YEM Interview: Keslee Blalock shares her preparation process for getting into character for “Family Camp”

Keslee Blalock is an actress that is soon to star as Ivy in Netflix’s film series “Ivy & Bean”. She will portray the character of Ivy. She will also be co-starring in the film, “Family Camp,” in theaters May 13th as Barb Sanders. YEM was able to speak with Keslee about her auditioning process, future roles she has coming up, and her dream character.

Young Entertainment Mag: This has been quite the year for you! How has it been working on so many different projects in such a short time?

Keslee Blalock: Fun! I still can’t believe that this is my life!

YEM: What was your favorite set to be on?

I don’t really have a favorite set because I love every set I’ve ever worked on. What I loved about family camp is that we filmed at a real camp and everyone was so nice and happy all the time. The Ivy and Bean set was the BEST because I got to be with my best friend every single day.

YEM: What was it like working with renowned actors like Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Lynch, and Sasha Pieterse for Ivy and Bean? Were you nervous or starstruck when you first met them?

I was really star struck! I didn’t know some of the other actors were going to be in my movie until I met them on set. All of the kids on the set of Ivy and Bean were freaking out about Sasha because she was in Shark boy and Lava girl.

YEM: Did you get any helpful tips when working with these actors?

Actually, yes! Leigh-Allyn Baker was so kind, She taught me that actors shouldnt try to reset props themselves because there is someone that knows exactly how everything should be laid out for every scene and shot. Also, Ona Grauer taught me how to memorize my lines better…. we would say our lines in different accents and also sing them, it was so fun and very helpful.

YEM: Have you gotten the chance to read the Ivy and Bean book series?

yes! I’ve read a few of them! I’m working on book number 3 right now. My 2 older sisters have read most of them because they loved them before I was old enough to read.

YEM: Do you think you resemble your character, Ivy, in real life, or are you more like Bean?

I am a little bit of both. I love to wear dresses and play with dolls but I also love to prank my siblings and I love frogs and playing in the mud!

YEM: What’s your preparation process like when you’re getting ready to play a character?

I get into the character’s shoes and think about how they would feel in that situation. I also look around me and see what I can use in the scene to make my scene more believable and real.

YEM: What was the process like when you were auditioning for Ivy?

Well, I actually auditioned for Ivy for the first time in 2020 and then was asked to tape for Bean. Then several months passed by and Ivy and Bean started casting again so I taped  for Bean again…. and then again… followed by several callbacks, a director session and like 9 chemistry sessions over zoom. Every Chemistry session we had several scenes to run and one night they let me know that I’d be doing the chemistry session with another girl in the morning but this time I’d be reading for IVY. It was so hard because I already had Beans lines memorized. I managed to make it through even though I missed some of the lines, I never stopped. I just started saying what I thought Ivy would say.  It was for sure the absolute hardest I’ve ever worked in my life. I guess that’s why I still think about how lucky I am to actually get to play Ivy.

YEM: A lot of the recent films you’ve been in have surrounded very different themes. Did you have any trouble getting into character for these different roles?

No, not really. I think the set and atmosphere is a big part of what makes each Character who they are so that always helps me.

YEM: With the release of Family Camp coming up in about a month, do you have any plans to celebrate when it’s out?

Yes! I have waited for this day for 2 years! I filmed this in 2020 during the lockdown when I was 8 years old. I can’t wait to finally see it in theaters with all of my friends and family. Plus I get to see how much I’ve grown as an actor since Family Camp was my first big movie set to work on.

YEM: Was it fun to work on a summer camp set for Family Camp?

Oh yes! There were real campers at the camp when we were filming. My favorite thing was finding frogs around the fire pit every night! Also, during one of our night shoots, we heard wolves howling, it was so cool and kinda scary. It was completely dark outside of our set and it was like they were all around us. I think it’s fun to be scared sometimes.

YEM: What’s it like knowing that one of your films will be on Netflix, which is such a large, wide-reaching platform, and another will get a theatrical release? Are you more excited or nervous?

It still doesn’t feel real. While in Vancouver filming Ivy and Bean, Every single day I would say “I can’t believe this is real life”. I was so used to saying my prayers before going to sleep and ending with “and please God let me play in Ivy and Bean”. I have taped tons of auditions, Ivy and Bean just felt different to me, I just fell in love with it. I prayed for it for over a year and a half. So getting to go to sleep and say my prayers and Thank God for blessing me with what I asked for instead of still asking for it, is so amazing. I am kind of nervous because I really hope everyone enjoys my work on screen.

YEM: Do you have any future roles coming up that you can tell us about?

I have some exciting projects coming up and I can’t wait to share when I’m allowed to!

YEM: Do you have a dream character that you would want to play?

One of my dream roles would be a superhero because I love to play a fierce and strong girl. Plus I love stunts. I have been in dance and gymnastics my entire life so I can do tons of tricks like a back handspring and the splits, I think that would come in handy for playing a superhero. Also, I’d love any role where I get to sing! I really love the Nickelodeon show Victorious so it has always been a dream of mine to get to act and sing. I’m really falling in love with musicals.

Watch Keslee Blalock in Family Camp!

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