By Joanna Delalande
Bridge to Terabithia star Bailee Madison shares why she strives to always have a humble attitude
Bailee Madison was only six when she began living every girl's dream to be a Hollywood actress.
Beginning her career with Lonely Hearts and Bridge to Terabithia, Bailee's filmography featuring thriller flick Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, romantic comedy Just Go With It and war drama Brothers showcases the talent of the young actress.
Now age 15, Bailee has won three Young Artist Awards for Best Performance in a Feature Film and was nominated for prizes in eight additional films.
Yet for a rising teenage star she seems remarkably humble."This is a wonderful dream, but it could all stop tomorrow," she says of her acting career, as she knows from where her opportunities for success truly lie. "It's not about me, it's about God," she shares, "God chose for me to do this and He could choose for me to stop right now."
Born in a Christian home, Bailee made a decision to follow God and to surrender her life to Him as her Lord and Saviour when she was just five years old.
It was her mother who helped her to remain humble when her success first became apparent, encouraging her to thank the Lord in everything she achieved.
“This is a wonderful dream, but it could all stop tomorrow”"From the moment I started," Bailee recalls, "my entire family reminded me that it's not about the red carpet, it's not about the interviews; it's about giving back and spreading the Lord's love and light the best we can."
Refusing to be negatively influenced by the fame-crazed world around her, Bailee decided instead to be a positive influence to her fans and fellow young actors.
"I'm able to use my faith in everyday life to read different scripts and say: Would God be proud if I did this? Am I staying true to my morals in doing this or that script? Is this the right event to go to? Is it what I believe in?
"In my career and in my life, I want to do things that show my faith and connection to God and only do positive things that He would want me to do. I try my best to do that."
She explains she wants to make nice films of the kind children can "watch over and over again".
Bailee has not found it difficult to stick to her values while remaining in the acting world.
"It's about sticking to your morals and saying the word 'no,' which is so hard to say. But it's the easiest word to say when you know that it's the right decision for your faith and for God," she says.
As a young girl still finding her way, Bailee thinks of her relationship with God very much as a father-daughter relationship.
"Even though you have an earthly father, [God] is your Heavenly Father who you can look up to," she describes. "You can say to Him, 'I'm not feeling too well today' or 'I feel homesick, I need you Lord; I need to feel happiness in my heart,'" she adds, a prayer she herself has said many times while filming away from her family.
Bailee knows there will be struggles and challenges in her life, but she feels peaceful and ready for whatever comes her way knowing she is not alone.
"You have God up there who is looking down on you and is answering your prayers. If you give yourself to God and you say you are ready to commit yourself to Him, you will have no worries. You will have struggles, but you will know that God is with you. "It's a hard thing for us but it's nice for God, and He will look at you and say, 'I'm very, very happy with what you just did.'" •