Bailee Madison isn’t just a leading lady in Netflix’s latest family friendly film, A Week Away she is the film’s producer. This is her third producing project, as she ventures into the world of shaping the stories she choses to tell.
A Week Away directed by Roman White follows Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn) as he struggles with his faith, and gets into trouble after the loss of his parents. We join Will as he traveres the difficulties of feeling lost and alone until he meets Avery (Bailee Madison) in a heartfelt musical that is great for all the family, about friends, family, and faith. Wanting to know more about what prompted the creation of this story we sat down with Bailee Madison and Kevin Quinn.
PPLA: Bailee we wanted to start with you because you also produced this project. This is your third time producing yes? We wanted to know if you started this project as a producer or if it came to you as an actress, and then decided to also produce?
BM: Yeah, exactly. I was first attached as an actress and then the conversation came up with the producing team about the idea of me joining in on that with them. Since I had produced in the past, I already kind of had that behind the scenes mind that was fitting, and I came back then, I loved this project as a whole, and I love our cast and our crew so much that I was beyond ecstatic to join in on the producing side. Once I stepped on it’s been the most fulfilling and humbling experience. It is yes! Thank you, thats lovely that you know that. It is my third time, but to be honest it is the project that I felt I was able to put most of my heart on. So it feels deeply personal, more than the other ones, especially the last few months once we found our home with Netflix you know getting to work with that team over there, on trailer cuts, with marketing, the posters, its been just the greatest learning experience. I was 19 at the time when I produced this on set, so I’ve gotten to grow through the years, and be so hands on with this project. Its just genuinely been one of the highlights of my life.
PPLA: That’s awesome. Do you see yourself producing more moving forward?
BM: That would be the hope. I grew up on sets and I deeply understand that it takes an entire crew and a village to make this happen, um but I still love the idea of being behind the camera, and getting to be so creative and not having the lense on me when you’re doing it and caring for the fellow actors around you. I had a chance to direct right before the pandemic happened. I directed a music video for the first time and got the bug for that, so as much as I’m able to step behind the camera in that sense it would always be a no-brainer because I truly love that feeling so much.
PPLA: Kevin as an actor what was your favorite scene to work on in this film? Your character definetly goes through the most growth.
KQ: Yeah, he really does have a nice arc. I gotta give it up to Roman White our director for getting that out of me, at the time. But yeah, he does grow alot. One of my favorite scenes, because we get to see his walls break down, is on the road, umm, you know he just breaks down in this fit of anger, but you really just get to see the real vulnerable him in that moment. He really has so much layers you know? The same kid we see playing with his toys in the cabin is the same kid who does have that fit of anger on the road and breaks down crying. You know its just such a dynamic arc, and I’ve gotta say there are alot of scenes that I really enjoyed filming.
PPLA: How was the singing for you guys? Did you sing live on set or record in a studio?
KQ: We recorded it in a studio, on the camp grounds actually. So they built a makeshift studio. There was a studio already there, from what I understand it was just campers you know, a space for them to just mess around with music, but they built a little vocal booth and we recorded the soundtrack there.
PPLA: How was it for you to do the musical aspect? Did you find it challenging or was that just fun? How did you feel abou that?
KQ: It felt familiar, I’d done musical theater growing up, I started with music. I kind of took a break because the acting thing just kind of worked out, so I’m fine getting to revisit music, I really enjoy it, you know?
BM: This is uh, the first time I ever got to do music. I think I was the nervous bunny out of it. I was grateful to have Kevin and everyone around who it did feel sorta familiar to, as I was able to learn. So yeah, (laughs) it was an experience one that I was always hoping to get to do.
PPLA: Do you think you’d like to do more musicals in the future?
BM: Yeah, absolutely. Ever since I was little I was always wearing my cowboy boots and going to the karaokee bar, like before the adults came in (laughs) you know for that hour kid karaokee session that you could get. Music has just always been something that I would love, um, wanted to explore so its like crazy that this movie is coming out and I’m singing and dancing, and my nieces can dance along and sing the songs you know? I think the hope is obviously to do musicals at any point. I’ve been figuring out where I would personally fit, my place as an artist in the music industry, I mean… thats a conversation that just feels you know, especially right now, possible. So trying to figure out, I’m very excited about that.
PPLA: What message do you hope to leave viewers with after seeing your film?
KQ: I think because it is a faith based film, I would like to have kids walk away with a nod to a higher power. I’ve definetly had my own faith journey, uh I kind of shunned the idea of faith at one point, and then I went through this weird existential crisis in my early twenties, uh, and maybe it’s a common thing for people in their early twenties to start asking questions uh about life and purpose. Around that time that I was struggling with it, to kind of have God to step back in and even through the means of this shoot, and this film entering my life, uh yeah, I just hope that kids walk away with a little bit of faith and spirit.
BM: I agree with that. I would also hope that in a way this movie can just connect eachother, you know one another again. I think especially right now to have a film that is hoping to spread so much love and light, community and hope especially in a time when there is so much isolation and there is so much uncertainty and everything is very unknown and people are separated and they’re in their homes alone, I would hope that when they turn on this movie for the hour and a half or whatever that they sit and join us that they’re able to kind of feel that light and to feel that joy again. And I love the fact that they’ll be able to turn on their tv’s. You know my mom’s in Florida and you know she can’t travel right now, cause the pandemic you know just to be safe and you know we’ll be able to be hoppin’ on our zoom and watching it together, pressing play at the same time you know? I would hope that there would be a sense of connection between humans after they get to watch this.
PPLA: What were your favorite moments behind the scenes on set?
KQ: For me I mean, I feel like for as much work as I put in, in front of the camera and on set with our director and producers, just actually the whole process of filming the movie I definetly did alot of work on set. But a part of the magic for me was just being able to dive into this character, uh outside of set too. I really did spend alot of time outside of set just sitting with this material, I probably read that script like ten or twelve times, even before we started shooting. Um, and I always found something different every time, you know? And I found similarities with the character and you know I obviously had a ton of fun with the cast and we had lots of fun together and made memories outside of work, but, uh, part of the magic for me was just being able to sit with the material myself and just absorb myself into it.
BM: And he does do a beautiful job with the character, I am thrilled for people to see him in this new light. But a little like behind the scenes fun fact for people who see, um, I would say that theres such a sense of friendship within this movie. And I hope thats going to be able to transpire through the screen. But I think a real fun fact is just how close the dancers and all of us became, um, there was a particular moment that I loved on set. It was when we were filming one of the musical numbers for “Best Thing Ever” and it happened to be the last musical number for the movie, and towards the end of production and the sun was going down we were trying to beat the light and they were so very rushed, but there was such a sense of support from everybody, and when we yelled “cut” and we knew that was the last take, everybody started jumping up and down kind of hollering, and there were tears and we were all like “we’re not done yet” and we went out to the field and we played music, and there was like a huge dance circle that started, and our choreographer was dancing and everyone was like chanting. There was really that feeling of “we’re getting to play make believe” but we believe so much in what we’re doing. And so I hope the same hope and love that we felt in making it, I hope that you guys are able to see through the screen.
5 Really Fun Questions For Bailee and Kevin
PPLA: Go to takeout spot?
KQ: Sugarfish Sushi
BM: I just found a taco place called Escuela, they have this pulled pork taco and I’ve gotten it every night almost…the last four nights (laughs) not gonna lie.
PPLA: What are you reading right now?
BM: Emails!! Ill be honest (laughs) I wish I was reading a book, I think I’ll read one once this movie comes out, but I’ll be honest I’ve just been reading and answering alot of emails.
KQ: I’m 2/3’s of the way through “All Quiet On The Western Front.”
PPLA: Favorite song at the moment
BM: “Dreams”, Fleetwood Mac
KQ: “Kiss of Venus”, Paul McCartney.
PPLA: Vinyl or Digital?
BM: But, for the sake of our movie digital!
PPLA: Coffee or Tea
BM: I’ve been drinking more tea than I’ve been drinking coffee lately.
KQ: As long as theres caffeine in it, I’m all for it.
PPLA: Anything else you’d like viewers to know?
KQ: Thank you for watching, and we hope they fall in love with the characters.
BM: Ditto to that.