At the end of last year, Bebe Massey was cast as Scallops in NBC’s The Grinch Musical LIVE alongside lead actors Matthew Morrison, Denis O’Hare and Booboo Stewart, with the film being broadcast in the UK on Sky One over Christmas. Before joining NBC’s The Grinch Musical LIVE, Bebe played Cindy-Lou Who in How The Grinch Stole Christmas the Musical for their premiere in the UK, and for her professional debut, she played Little Cosette on the Les Misérables tour, performing the iconic song Castle on a Cloud. Bebe continues her training at Stagebox and she has workshopped Wind in the Willows Junior and is currently preparing to start filming for an upcoming project. Talking with Bebe, she tells us about filming as Scallops in NBC’s The Grinch Musical LIVE, touring as Cindy-Lou Who in How The Grinch Stole Christmas the Musical and making her professional debut in Les Misérables as Little Cosette.
You recently appeared in NBC’s The Grinch Musical LIVE as Scallops, what was this like to film?
It was super exciting to be part of a musical during the pandemic. The whole cast and crew had plenty of COVID tests and rules but it was such a joy to create this together. I love The Grinch Musical, it’s so bright and cheerful and a huge pleasure to be part of. After lots of rehearsals wearing masks, we went into a filming bubble to eventually film at Wembley and the whole experience felt incredibly joyful.
How did it feel booking the role and meeting the cast for the first time?
I was over the moon to get an offer to be part of the film as The Grinch Musical is very special to me. It felt a little surreal the first time meeting the lead cast who had flown in from the US, Matthew Morrison, Denis O’Hare and Booboo Stewart plus meeting the best of the West End cast that are so talented and are so inspiring to me.
What was it like seeing the film broadcast in the UK on Sky One?
This was my TV debut so I simply couldn’t wait to watch it and share with my friends and family what myself and the cast had worked so hard on and enjoyed every second of doing so. It was so much fun to watch.
You played lead character Cindy-Lou Who in the UK Tour of How The Grinch Stole Christmas the Musical, what was the role like to play?
The role of Cindy is a huge part to play and a dream come true. Cindy is the only child in the cast and gets to be part of all the dancing and singing numbers. Her solo song Santa For A Day is very beautiful and a real pleasure to sing. I loved being Cindy and melting the Grinch’s heart. Every show felt exciting and happy and it was an experience I’ll never forget.
What did you enjoy most about touring with the show and do you have any favourite memories of your time in the musical?
I love travelling and visiting new cities so being on tour is just fantastic! I love spending time with my chaperones and the other Cindys making lots of memories. My favourite city was Edinburgh as we went on the open top bus and saw all the historic sites plus, as it was Christmas time, the lights and the city looked so beautiful.
How much did you know about the show and character before starting rehearsals?
I knew a little bit about it because I enjoyed watching the original Grinch film and reading the Dr. Seuss book. I knew Cindy was going to be an awesome part to play. However, the musical had never been on in the UK so I didn’t know much about the musical numbers but I was really excited to find out more about how the story sounds and looks as an actual musical.
Can you tell us about playing Little Cosette in the UK Tour of Les Misérables and how did you feel making your professional debut in the production?
I was eight years old and thrilled to make my debut in the hugely iconic Les Misérables. It is such a special show with global success and the longest running musical ever so I couldn’t believe little me was going to become a part of that.
What do you remember most about performing Castle on a Cloud for the first time?
Cosette sweeping forward is such an iconic vision. I was filled with excitement, joy and a tiny bit of nerves as I swept forward in the dark with a little spotlight guiding my way to the very front of the stage to deliver this gorgeous song. My absolute favourite part of the show is when Jean Valjean put a brand new pretty coat on Cosette and gave me a doll then swang me around super high as he rescued me.
How was it workshopping Wind in the Willows Junior?
This was my first professional workshop and it was a hugely fun week. Stiles and Drewe plus other industry professionals came to watch our performance at the end of the week and it was an exciting and wonderful experience to be part of.
Had you always wanted an acting career and what is your favourite aspect of performing?
I love singing, dancing and acting and always have done. I would love to embrace more serious acting roles as I love watching horrors and thrillers and would really like to know what it’s like filming them.
Can you tell us about your training at Stagebox and when did you start?
I auditioned for Stagebox at the age of six with little experience of singing and acting but I was very eager to learn. The training provided me with lots of confidence to go to castings and opportunities provided by Stagebox Management. Being part of Stagebox really does feel like a huge supportive family and we get to train and learn from the best creatives around the world.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy writing and riding my bike. I also love learning new skills, during lockdown I have learnt some sign language and some Japanese!
Do you have any favourite TV or theatre shows to watch?
My family and I love musicals and going to the theatre. We have watched so many and have a list of things we want to watch when theatres are back open. On TV I like to watch comedies like Friday Night Dinner, series like Stranger Things and I’ve rewatched Harry Potter many, many times. My favourite horrors are the Insidious films and Us.
What have you enjoyed doing during lockdown, and what are you hoping 2021 will bring for your career?
I’ve enjoyed spending time at home with my family, doing dance Zooms with my dance school and many amazing training Zooms that Stagebox have provided. I have been lucky enough to have gained roles in two films during the pandemic, one of which I’m in the middle of rehearsals for and filming will commence this Spring. I am delighted to now be co-represented by a Hollywood agent alongside my wonderful Stagebox agent so the opportunities that may arise make me hugely excited to see what’s next!
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