Get to know the name Mollee Gray, if you don’t already, because here at The Daily Quirk we’re sure you’ll be hearing it a lot in the next few years! Gray recently starred as “Giggles” in the wildly popular Teen Beach Movie for the Disney Channel, is an accomplished dancer and even has her own clothing line! The Daily Quirk recently got to chat with Mollee about her work with Disney, her love of dance and which celebrity she would love to dress in her line! Read on for the full interview with talented up-and-comer Mollee Gray!
The Daily Quirk: You’ve done a lot with the Disney Channel, getting your start on High School Musical. Can you tell us a bit about what it was like working on their latest super hit, Teen Beach Movie?
Mollee Gray: Yeah, I’ve been with the Disney Channel since I was 12 years old, so it’s been a very long time and one of the most amazing networks I’ve ever worked for. During High School Musical I was a dancer in the film, and in their newest hit Teen Beach Movie, I actually booked an acting role, which was super cool! I got to experience a whole new side of filming a Disney Channel movie. As dancers, we are constantly in dance rehearsals and that’s kind of it besides filming, but when I became an actor in the film Teen Beach Movie, I did dance rehearsals, I did script studies, we did table reads, lots of sittings. It was a just a cool experience. It was just a completely different side, and yeah it was really fun!
TDQ: What attracted you to the role of ‘Giggles’ in Teen Beach Movie?
MG: I was actually filming a pilot for Disney Channel, and I got to play a very spunky cheerleader. The casting director of Disney Channel saw me in that role and said, ‘We want you to come audition for ‘Giggles’ and ‘Struts’.’ I was like, ‘What? That doesn’t even make sense! Those aren’t character names.’ But then, I got the breakdown of the script, read it, and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is such a fun role.’ I immediately wanted Giggles because it just matched me as a person. I’m a very outgoing person, and I always laugh so I just thought Giggles was very appropriate. It was very fun to bring myself to the character of Giggles. You know, I love to dance and we make Giggles one of the cast members that was always dancing and always shaking, so it was really cool to bring myself to that character.
TDQ: What was your most memorable day when shooting the movie or funniest moment?
MG: I think the funniest part was the scene where we’re trying to go rescue Max and Brady. We were running down the beach, the entire Wet Side Story cast and all the dancers, and we’re just running down the beach. It was just funny because it was so hard to run fast in wet sand and dry sand, so us trying to run and look cool at the same time. We were laughing the entire time. We tripped, some people fell down, some people kept going, and some people got splashed by water. It was just a fun scene because you never knew what was going to happen in that take!
TDQ: Something I really liked about Teen Beach Movie was the costuming. Was it fun to dress up that much for the movie?
MG: I love doing character costuming, especially because obviously, I’m not a ‘60s girl. I’m a ‘90s baby, so getting to dress from that era was really new to me. It was really fun. Originally, my costume didn’t have any fringe on it. I just had a normal bikini, but one of the dancers had the fringe on, I think, and they were like, ‘Wait, we should have Giggles have the fringe on and make that part of her character.’ When I put it on I just couldn’t help but shake my hips because I just wanted the fringe to move! We ended up putting fringe on all of my costumes, and I kind of became the fringe girl!
TDQ: Along with your movies for Disney, you were also in the Top 8 and a fan favorite in So You Think You Can Dance. Can you tell us a little bit about your time on that show?
MG: So You Think You Can Dance is probably one of the most educational parts of my career. I had just recently moved to LA when I auditioned for that show. I moved to LA when I was 17 and turned 18 a couple weeks after, and then I got onto So You Think You Can Dance. Being on that, I had never been through so many emotions in my entire life. I would get really frustrated and then I would get really happy. I would get really sad, and then I would just get really stressed! Then, I would get really happy again! It was a crazy, emotional roller coaster, but I feel like that’s the most I’ve ever grown as a person. It really prepared me for what I’m doing in my career today. On So You Think You Can Dance, you have to pick up choreography really quick. We only had four and a half hours to learn the duet, so we would learn it and just have to be on stage to deliver something amazing. I think I learned how to do that for my career just by being on that show. I met some incredible people, too. I had some great connections I made with the chorographers and guest panel. It was just really one of the most magical moments in my career thus far.
TDQ: How long have you been dancing for?
