We recently chatted with Emma Dumont, Kaitlyn Jenkins, Julia Goldani Telles, and Bailey Buntain from the upcoming ABC Family show Bunheads! All of the girls were super sweet and couldn't wait to dish to TWIST all about the show, their characters, and the funny behind-the-scene moments from set! Check out our exclusive interview below, and don't forget to tune into Bunheads when it premieres on June 11th at 9PM on ABC Family!
Photo: Courtesy of ABC Family
TWIST: Can you tell us a little bit about Bunheads and what we can expect this season? Emma Dumont: Bunheads is great! It's a dance show, and it's really a great family show! It's really funny and quick, and there are a lot of jokes! It's very witty! But, what's [really] great about Bunheads is that you don't have to be a dancer to really enjoy it. The girls on the show are very close and they're very relatable! It's a really fun show!
Kaitlyn Jenkins: We represent all girls of every walk of life, especially with our body types and everything, especially since it's a dance show. Everyone is different, and everyone has a different body, everyone has a different hair color. It's so awesome because it clearly demonstrates the diversity of body types and image. We're just normal girls.
Bailey Buntain: Bunheads was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of Gilmore Girls, which I'm obsessed with! And it stars Sutton Foster, who is one of the most talented people ever to walk the earth! Sutton plays a Las Vegas showgirl who marries this man on a whim, and he is from this small town that my character is from. She moves there, and she turns the whole town, and all of our worlds, upside-down. I play Ginny, who is a local ballet student at the ballet school. Ginny and her three best friends are hardcore ballerinas - they eat and sleep ballet! And they're all kind of all dealing with their own issues and struggles, and Michelle comes in and she definitely kind of rocks our world a little bit!
Julia Goldani Telles: Bunheads is a show about fitting in and maturing. It centers on a show girl, Sutton Foster, who moves to a small town and takes over her mother-in-law's ballet studio. I play the role of an edgy, sharp- tongued ballet student.
TWIST: That's awesome! Can you tell us a little bit about your characters? ED: Melanie and I are very different - Melanie is kind of the goofball of the group. She's very high-spirited, and very bubbly. She loves to have fun. She comes bouncing and leaping into a room! I guess I would say I'm kind of similar to her... I have a lot of energy as well. But she's a lot more high energy than I am! (laughs).
BB: I'm definitely similar to Ginny! One thing that I love about playing Ginny is she's going through a lot of changes - she's 14, uncomfortable in her own skin, and she's a little insecure. And I think girls go through that already in life - and then when you're in the dancing environment, those feelings can be heightened. I definitely went through that, and I think that most girls do! It's very relatable, and very real, and I love telling Ginny's story. I like that part!
JGT: I think my character, Sasha, is very determined and knows what she wants, which is similar to my personality; I've always been very driven. She is also a little bit vulnerable, and I think as a teenager everyone struggles with that.
TWIST: Okay, cool. How did you become interested in acting? ED: I've always had an interest in acting. I grew up in Seattle doing musical theater and so it was always a big part of my life. It's just something I've always really enjoyed and, you know, dancing and acting - there's so much crossover work. Obviously! (laughs).
TWIST: What was the audition process like for the show? KJ: I went in and I totally thought I bombed! I remember just walking in and then giving my first read and afterwards we had a dance audition where we prepare a small, short dance, about a minute. I just remember the dancing went okay. I'm super critical. I'm a very harsh critic on myself. I felt like I did good but I was a little nervous because this part was so much like me that it was almost intimidating in a way, you know? It was really exciting. I just happened to get a callback. My agent called me and said 'You have a callback!' and I was like 'Ok, I have to do perfectly this time! I have to do even better!'
BB: Actually, in a twist of fate, I went and saw Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop (who plays Fanny on Bunheads) in Anything Goes on Broadway a week before my audition for Bunheads. At the audition, we had to dance en pointe and do scenes from the pilot. I had two or three callbacks in New York, and then I flew to L.A. for a final callback there - and I found out that night that I got it! My agent called me and the first thing he asked was, 'Are you in public?' I said, 'Yes,' and he said 'Okay, well then you can't scream,' and I said, 'Okay.' And he told me I got it, and I still screamed anyway! (laughs). So, everyone around me just had to hear me scream because I was just so excited!
