‘Bella and The Bulldogs’: Star Brec Bassinger Was Child Pageant Queen

"It honestly taught me how to be in front of people and how do interviews...I learned so much."

Brec Bassinger in 'Bella and The Bulldogs'

Brec Bassinger Looks Like Shirley Temple

Brec Bassinger — star of Nickelodeon’s BELLA AND THE BULLDOGS — looked a lot like Shirley Temple as a young girl.

The star of BELLA AND THE BULLDOGS is a former child pageant queen.

Brec Bassinger first took the stage at age two and continued until she decided to embark on an acting career nine years later.

She won the title ‘World Our Little Miss’ in 2009.

“My mom always told me if I didn’t want to do it anymore, I could quit, but I had so much fun,” she says.

“I made so many life long friends that I am still in contact with.  It honestly taught me how to be in front of people and how do interviews, so I learned so much.  It was a great experience.”

Brec, 15, says her pageant days were nothing like you would see on television shows like TODDLERS AND TIARAS.

“I actually did the natural pageants,” she tells me.

“We weren’t allowed to wear hardly any make up.  You got [points] counted off if you wore fake eyelashes or anything.”

BELLA AND THE BULLDOGS follows a popular middle school cheerleader who must juggle two conflicting worlds when she decides to join the (all-boys) football team.

The Texas teen shared more about herself and the show in an exclusive interview with TheTVPage.com:

Where did your name, Brec, come from?
My two brothers names are Beric and Brice.  They have the same letters mixed around.  My mom wanted to do the same thing for me, but I am actually missing an I.  But we can say it is close enough.

How does that feel to have the lead and how is it going for you?
It’s really great.   I was recurring on HAUNTED HATHAWAYS.  But this is my first series regular role. It has been such an honor, especially getting to play such an inspirational character.  I am so glad I get to do it on Nickelodeon because it is so family [friendly].

After joining the football team, what other crazy, fun trouble does Bella get in to?
It is a lot with her trying to balance her friends and the guys.  But also there are cool rituals that the team does that she has to try to do that may be a little different with her being a girl.

Does she ever get tackled?
Yes!  She gets tackled quite a bit.   But it is not me.  I do have a stunt double. At first, she has a great arm but she doesn’t know that much about football.  So the pilot is a lot about her knowing more about football.

You went to football camp to prepare for this role. How good are you at football?
I can throw a mean spiral, I have to say.  But I didn’t just learn about the form of throwing, I have to say.  I learned about the cadence of a quarterback and their presence on the field.

How do you like wearing the football uniform?
It was different.  The first time I put cleats on I fell over.  It takes quite a while to put the football gear on, but we have it down now.

So heels are easier that cleats?
No.  They are the same.  But I was used to Converse!  So heels and cleats took a while to get used to.

Are there any girls like Bella at your school?
Actually, when I was in middle school there were two girls at my school who joined the football team and they did get kind of ridiculed for it.  I know the guys were not okay with it.  So once again, I am so honored to play a role like this that is teaching young girls that it is okay to follow their dreams — even if they are not “normal”

What else are you good at besides football?
Well, I did volleyball and I was a competitive cheerleader.  That was probably my strongest suit, competitive cheer. I can do the tumbling and stuff like that.  And acting.  I have been focusing on acting and taking acting lessons since I was pretty young.

Is acting your big goal in life?
I would like to just have a long acting career?

You had to learn a cheerleading career for the first episode…
Yeah, we got to learn some really cool cheers.  They actually brought a cheerleading team on to play background and they taught us their cheers and helped us.   It was really cool.

What TV shows do you like to watch?
I like AMERICAN HORROR STORY.  I am catching up on LOST on Netflix, GREY’S ANATOMY.  I am kind of all over the place.

Those are all dramas.  Do you like comedy?
I do like some comedies, but I am mainly into dramas.

Do you look forward to acting in dramas?
Absolutely!  Actually I always thought of myself being more of a drama actor and getting to do this has been so much fun.  Getting to make people laugh, I love that.

Are you surprised how good you are at it?
Yeah.  I would say so.

BELLA AND THE BULLDOGS premieres January 17 on Nickelodeon.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly