Last year, Madison Brydges played Daniela in the Netflix Christmas release of Single All the Way alongside a cast including Michael Urie and Philemon Chambers, and she played Ricklynn in the family comedy The Parker Andersons. Madison is well-known for her role of April in Big Top Academy, and she reprised the role during the pandemic for Big Top Academy: School’s Out Edition. Amongst Madison’s other projects, she has filmed an episode of Murdoch Mysteries as Agnes Swift, played Tessa in Flatliners and she won numerous awards for her portrayal of Jo Tyler in Love You Like Christmas. Away from acting, Madison has been a competitive dancer from a young age, competing across Canada and the USA, and she has worked on her own music, and filmed at her high school for her music video Walk the Walk. Answering our questions, Madison chats about playing Daniela in the Netflix Christmas release Single All the Way, playing Ricklynn in The Parker Andersons and her time as April in Big Top Academy.
You played the role of Daniela in the 2021 Christmas film Single All the Way, what was it like on set and working with the rest of the cast?
Playing Daniela was absolutely amazing! I have to say it was probably one of my favourite shoots. The cast, the crew, everyone involved were incredible and I have taken with me lifetime friendships. We all had so much fun on set! Just an overall amazing experience.
Was there anything that drew you to the role of Daniela and what was she like to play?
When I read for the role of Daniela I was instantly in love with the character. She was a character full of energy, just a happy-go-lucky girl where anything goes, fun-loving and spontaneous. She was all about family and I knew right when I read the script I wanted that role. Not to mention I absolutely LOVE Christmas movies so that made it even more enticing to me.
Do you have any stand-out highlights from filming Single All the Way and how was it seeing the response to the film when it was released on Netflix?
Wow, that’s a hard one! There were so many incredible moments in the film that stand out to me. One of my personal favourite scenes was the Christmas dance to My Only Wish with myself, Michael Urie and Alex Beaton. We had so much fun working on that dance behind the scenes! I absolutely enjoyed working with everyone on the film! When the film was released I was so excited with all the incredible praise from the viewers. The positive responses were so overwhelming! This movie is about acceptance, love and family. It’s about bringing two people that are in love, together surrounded by family. We were all so grateful to Netflix for giving this film a platform.
Can you tell us about your character Ricklynn in The Parker Andersons and what is the show like to work on?
My character Ricklynn was really a fun character to play. She is very outgoing (characters I love to play!), very into fashion and had quite an ego. Bringing this character to life was so much fun. Working on the set was such a fun experience. The cast and crew were so wonderful! Coming onto a show that is already made up of their core group can sometimes be intimidating but this group of people could not have been more welcoming to me!
How was it playing April in Big Top Academy and can you say about the show?
Playing April on Big Top Academy was truly a life-changing experience!
I actually auditioned for the role when I was ten and we started filming the series when I was fourteen. Myself and Cameron Andres (who plays Max) were the first two cast on the show and then we had a bit of a wait to start filming!
I was cast with seven other kids and for fourteen months we lived in Montreal to film the show. In past roles, I was always by myself as a child, so the majority of my filming was working alongside adults. When I came to BTA, it was a whole new experience for me. It was an amazing cast to work with and to this day, they are all family to me. It was an experience of a lifetime and it is a time I will never forget.
You returned as April for Big Top Academy: Schools Out Edition, what was this like?
BTA: Schools Out Edition was very different from any filming I had ever done. This was done during the height of COVID and we were not on set at all, we all filmed from our own homes and on various locations for our scenes. We had our directors and writers via Zoom guiding us through scenes and our parents did the filming portion. It was a lot of fun for sure, just being back with my BTA family and being able to experience working together again.
What did you enjoy most about working on the series and how was the experience filming?
My favourite part of working on the series, I have to say, are the friendships that I formed. I was very young, moving to Montreal with my family and the cast became my second family, Montreal is now my second home. We lived together, worked together, trained together and spent time off set together. One of the best times of my life!
How did you prepare for the role and what was it like getting into character for the first time?
Well, the character of April was very complex. She was such a fun character to play. There were so many layers to April as she was really tough on people but, at the same time, wanted acceptance, was very hard on herself (which is something I can relate to as I am the same way in that perspective), just never taking no for an answer and always staying focused. Friendships were hard for her and she didn’t trust easily. As the show evolved, it was so nice because April’s character grew and learned it was ok to make mistakes and lean on others. Such a great role and so well-written!
What was your episode of Murdoch Mysteries like to film as Agnes Swift?
Filming Agnes on Murdoch was really an experience! So much fun! I was a bit worried being the newbie coming to such a successful show and here I was, the little girl cast to murder one of the main characters! I was so welcomed on set and it was such an incredible show to be on.
Can you tell us about being in the cast of feature film Flatliners and about your character Tessa?
Being on Flatliners was a different experience for me. This role was basically a character where I did all my acting with facial expressions. I think I had one line? Lol, when I yelled Courtney as our car went into a river! All my other scenes were very haunting so I needed to go deep in character to portray this. Fun fact, we spent hours putting prosthetics on my face as well as neon contact lenses for my eyes to get the exact look of a haunted face. The directors decided that they preferred to have my natural look and that I was able to bring out the character with my eyes and just makeup. The prosthetics were never used.
Do you have any favourite memories from playing Jo Tyler in Love You Like Christmas and how was it winning awards for your performance at the Young Artist Awards and the Young Entertainer Awards?
The entire filming of Love You Like Christmas was just so much fun. It was my first Hallmark movie and being a Christmas movie? Everything was just so festive on set! I have so many memories from set! Teaching Graham Fleming (who played Cory, the mechanic) to tap dance during our downtime from set, going to get ice cream with Rob Wertheimer (one of the producers of the film) and having the dog Rowdy on set. I have to say, working with any animal for me is a dream. Winning the awards for the show was an incredible feeling for sure! We had to travel to LA for the Young Artist Awards and Young Entertainer Awards, and to Vancouver for the Joey Awards. That part in itself was amazing! I met so many new people in the industry and I have to say that was a highlight for me. Obviously I was thrilled when I won each award, I just took so much away with me from the travelling and the people I got to meet.
We understand you’ve released music, can you say about this?
I did a video called Walk the Walk which is about being able to stand up for yourself, just be who you are. It was so much fun to make. I had classmates from school as background cast as you see in the video and fun fact? The video was actually filmed at my high school in the gym. Such a great experience!
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you start?
I have always loved anything acting… making plays, writing stories, being on stage, it was something I truly loved from a very young age. When I was very young, my parents were approached by one of my school teachers about getting me into a drama class or acting class. Thankfully, they did just that! I was signed with an agent at the age of five and I have loved it ever since. It is something I am very passionate about and work very hard at.
Do you have any favourite TV shows or films to watch?
Hands down, Grey’s Anatomy.
Can you tell us about being a competitive dancer in Canada and the USA?
I was introduced to the dancing world at the early age of 18 months! I started competing at the age of four and have been training as an elite dancer for the past twelve years. I have travelled throughout Canada and the USA to various dance competitions. I also was awarded various dance scholarships where I trained in New York, Los Angeles and Florida.
What are you hoping 2022 brings for your career?
Well, for sure I hope to be back on set as much as possible. Acting and performing is such a significant part of my life. I was bitten by the acting bug at such a young age. I regularly take acting and coaching classes after school and on weekends, whether I am on set or not. I like to keep myself quite busy. Also 2022 is my last year of high school, I am turning 18 and I will graduate this year (woohoo!), I will be travelling to LA for school in January 2023. So much to look forward to!
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