MG: I have been dancing since I was 3 years old, so pretty much my entire life.
TDQ: What’s your favorite style of dance?
MG: I kind of like them all. To dance, I would say I really like to do contemporary or jazz funk, but then to choreograph I really like to do more of a hip hop with technique. I kind of just go across the board. I just love them all. Anything I can do to dance, really.
TDQ: You’ve done a lot of guest appearances on shows like Glee, Shake it Up and Drop Dead Diva. Of all the shows you’ve done, has any experience really stood out to you the most?
MG: I would have to say Drop Dead Diva was a very memorable job for me because it was one of my very first guest appearances on a show. I was actually flown to Atlanta and I was there for a week. It was really my first time being in another state filming a TV show, so it was just really cool to be with new friends, and be in a different state. I just got to explore around, so it’s just one of my favorite jobs.
TDQ: You’re a triple threat; you can dance, sing, and act. Which one gives you the biggest thrill?
MG: That’s tough because each genre gives me something different. When I dance I just feel at home, you know? I feel like it’s what I’ve done my entire life. I feel very comfortable doing it. With singing…I’ve always been a closet singer, so only my family and close friends knew I could sing. When I sing it’s an uncomfortable feeling, but I love that adrenaline. I like to perform when I sing. With acting…it’s just so hard to be an actor. I’m in LA, and everyone in LA is trying to become an actor, you know? Everyone is so talented, but that challenge makes me want to work harder. I just think everyday, ‘Ok, it’s a new day. I’m going to go out there. I’m going to go to acting class, and I’m going to book something.’ It’s just a new challenge for me, and I love challenges. Again, I love the adrenaline of it. They each give me something completely different, so there is no way I could pick just one.
TDQ: On top of all of that, you recently came out with your own clothing line called Sugar and Bruno. Can you tell us how that came about?
MG: Yeah! I joined with them a couple years ago. I was just doing a couple t-shirts here and there. They came to me after So You Think You Can Dance and said, ‘Would you like to do a t-shirt?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I wasn’t really quite sure what it was. And then, I met with them recently and I wanted to bring more sweatpants and pants, just a whole bunch of stuff other than t-shirts. So, we made this line and put it out. There is cute dancewear. There is normal, casual wear. There are comfy clothes. It’s very girly. My line is very girly!
TDQ: What inspired you to get into designing?
MG: Actually, I’ve been designing stuff since I was a little kid. My family would always get me these little books that had a girl on one side and a boy on the other side. It was just an outline of them, and I could draw my designed clothes on them. I never thought in a million years that I would design my own stuff. I just liked to do it because it was really fun, and I would think of crazy stuff. Then, when I got approached to do a line I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh! This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid!’ I just never thought I would be able to do it. I never thought I would have the connections. Ever since I was young, I guess I just wanted to design my own clothes.
TDQ: When you’re not busy with all of your different work projects, how do you like to spend your time?
MG: Well, it kind of depends on the day actually. I love to be outdoors. I love to be super active. I have a pool in my backyard, so if it’s hot outside I’ll go swimming or I’ll layout. Sometimes I’ll just go long boarding for the day. My friend and I will go to the beach and just ride down the sidewalks and do random things! If I’m just chilling and having a relaxed day, I love, love, love, to read, and I love to write. So, sometimes I’ll just sit outside with my coffee and just write or read. It’s just whatever the day brings me!
TDQ: We like to end on a fun note, so if you could dress any one celebrity in Sugar and Bruno who would it be?
MG: That’s a fun question! It’s kind of tricky because my line is so girl and kind of young. I would really love to see Jennifer Lawrence in my clothes. I love Jennifer Lawrence. She’s a big role model to me. If I were to dress her though, I would definitely come up with a more mature clothing line rather than just bright colors and the emojis on my shirts! I would come up with something a little more edgy to put her in.
TDQ: And if you could have any celebrity dance partner in a film, who would you choose?
MG: I would love to have danced with Patrick Swayze. I grew up watching Dirty Dancing, and it was one of my favorite movies of all time. If I ever had the opportunity to dance with him in a film I think my entire career would be made. I would be the happiest girl in the world!
The Daily Quirk would like to thank Mollee Gray for taking the time to chat! To find out more about Mollee, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to check out her line at Sugar and Bruno!