From series creator Rachel Shukert and based on the best-selling book series by Ann M. Martin, Season 2 of the Netflix original series The Baby-Sitters Club tells the story of the friendship and adventures of teenagers Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace), Mary Anne Spier (Malia Baker), Claudia Kishi (Momona Tamada), Stacey McGill (Shay Rudolph), Dawn Schafer (Kyndra Sanchez), Mallory Pike (Vivian Watson) and Jessi Ramsey (Anais Lee). As they expand their babysitting business and their personal journeys evolve, the one thing they know they can always count on is each other.
During this 1-on-1 interview with Collider, which you can both watch and read, co-stars Tamada and Rudolph talked about the coolest thing about getting to be a part of this show, why it was nice to return for Season 2, making the club even bigger, what they love most about their characters, what they’d still like to explore with their characters, and what they’ve learned from being a part of The Baby-Sitters Club.
Collider: Thank you for talking to me about this. I love this show on two levels. I get the nostalgia factor from reading the books when I was younger and it also proves that good stories and good characters are universal, no matter your age. What has it meant to you guys to get to be a part of The Baby-Sitters Club? What’s the coolest thing about being a part of this world and doing this show?
MOMONA TAMADA: I think it brings so much nostalgia to all of the individuals who read the books before and it also introduces the books and the stories of the baby-sitters to a new generation as well. I also think it’s so great how inclusive and diverse The Baby-Sitters Club is, in general, and how you get to see the stories of all of these girls and how they handle each of the problems. It’s so real, and others watching can relate to it.
SHAY RUDOLPH: These stories are really classic and incredible, and these characters are so lovable. It’s amazing just to be able to bring them to life again for a new generation. It’s such an honor. I feel very lucky.
You were pretty much able to make this first season in your own little bubble, while the fans of the books didn’t really know what to expect, but now with the second season, there’s a certain level of expectation. Did you guys feel an added sense of pressure and responsibility to live up to that, or were you just excited about getting to dive in even deeper?
RUDOLPH: I’ve just been excited. With Season 1, we couldn’t talk about it at all because it was a big surprise. We only announced it once we had already finished filming. This time around, it was really nice to be able to post when we were hanging out during filming and were able to say that we were all together. It’s definitely freeing when you’re able to do that. That was the nice thing about Season 2. I personally didn’t feel very much added pressure. I was just excited to play Stacey again.
TAMADA: Yeah, I have to agree. I was just so excited to see the girls and be back with them for another season. I really hope everyone loves the second season because we definitely had such a fun time filming it. I really hope that translates to the show.
You guys got to reunite to shoot the second season, but you’ve also added Mallory and Jessi to the Baby-Sitters Club, and you have Kyndra Sanchez joining as Dawn. What was it like to return to something familiar, but then also get to shake things up a little bit?
RUDOLPH: It’s incredible. Stacey has this mindset, which I have as well, of the more the merrier. It’s always great to have new people join the club. I can speak for both of us because I know this is true, we love them so much and they love us. It’s just this whole big group of friendship, it’s always amazing to have more people added into that.
TAMADA: Yeah, I’d have to agree.
How nervous were you guys, on your very first day of playing your character? Did you have a moment when you felt like things really clicked and you really got them?
TAMADA: Because these characters were already established for so many people, there definitely was a little bit of pressure, for sure. I think all of us felt that. But once we filmed our first scene together in Claudia’s room, I remember really feeling connected to her. Also, just seeing what the audience had to say definitely gave me a lot more confidence in my portrayal of Claudia and how I understand her, so I feel like I was able to have a lot more fun with her this season, for sure.
RUDOLPH: I think we all helped each other through any nerves that we had, and I can say that’s lasted through even just today, being nervous about an interview. We all help each other through all of those things because we’re going through it at the exact same time. Being together and being with people that we love definitely helps with that. Just as soon as we started filming, it felt like home to me, and being Stacey felt like home. It was incredible just to be able to finally bring it to life rather than just being in an audition room.
What do you most love about your character and what quality of theirs do you wish you had for yourself?
RUDOLPH: I really admire Stacey’s confidence. I think she’s also a very responsible, hard-working girl. I think those are incredible traits that she holds, amongst many others. I strive to be as confident as she is.
TAMADA: For Claudia, she’s just so unapologetically her own self and she really doesn’t care about what others have to say about her as much. That’s something that I admire and I try to incorporate, when it comes to my own self-confidence as well.
Momona, Claudia becomes closer with her sister this season and we get to learn a little bit more about their relationship together. What did you enjoy about that dynamic and getting to see how different the two of them are, but how they still can really love each other?
TAMADA: The first season dove into that a little bit, but this season, we were really able to see an even stronger connection between the two sisters. Even though they’re so different, they learn to really love each other for their qualities. I think Claudia really admires Janine, in ways that maybe she can’t exactly say right to her. There’s this one really beautiful moment when she tells Janine that, no matter what, she’s there for her and I think that was really great.
Shay, I also really love that we get to see the role that diabetes plays in Stacey’s life. It’s something that she just has to learn to live with and figure out how to balance. What has it meant to you to be telling this story, and what do you hope other young people get from watching how she handles it?
RUDOLPH: It is such an honor to be able to portray Stacey, who is such an iconic character and such an incredible representation of people who have type 1 diabetes and young girls who are dealing with that. I think it’s just a very real thing to be coming to terms with something about yourself that you can’t change and you can’t control, and you have to just learn to love. Stacey does a really good job of doing exactly that and I hope people can see her on screen, just fully taking charge and not apologizing for who she is, and they can learn to do that in their own lives as well.
Do you guys have your own personal wishlist for your character and things you still want to learn about them or get to do or explore with them in the future?
TAMADA: Yeah, that’s a good question. Just continuing to watch how they transition into their later teen years. If we do get the opportunity to do more, I think that would be interesting. As they grow up and grow older, there are gonna be new challenges that each of the characters face, and I would love to see how the events of this season could affect Claudia in later seasons, if we get a chance to do more.
RUDOLPH: I just wanna see the friendships continue to evolve. From the beginning of Season 1 to the end of Season 2, they’ve grown so much in real life and on-screen. It’s just always incredible to see that evolve and to see our group of girls get even tighter together. Also, with Stacey, she goes through many things – internal struggles and also figuring out her relationships with other people. There are a lot of good things to work with.
What have you guys learned about yourselves, as actors, from doing this show? Has being a part of this taught you anything about what it takes to do something like this, or what it’s like to work with such a diverse group of other actors?
RUDOLPH: I think it’s shown me how much I love it and how much I wanna do this for as long as possible. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be filming every single day, but I know that having such an amazing cast to work with definitely makes it easier and makes it feel less like work and more fun. It’s really proven to me that this is what I wanna do with my life.
TAMADA: Yeah, I have to completely agree. Just being able to observe and watch the other girls work has definitely just taught me a lot, in itself. I think that has been one of the biggest lessons, as well as understanding that, like Shay said, this is exactly what I wanna do. This is really one of the only things I can see myself doing, at the moment. I’m just hoping that all of our hard work pays off this season, for sure.
The Baby-Sitters Club is available to stream on Netflix.
The image comes as part of the first footage from the film.
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