Exclusive | 'The Baby-Sitters Club' star Anais Lee says playing Jessi was easy: 'She has eyes on the prize'
Much to the excitement of fans who grew up with 'The Baby-Sitters Club' series, the rebooted television show based on books is now streaming on Netflix. The series follows the lives of middle-schoolers who start a babysitting club in Connecticut. In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), Anais Lee, who plays the role of Jessi Ramsey, opens up on her character and how she prepared for the role.
Lee says, "Jessi Ramsey is a really hard worker. She has her eyes on the prize. She loves ballet. And so do I, so that's something I can definitely relate with her. And I read some of the Jessie books and her stories are so cool, because not only does it show her life in the baby-sitter's club, it also shows her life in her dance school. Everything that happens in the dance school. And I really love her story."
The series follows the friendship and adventures of Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace), Mary Anne Spier (Malia Baker), Claudia Kishi (Momona Tamada), Stacey McGill (Shay Rudolph), and Dawn Schafer (Xochitl Gomez) as middle-schoolers who start their babysitting business in the town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Ann M Martin, the series author, and show producer wanted to tell heartwarming tales about these young girls from different backgrounds, vibrant personalities, and opinions, who were brought together by a business venture.
The adaptation of the contemporary dramedy is a nod to friendship, female empowerment, and entrepreneurship. Anais Lee plays the role of Jessi Ramsey whose primary passion is to dance the ballet.
Asked about her favorite book, Lee answers, "My favorite Baby-Sitter Club book was the Jessi Ramsey book where she got to babysit pets, like a bunch of animals. And I love animals so much like pets, like dogs, cats, birds, hamsters. And I just thought that book was so cool." She reveals the preparation she went through to play Jessi. "We got a dance coach for the audition because in the audition I had to do a dancing scene. So we got a coach and he just came and did the choreography and we filmed it. And then I did myself."
"And when I got the callback, I did so much research on the character. Like I even found out her birthday which is June 30th. And I found out her entire life. Like I study Jessie like front and back," she says. Asked if she changed the character or put her own spin on it, Lee says, "I didn't have to change much for this character because she is already a lot like me. So my friends had told me, 'Jessi is actually a lot like you' and I have eyes on the prize. I know what I want and am really hardworking. And Jessi is like a kind caring girl and she loves her best friends." On her future projects, Lee says, "I have a few other projects lined up, but I can't say the name of it yet."
The show began streaming on Netflix on July 3.