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February 20, 2023
If you’ve seen I Wanna Dance with Somebody (2022), you likely know that the Whitney Houston biopic was filmed in Massachusetts. But, did you know a Steppingstone Scholar starred as young Bobbi Kristina, Whitney’s daughter?
Meet Bailee Lopes, a Boston sixth grader who made her debut on the big screen this past winter. We recently sat down with Bailee to learn about this unique experience, along with her other interests and goals.
For Bailee, the best part about acting is “meeting new people.” Bailee enjoyed talking to some of the actors on set, including Naomi Ackie, who played Whitney Houston. “It was really fun, because she was really nice.” Bailee recounts that Naomi taught her some warm-up exercises, and “she kind of helped me get better at acting.”
Bailee had previously acted in commercials and as an extra in movies, and she was excited to have a role in a feature film.
While some might find it challenging to juggle a feature film with grade school, Bailee found it “pretty easy:”
“I did some school work between my breaks, eating lunch, and then I did acting. And when I was sitting waiting, I did some more schoolwork.”
Outside of acting, Bailee enjoys other interests at school such as writing and playing sports; her favorite subject is art. “I get to make cool animations with a computer and these Apple pencils. I was making an animation about how the Earth was made, and it was really fun,” Bailee smiles, remembering the project as a chance to work together with friends.
Dreams for the Future
While Bailee wants to act in another movie, she has other career aspirations, too—and those were factors in her decision to join Steppingstone.
“I want to be in an environment where I have an advantage, because I have a lot of ambitions…I want to be a doctor, a pediatrician.” (Bailee “really likes little kids,” along with the idea of “checking up on them and making them feel better.”) “And I want to be an actor too. So I want to go to a really good school that has the best to offer, so I can get that advantage in life.”
Reflecting on her hopes for high school and college, she shares: “I really want to focus on trying my best, getting good friends, and just…sticking to my own morals. And, like, just being myself.”
Steppingstone is an educational nonprofit which serves students of every race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, or political beliefs to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to Scholars enrolled in the program. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship programs, or other organization-administered activities.