Sleeping Beauty in a ballet production because I just think that is so cool. It was amazing. I loved the dancing scenes so much. They're always so fun because I love ballet. I had been doing it for 11 years now. So once the music turns on, I get out of my head and I do the ballet moves.
I know you've trained with Debbie Allen. What has been the greatest lesson you've learned from her?
I was training with Debbie Allen for the The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. I had to put in a lot of work to learn all of the dance scenes that I had to do. We started learning the choreography just a few weeks before the show. So definitely something that I learned from her was hard work because I know you had to put hard work into everything you do. And the discipline that I learned from training with her, it was not like anything that I've done before.
Have you been able to keep up with your dance training over the past few months with quarantine?
My ballet class has been doing Zoom classes and sometimes and my sister and I would find dance tutorials on YouTube. I remember this one time we made the pool table into a ballet barre and there's videos of us on Instagram, just training because ballet is the foundation of dance. So I think it's so important. It's just something I've been doing my entire life. I can't remember a time where I didn't do ballet.
How does dance help you prepare for your acting?
I feel like in dance, and especially in ballet, there's a certain amount of discipline. You have to listen always because if you tune out for one second, you're going to miss a step in the choreography. That's something that I've also applied to my acting. So when I'm on set, I always listen for every single note, every detail. Ballet affects me throughout my daily life as well. Like my posture — everybody can tell that I'm a dancer because of my posture. Once I was talking with my agent and I was just standing in fifth position and she said, "I can tell that you're a dancer because you're standing in this position right now."
What goals do you have in dance in the next few years?
All of my life, I've always wanted to do a role that combines acting and dancing. I was so fortunate to do that in The Baby-Sitter's Club. And now, I think one of my dance goals is to star in a ballet production, where I'm the lead in it. I think that would be so cool and so amazing!
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