JGT: I had to audition three times for the role. The second and third time, I auditioned for the creator and executive producer of the show, Amy Sherman-Palladino. I was especially nervous for those two auditions because I am a huge fan of Gilmore Girls.
TWIST: Cool! So can you tell us what the vibe is like on the set of Bunheads? ED: Oh my gosh. The cast is ridiculous! We're all joking and laughing all day, every day. Sutton Foster, who plays Michelle, is just a giant goof! She's SO much fun to be around. And it's funny, 'cause you can tell on-screen how our relationships with each other are off-screen. We're just like a family - everything's fun and everyone's joking around - it's not very stressful at all. And you can definitely tell when we're filming that that's how we are off-screen.
KJ: Oh gosh, I think I was dreaming the whole time. This had always been a dream of mine to be able to play a character that was so like me. On top of that to be dancing on the show is a dream come true! I was trying to pinch myself the whole time it was happening! It was just magical. We got to film on location in Malibu and it was just gorgeous! It was so beautiful. I felt like a princess.
TWIST: That's really nice. Do you have a favorite behind-the-scenes memory from set? ED: On the last day of filming the pilot, the girls and I - the four of us - decided we were gonna do one take where we joked around and made up new lines. It was going to be really funny! We actually didn't end up doing it, but we told Amy [Sherman-Palladino], who directed the pilot, what we were gonna do - and she was just laughing. She thought it was the funniest thing! We had this whole plan and we ended up not being able to do it, but it was going to be funny!
BB: Yes! When I flew out for the final callback, all four of us did our callback together - and we were all so excited to see Sutton Foster; we were all HUGE fans of hers. And we were all saying, 'Oh my gosh, we get to meet her, and we're gonna faint!" We were so excited! (laughs). We said that if we got the parts, we would agree to only talk in lyrics of the musicals that Sutton's been in. She was on Broadway in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and in Shrek, and we were like, 'When we first meet her, we're gonna recite her songs back to her!' And then, when we all got the parts, we did it! She looked at us like we were a little nuts, but then we explained, and she laughed! (laughs)
JGT: I think one of my favorite memories was the first rehearsal, when I met the other girls. It was one of the most exciting moments because we read through the script together for the first time, and we were able to do this cool dance number. It was all just so new and exciting!
TWIST: Do you guys hang out off-set? KJ: We got to hang out quite a bit, I'd say after every rehearsal or table read, we'd at least do something together like go eat or we'd usually end up going back to Bailey's apartment that she was staying in because she's from New York. It was just fun, we just talked and really got to know each other which I think helped a lot and the chemistry and just our own friendships in real life.
TWIST: What advice would you give to girls who are not sure if they accomplish their dreams? KJ: There is nothing that can limit you and I learned that a lot when I was younger. I was in a jazz, tap and ballet studio and I was definitely the underdog. I was awful! I wasn't good at jazz or tap! I was always in the back, always on the side. I never had the special parts or anything. It was hard. I'm not going to say it was easy, but I worked really hard and pushed past it. Now I'm actually a lot better than any of the other girls in my group. It is possible to push through it and accomplish what you want to accomplish! You can accomplish what you want if you put in hard work, energy and effort.
TWIST: Why should TWIST readers tune into Bunheads? ED: It's a fun show! And I think it's especially easy for teens to relate to our characters because we're all SO different! I think it's great to tune in and to pick one character that you can relate to. I know I love to watch those types of shows! Young girls will find themselves in at least one of us!
TWIST: What was your initial reaction when you found out you were casted? JGT: I could not believe I had actually gotten the role! When I found out I got the part, I kept asking, 'Are you sure it's mine and no one can take it away from me?' I was just really excited about it!
TWIST : Can you tell us any upcoming projects that you are doing? JGT: For right now, my only focus is Bunheads, and I really encourage you to watch it. It's exciting, and I think it should be a lot of fun for an audience of all ages!
TWIST: Great! Thank you so much for speaking with us! ED, KJ, BB, JGT: Thank you, TWIST!