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Bailee Madison is ready for the Christmas season with Holiday Joy

You’ll definitely recognize actress, holiday fanatic and one of our fave babes, Bailee Madison, from the numerous Christmas movies she's starred in. There was Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh, then Pete's Christmas, Northpole and Northpole: Open for Christmas. Now that it’s *that* season again, she has yet another Christmas movie to rejoyce over—Holiday Joy, which hit screens today, Dec. 8, on Freeform.

In Holiday Joy, Bailee portrays the adorable and brave Joy Hockstatter, a solid sis who tries to hold her family together after her mom’s death. Caught up with the idea of perfection, Joy wishes her household was as perfect as her neighbors, the Wellmans. In a Freaky Friday twist, one day Joy wakes up as a member of the Wellman family. She’s excited to see where this journey takes her, but struggles with the fact that the only one who recognizes her for her true self is her old dog, Levi. Does this mean she can never return to her real family again?!

Bailee shared with us her *total* excitement for the movie’s premiere, her favorite thing about the holidays and what she loves about her close, lovin’ fam. 

Girls’ Life: We love that you’re continuing to do Christmas movies—you’re the queen of them at this point.
Bailee Madison: Thank you! Christmas is mine and my family’s favorite holiday.

GL: The movie is out today, but you obviously filmed it months ago. Is it weird getting into the Christmas spirit so early?
Bailee: No, because I feel like the Christmas spirit is always in us. My favorite part of the holidays is that it brings out such joy and being grateful for the year. It’s a lot of fun to dive in there and celebrate the holidays even if it’s early.

GL: Tell us a little bit about your character Joy. What would you say her biggest strength is?
Bailee: I think the fact that she’s so young, and that she’s already been through a bunch in her life. I think she finds strength through things that she loves. That’s an amazing quality to have. 

GL: This movie has a Freaky Friday vibe to it. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Bailee: It’s exciting! In a way, it is Freaky Friday, but that movie is it’s own amazing, original classic. I think that’s what inspired the script, though. Joy goes through this experience where she’s wakes up in this dream world that she wishes she had. Then when does have it, she recognizes that maybe life is, in fact, imperfect. And I think it’s a wonderful, growing experience.

GL: Very well put. Did you learn anything about yourself throughout filming the movie?
Bailee: I think that I can always discover more about myself, and I love that you can express emotions that you didn’t know you had through acting. When going through this, I recognized that in the day-to-day life, we think of Photoshop and the ideas of perfect reality a lot. We live in a world that’s wonderful and one of a kind and I think sometimes we jump on the band wagon of what’s cool, and we don't stop and think about who we are and the fact that we have the opportunity to become our entire identity. I set a reminder to myself that ‘You’re not like anyone else and you can do the things you want to do’ and I embrace that. I love that.

GL: What do you feel brings you the most joy during the holiday season?
Bailee: Oh, definitely my family—just being with them. I’m so fortunate to get to do what I do, but I’m usually never home during the year. I sleep in hotel beds more than I sleep in my own bed. I live out of a suitcase, and I love it—it’s so cool. But I do miss my family a lot. I love taking a break, putting my phone down, not wearing makeup for a while and decorating cookies. The holidays are the best when you’re with the people that you love. We always make sure we are all together. It’s my favorite. 

Catch Bailee in Holiday Joy on the Freeform app and Freeform this December as a part of 25 Days of Christmas!

Photo credit: Freeform/Brendan Adam-Zwelling

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by Yasmeena Fakhouri and Sydney Adamson | 12/8/2016