Ynez Williams joined the cast of CBBC show The Worst Witch in Series 2 in the role of Beatrice Bunch, making her first appearance in the episode Tortoise Trouble in 2018 and, since joining the cast, she has been a guest at CBBC Summer Social for the past two years. For her first animation voiceover, Ynez has recorded as part of the Puppy Ensemble in 101 Dalmatian Street for Disney and she was a presenter on Sky’s Ocean Rescue, which talks about reducing the use of plastic. In 2016, Ynez joined the London West End production of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical playing Lavender and, away from acting, she is a keen dancer. Recently speaking with Ynez, she talks about joining the cast of The Worst Witch as Beatrice Bunch, recording for 101 Dalmatian Street and making her West End debut as Lavender in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical.
Can you tell us about your experience being cast in Series 2 of The Worst Witch as Beatrice Bunch?
I went through five rounds of auditions and weeks of waiting and I wasn’t sure if I got the part of Beatrice. I really wanted to be in The Worst Witch and turned down another role I was offered while I was waiting to hear from them.
I was nervous, so when I got a phone call saying I got the part, I was super, super excited – it was my first ever CBBC show. I knew the show well and couldn’t wait to join the cast!
How have you found your time in the show so far and what’s it like filming for a CBBC production?
I loved every minute of the filming process, I met lots of friends and I loved getting into costume and playing a character.
The best part about filming with CBBC was that I got to film with lots of people my age, we had loads of fun on set and also off of set living together and going out to restaurants etc! All of the cast are really talented and I think I learnt a lot from watching the adult cast.
Filming the special effects scenes, such as flying on broomsticks, definitely made being in The Worst Witch extra special.
How did you prepare for your first day on set and had you seen the show or read the books before auditioning?
I had read a couple of the books before but when I found out about the auditions, I watched Series 1 so I could get a feel of the show and understand the storyline.
The first day on set was really chill but exciting as that’s when I met all the cast and crew. On the first day, we sat in a big hall and read through the first couple of episodes with the whole of the cast (adult cast included). It felt amazing to be part of this process.
Do you have a favourite aspect of playing the role and working on location?
I love getting ready for it, so the hair and makeup process and getting into costume but of course the BEST aspect was being on set in the castle and in front of the cameras.
Beatrice is a super bubbly character so playing her was always super fun. In several scenes we had to make potions and smoke would go everywhere and it felt so magical!
What do you feel you’ve learnt since booking your role on The Worst Witch?
I’ve learnt a lot about what goes into putting together a TV series and how challenging it is for the crew as well as the cast.
There are so many different people who work hard to make the show a success and it was fascinating to watch the teamwork between different departments.
I admire everyone who worked on the show and I’ve made good friendships.
What CBBC events have you been involved with and how were they to work at?
I went to CBBC Summer Social in 2018 and 2019 with The Worst Witch, the best part was meeting all the fans – they were really nice and I had a really good time.
Can you tell us about recording for 101 Dalmatian Street as part of the Puppy Ensemble?
I recorded 101 Dalmatian Street with a couple of other friends and it was my first ever animation voiceover. It was fun because we got to watch the show as well as playing all the dogs and I loved working in the recording studio with all the cool equipment! I’m working on an exciting voiceover at the moment which I’m really enjoying.
What do you enjoy most about voiceover work?
I really enjoy changing my voices to match certain characters and watching it come to life on the screen.
We understand you were involved with Sky’s Ocean Rescue, what was this like to be part of?
The series was super fun to film and the set was really cool, we also did a beach clean and it made me realise that even leaving tiny things on a beach can hurt the animals. The show was for a really good cause and I am proud to be part of it. I got to do loads of super fun challenges to teach people to reduce their use of plastic, it’s really important to look after the planet.
Can you say about playing Lavender in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical and was there anything that drew you to the production?
For my sixth birthday, my mum bought me tickets to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical and from that day I fell in love with the musical (mainly the character Lavender actually!).
I decided I had to be in it! I learnt all the songs and almost all of the lines. Then my agency sent me to an audition for the musical and I was SUPER excited. I was in Sweden filming an advert when I heard that I got the part, I got a phone call and I was in absolute shock I even dropped my mum’s phone in the snow!!!
I stayed in the show for a year and then started filming Series 2 of The Worst Witch.
How did you find the experience performing in the West End?
I really love performing on stage in front of people and I love singing, dancing and acting on stage. I got the part when I was only nine years old so it was a lot of work.
We would perform about five shows a week and sometimes we would do two shows a day (one in the afternoon and one in the evening). I made lots of friends who I’m still friends with many years later. I loved all the costumes and props and putting microphones on and being backstage. It was so exciting when the house lights went on and we could see the audience!
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you first get involved?
I started dancing at around two years old, then my mum decided to put me into an agency and I did some modelling and dancing in TV and internet adverts. After doing so many auditions and learning so many scripts, I realised that I actually loved acting as well.
What do you enjoy doing away from acting?
I really enjoy dancing, I’ve been dancing pretty much my entire life. At one point I was dancing more than twenty-four hours a week! I love performing in front of people and I love dancing to any kind of music.
Do you have any favourite TV shows, films or musicals to watch?
My favourite Netflix shows are RuPaul’s Drag Race, Gossip Girl and Interior Design Masters. My favourite movies are Orphan and Isn’t It Romantic. My favourite musicals are Wicked, SIX and, of course, Matilda!
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