Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bailey Buntaine Talks About Bunheads and The Middle

  ABC/Kelsey McNeal
We’ve never been ashamed to admit our unabashed love for The Gilmore Girls. Since the show ended in 2007, we’ve had a little hole in our pop culture hearts. And even though we get our Lauren Graham fix on Parenthood and we appreciated Amy Sherman-Palladino’s short-lived series The Return of Jezebel James, nothing has really filled the gap. Then Bunheads came along.

Created by Gilmore Girls mastermind, Sherman-Palladino, the show has that same rapid fire banter filled with sometimes-obscure TV and movie references that we oh so loved back in the Stars Hollow days. Come on, they’ve even had a character named Hubble and an “Oh, Captain, my Captain,” Dead Poets Society nod. 

So we were excited to get to talk to have an exclusive interview with Bailey Buntain, who plays Ginny Thompson. The newcomer graduated from American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in 2010. She hadn’t initially planned on getting into television. She explained, “I majored in theater so I didn’t anticipate ever going into this venue. But when I talk to other people and I ask how they got into whatever they’re doing, they always say, ‘I fell into it and it worked out.’ So I definitely studied to do this for sure. But I never anticipated going in this direction with it. But I love it. I’m so thankful that it worked out this way.”

Her musical theater background has made her the perfect candidate for the dual acting and dancing role on Bunheads and sitcom parts like her upcoming guest starring spot on The Middle. She acknowledged, “I definitely like comedy and especially in TV. I like that style. So I’ve auditioned for a lot of different things and that’s what I get cast for so it probably shows that I like it. I’ve been really lucky and I’m grateful.”

Bailey looked back on her initial shift in disciplines. She recalled, “I was living in New York and working in theater. And I actually got Bunheads and that brought me to L.A. But I studied theater and I was working in that. Any my agents represent all different kinds of venues and they were like, ‘Would you want to go after this kind of stuff?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, sure, totally.’ And then I started to take classes more geared toward TV and film and the more I did it, the more I liked it.”

Now she’s on the hit ABC Family series, which returns this winter with all new episodes. Bailey reflected on what makes the ballet show so relatable to fans. “The great thing about Bunheads is that there are so many characters and they are all so different. From Kelly [Bishop] to Sutton [Foster] to the four girls, we’re all so different. So watching it, there’s one person that you can connect with. And that’s what draws you into a TV show when you are watching someone that you connect with. So the writing was done great in that that way. It’s funny. It will make you laugh but it’s real. If you watch it you that Sutton’s character Michelle is really struggling. So it’s a well-rounded show.”

And being on the West Coast for filming has allowed Bailey to have a renewed connection with the most important people in her life. She revealed, “I come from a really big family. I have ten nieces and nephews and three sisters and four stepsisters. I have a village of family members and they all live in Northern California. So that was a great thing about coming back to L.A. is it’s much easier to be involved in their lives and go home for special occasions or weddings.  And so as I get older my family is more of a priority because you always love them and are passionate about them but as I’ve gotten older I realize that my energy, my effort to your family is really what matters at the end of the day.”

Watch Bailey Buntain when she guest stars on The Middle on Wednesday, October 3 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. Central on ABC. And tune in to Bunheads when it returns to ABC Family in the winter of 2013.

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