If you grew up in the 80s and 90s you were a fan of The Baby-sitters Club. BSC is a series of novels written by Ann M. Martin. BSC is about a group of friends who live in the fictional, suburban town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut. These friends run a local babysitting service. It’s there where the babysitter’s bond over family issues, school, and sometimes boys. A few weeks ago Netflix premiered the new series based on the books and it’s become one of the top 10 shows to watch on their network. YEM had the opportunity to chat with one of the babysitters, Malia Baker, known on the show as Mary Anne Spier. I loved chatting with Malia and I hope you enjoy the series as much as I did.
Young Entertainment Mag: What was your first introduction to the Babysitters Club? Did you read the books?
Malia Baker: My first introduction to The Baby-Sitters Club was when I was around eight-years-old. My mom had always referred to herself as a “Dawn,” and I was confused about this and did some research. I discovered the BSC books and fell in love right away! I now own at least fifty books, and they are one of my favorite book series, haha!
YEM: What is your favorite part about Mary Anne? Do you have a favorite storyline from the books?
Malia: My favorite part about Mary Anne is that she always has this inner dialogue. And it’s so fun to explore. Also I love how kind and accepting she is; I think it’s something that many people can look up to. I love all of the plots, but some of my favorites have to be Kristy’s great idea and the process of coming up with the BSC, the super special when they go off to camp and have a fantastic time, and Mary Anne’s portrait diary when she finds out about her grandparents!
YEM: I loved the Makeovers? What was that like to film? Do you get to pick out any of your clothes? Did you get to keep anything?
Malia: The makeovers were so fun to film. The change of clothes for Mary Anne throughout the series is crazy. And it was so much fun to try on things I would normally never wear. Near the end of filming, we got to choose a few things to keep from any of our closets, and I was so happy! I have bits from Claudia’s, Dawn’s, and Mary Anne’s wardrobe in my closet right now, haha!
YEM: What was your favorite scene to shoot and why? (I think out of the entire season my favorite scene has to be in the lunch room when you first meet Dawn. There’s something very special about that moment and a turning point for your character.)
Malia: I love that scene with Dawn. It looks so good, and that was the first time I did a scene with Xochitl, so it was super special! I also love any scene in Claudia’s room with the phone because they were so fun to film, any camp episodes, and the last scene of episode eight where we have a mini dance party at Kristy’s mom’s wedding was so much fun!
YEM: What was the funniest thing to happen behind the scenes?
Malia: There was so much hilarious stuff that happened behind the scenes. But I think the funniest was when Shay and I were doing the scene where I was running after her in the camp episodes. It was SO COLD outside. And while we were practicing, people could notice our breath showing, so we had to go inside and suck on giant ice cubes to stop our breath from showing. Shay and I were laughing the whole time because we thought this was the weirdest and smartest, thing ever haha!
YEM: The show begins with the girls starting their own business. But they end up finding themselves and growing up in the process. What is it like to be part of this coming-of-age story? Do you relate to what these girls are going through?
Malia: I think that one of the best things about the Baby-Sitters Club is that you can relate to at least one of the characters and watch them go through a situation that is either very similar or the same, as yours. I relate to many of the things in the Baby-Sitters Club, as I’m sure we all do! These characters are so iconic, and I think it’s a dream that I have the opportunity to play Mary Anne. It’s so awesome that they made the series contemporary as well. Because it adds topics and challenges that we are all facing at this time, which makes it even more relatable!
YEM: What’s it like to know your show is in the top 10 list on Netflix?
Malia: It honestly doesn’t feel like reality! I’m feeling very grateful for everyone’s support and excitement for this series and am so happy people love it just as much as I do!
YEM: What are you most excited to see from Mary Anne moving forward (should there be a season 2)?
Malia: I’m very excited to see Mary Anne go through what I had read about in the original book series. But I am also excited to see how the writers will add the contemporary spin! It would be cool if Mary Anne explored more of herself like her culture, her mom’s side, and I hope that Mary Anne gets her kitten, Tigger, like she does in the books! The Baby-Sitters Club’s themes are timeless, and I feel that the writers did such a fantastic job bringing the essence from the books into this series.
These characters are so iconic!
YEM: Where would you like to see your career go next? What can you tell young talent who want to do what you do?
Malia: I want to continue learning about my passion (acting) and to work on future projects! I also love using my voice for what I believe in, so with the platform that I have gained from this series, I’m able to reach a lot more people! In the future, I hope to continue using my voice to make an impact on people around the world about our climate issue, racial justice, racism, and what we can do to have a secure future!
The advice I would give for people who want to start acting is to make sure that you’re passionate about this and don’t give up! You will get some things, and you won’t get some things, and that is completely normal and not personal to you either – casting directors to know what they are looking for, so keep your head held high and keep doing it as long as you love it!