Since 2018, Mallory James Mahoney has been playing the role of Destiny Baker in Disney TV series Bunk’d, currently in its fourth series, and has recently been seen as Ainsley Riches in a couple of episodes of On My Block on Netflix. Mallory played one of the main characters, Katy Cooper, in 2016 Disney Channel Original Movie Adventures in Babysitting working alongside Sabrina Carpenter and Sofia Carson, and in the same year, was in the Christmas film Heaven Sent leading the cast as Taylor. We found out from Mallory about playing Destiny Baker in Bunk’d, working on Heaven Sent and filming for Disney Original Adventures in Babysitting.
For those that don’t know Bunk’d, can you tell them about the show and your character Destiny Baker?
Bunk’d is a show about a summer camp, it is based on two main cabins as well as the director of the camp. I play Destiny Baker, a competitive pageant queen with a fierce sense of style who has a flair for the dramatics. In the latest season, Destiny decides to take a break from the pageant circuit and instead focuses her time and determination on improving the environment by doing things like cleaning up the town lake.
What’s been the fan reaction to your character joining?
Everyone seemed very excited, and welcoming. It was really wonderful, and it warms my heart that fans are so willing to embrace my character, Destiny.
Were you familiar with the show before being cast?
I loved to watch all things Disney when I was growing up. I loved to watch things like Good Luck Charlie, Kickin’ It, Girl Meets World, Jessie and Bunk’d. So, I had already seen Bunk’d before I booked the role of Destiny Baker. I feel that helped me understand the rhythm of the show to prepare for the audition process.
What was it like joining the production in Season Three?
It was a little bit scary to join the show after it had already been around for a while and had such a huge fan base. It was nice that I wasn’t the only new character to the show so we have a special kinship. Fortunately, everyone from Bunk’d was so kind and inviting, they all just really welcomed me in with love and support. It has been a wonderful experience.
What do you do in between takes?
When we are waiting in between takes, we are receiving notes from our director. But, if notes are not with us and production is discussing technical issues with the scene not the actors. The whole cast love to do tons of different handshakes and games while we hang out. We do games like slide, boom snap clap, and chopsticks.
Being in the cast of Bunk’d, do you get to do fan events or other things associated with the show?
Disney does a big fan fest for all of their Disney Channel shows that we get to go to at Disneyland. It is super cool because we go on a big parade, then we do meet and greets and interviews. It is super cool to meet everyone and hang out with everyone. We also get to do other meet and greet events throughout the year or movie premieres. I love any time I can get to visit with fans.
You’ve been in a couple of episodes of Disney Quizney, what did you do on each?
In my Quizney episodes I got to do some pretty awesome themes. I got to do one that was all about henchmen who doesn’t love a sidekick. Then I did a show about lots of cool gadgets, technology can be pretty amazing. I also got to do one all about Disney show characters that got grounded. It was so much fun to do Quizney, I loved trying to figure out all the answers to the questions. I might not be the best at it but I did love it! It was so cool to get to film something live. It was not like anything I have ever done before. It was so fun reading on the teleprompter while trying to make it look natural. I loved the freedom of just seeing what might happen.
What was Adventures in Babysitting like to film and how was the experience being part of the cast?
I loved filming Adventures in Babysitting because it was my first big project with other lead kids, I also got to film in Canada which was awesome. We filmed most of the film at night and all over the city, nothing was shot in a studio so we always had to deal with the challenges of weather. My role of Katy Cooper was super fun to play because she was a very girly character. Filming Adventures in Babysitting was such a magical experience mostly because the entire cast loved each other. Honestly, we would film all day or night together and still want to hang out together. So, all of us would go to dinner together and then go back to one of our rooms and sing and dance with each other all night. I will forever be thankful for this project, all of the cast are still very close today, we definitely formed special bonds for life.
How long were you filming for this role and did you have a favourite scene to film?
Adventures in Babysitting was filmed over about four months. My favourite scene to film was either the rap battle scene with all of us, or the makeover montage scene with Sabrina Carpenter, Sofia Carson and myself, we just kept laughing so much. They both were hilarious to film.
Can you tell us about appearing in Heaven Sent?
I loved filming Heaven Sent, it was filmed in Boulder, Colorado. It was a beautiful location with mountains and snow. We got to sled down the hills behind our hotel and the cast would have snowball fights. It was also so amazing because the whole cast and crew got along. They all took special care of me, I was the only child in the film and I was in almost every scene. I loved that the director, Michael Landon Jr., and writer, Rick Ramage, were both so trusting with my choices in my character Taylor. They gave me freedom to try different things that were not scripted. I have come to realise that is a gift to have such a special relationship with people that they have faith in you even though I was so young and new in the acting world to let me try things and to grow my character.
What do you remember from your first filming experience?
I remember my first filming experience was a Chuck E. Cheese commercial. I remember I got to run around and play games all day for the shoot which was super fun. Also, all my friends were a bit jealous because I got to leave school for the day and play games. I really just loved being in front of the camera, and found the whole filming process so fascinating.
How did you get into an acting career?
I first decided I wanted to be an actor when I was about five years old and I went to a play. My parents were a bit skeptical when I told them I wanted to be an actress, because I was definitely on the shy side. But my parents have always supported my dreams so they enrolled me at local theatre. I ended up loving it, very quickly after I decided I wanted to extend my acting into TV and Film.
What are your upcoming filming plans?
I do have a few things in the works, but I can’t say much yet. Just keep your eyes out. Also, we still have many new episodes of Bunk’d to come.
Follow Mallory on:
Snapchat – MalloryMahoneyJ