Bellamy Young is larger than life itself. I didn’t expect it, being that this was my first time interviewing her. In the course of one half hour, she showed me that there is so much humanity to the folks that we see on the big and little screens, and that our cynicism (thanks Ava for calling it out) can sometimes make us miss the magic of everything. Bellamy is a mixture of whimsy, sanguinity, and joy. She just oozed it, and it was hard to keep that feeling to her alone.
We began by discussing her time in the movie, A Wrinkle In Time. Her part is quite small, but a necessary portion to see what the It in the movie is capable of. When we sat to interview Bellamy, she threw so many tweetable quotes our way, that’s what I’m going to share with you.
She’s hardcore on Twitter
Seriously. She’s way more interactive than I imagined her to be, and when I asked her a question from one of her followers, she asked for their handle and then TOLD ME THEIR NAME! Y’all she KNOWS the NAMES of her fans on Twitter. She’s invested in the people who invest in her. It may sound all starstruck and what not, but my job is continuing to let me know that there are exceptions to the rules of Hollywood, and we had the chance to meet a lot of them on this junket. One of her followers on Twitter wanted to know what made her want to do the part that she did.
“My zipper got caught. I mean, Ava. Right? Like, working with Ava is a dream. She’s such a visionary and it was a joy to go. I was a fan of the book when I was younger, and I feel we can get other children excited about it. Meg Murray is as if someone read my diary and added a sci-fi element to it.”
Why perfectionism is a plague
Alike is not equal – that’s something that she took away from the book. She thinks that this movie will help children focus on becoming the great individuals they are. Instead of giving in to perfectionism, which comes from a place of self doubt, and fear. Being yourself is your greatest gift.
What Mellie has taught her
“She taught me first of all that you show up and do your best work, even if it’s two lines, and you might not be there for a minute.” *Mellie was only supposed to be a guest appearance, not a recurring character.* “She’s also taught me that there are many different ways to be. Mellie is all my way or the highway, while I don’t quite lean that way. It’s been an honor to play her for so many years. The fact that she’s so flawed, but doggedly loyal is amazing. She can fall flat on her face and get right back up like she’s a Terminator.
What to expect from her next
” I’ll be attending Slamdance with a movie called Bernard & Huey, and I get to stay in the ABC Family with a pilot called False Profits. And tonight. We’ll be doing the TGIT Crossover with How to Get Away with Murder, and it’s going to be out of this world! We learned about it at a table read and almost lost our minds.”
On being an actor
“It’s like getting to live a million lifetimes in one little lifetime. Usually female roles are real thin and very unsupported with no agency. It’s one of the reasons I like playing evil characters sometimes,” (Young played Lucifer on Supernatural) “because you get to run the generator. You become the fuel for the story. You light the match, and it all burns.
When it’s good writing, it’s like getting to be anyone else. I didn’t love my childhood really, and acting allows me to be someone else for a minute, and then it also works your empathy bone…muscle…one of them. You realize that when you see people in real life acting horribly, it’s out of a place of fear, sadness, pain, regret or anger. There’s so much below that, where you can find compassion. And when I play those characters I have to start there, instead of judging them. Then it makes me love people more.”
“I have to participate. I can’t just sit back and watch”
On Ava DuVernay
“Her gift is true, and really in the marrow of who she is. She’s such a great leader, and a visionary. Her truth is irreducible, and you feel that while working with her. You are in her presence, and you are more, because she is all that she is.
On what she wants to keep from the set of Scandal
“I’m going to take the presidential pen. Write bills to the gas company, and that’s going to be fantastic.”
It was an honor to end our day of interviews with the wonderful Bellamy Young who has captured our hearts with her portrayal of Mellie Grant all seven seasons of Scandal. Tonight is the official Crossover Event night for Shondaland. The special crossover of Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder airs tonight on ABC – you can follow along with #HowToGetAwayWithScandal and share your thoughts with the cast!