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Why Avery From A Week Away Looks So Familiar

Netflix is on a mission to release a new original film every week of 2021. This week, they're creating a new generation's High School Musical with the campy summer love movie A Week Away, though a more apt name would be Church Camp Musical.

Of course, the movie is centered on young love, but it's got a little more drama in its back pocket than Troy and Gabriella's rather outdated problem of being interested in more than one thing. In A Week Away, teen Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn) must attend an idyllic lakeside Christian summer camp after being arrested. He's quickly out of his depth in the new environment but finds love with Avery (Bailee Madison), the camp manager's daughter. There's adventure, tug-of-war, and, of course, several song-and-dance numbers, with the added weight of Will's sketchy past driving a wedge between them.

While watching the teens dance their way across the campground, Avery might stand out as a particularly familiar face. That's because A Week Away is hardly a launch for Bailee Madison's career: She's been a working actor since before she was 10 years old. Between Disney, high drama, and horror, Madison's been around the Hollywood block a few times already.

Here's what you might recognize her from.

Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

When she was just seven years old, Bailee Madison got her first big film role as the little sister May Belle in the film adaptation of the children's novel Bridge to Terabithia. A young Josh Hutcherson — a good five years before he became The Hunger Games' Peeta — plays her brother, the bullied artist Jess, who befriends the new girl at school, Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb). Together, Jess and Leslie explore the woods near their neighborhood, find an abandoned treehouse, and play in an imagined fantasy world based on their real lives.

The Globe and Mail's Jennie Punter wrote about the movie: "[Director Gábor Csupó] has managed to capture that elusive quality of a child's imaginative play — the total immersion in the world you've created, yet the constant awareness that everything is just a game." She also described Madison as "scene-stealing" among the already wonderful Hutcherson and Robb. It's a well-loved family film — despite its misleading trailer – that certainly helped launch Madison's career.

Brothers (2009)

Even from a young age, Bailee Madison has never shied away from taking on roles in darker films. She shone in the psychological drama Brothers among a stellar cast, earning herself a Critics' Choice Award nomination for her acting. In the 2009 war film, Spider-Man's Tobey Maguire stars as Sam Cahill, a member of the Marine Corps who is captured and tortured before being rescued and brought back home. At the same time, his wife Grace (Natalie Portman) and brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) are raising his two daughters in his absence.

Madison plays one of those daughters, Isabelle, who lashes out when Sam finally comes back. To prepare for the part, she met with several kids with dads in the military who either hadn't come home or struggled when they did (via YouTube). Evidently, her research worked: "She superbly conveys the feelings of a bewildered child totally overwhelmed by her father's emotional outbursts and not able to fully understand the relationship between her mother and her Uncle Tommy," Ed Koch wrote about her for The Atlantic.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)

After the success of 2006's fantastical but dark Pan's Labyrinth, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro set out to remake the 1973 made-for-TV horror film Don't Be Afraid of the Dark that terrified him as a child yet served as inspiration for his career. Bailee Madison stars as Sally, a young girl who moves to the Gothic Blackwood Manor with her dad Alex (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes). Alex plans to fix up the place and sell it, but Sally is haunted by both the creatures in the basement and also her difficult family situation.

Although it's no Pan's Labyrinth, film critic Roger Ebert wrote that Madison plays Sally "with pluck, intelligence and a righteous temper." Rather than running and hiding, Sally bravely takes on the things that go bump in the night when the adults refuse to believe her. It's a great monster movie, even if it did reveal a bit too much for a horror film.

Wizards of Waverly Place (2011) and Once Upon a Time (2012 - 2016)

Among the horror films, Bailee Madison has done her time in the land of Disney, spending her teenage years as a guest on The Disney Channel's magical sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place and the ABC drama Once Upon a Time. On both, she played alternate versions of series regulars: When Waverly Place's youngest sibling Max (Jake T. Austin) is accidentally turned into a little girl with a spell, she plays the character for six episodes of the fourth season.

In the modern fairytale show Once Upon a Time, Madison plays the young version of Disney princess Snow White, appearing in five episodes over the course of five seasons. She seriously impressed some fans of the show, as they felt she truly embodied Ginnifer Goodwin's Snow White. "I think the girl should win an Emmy for the scene where Eva dies, because her emotion was amazing," one fan wrote on a discussion board.

Good Witch (2015-2019)

Bailee Madison has done stints on other TV series, including Trophy Wife and The Fosters, but her longest role so far has been as Grace Russell on Hallmark's cheery dramedy Good Witch. The series follows Cassie Nightingale (Catherine Bell), owner of both a bed and breakfast and a witchy gift store, and her teenage daughter Grace as they meet a new family that's moved in next door.

Good Witch is easy watching with a bit of magic — in the form of a supernatural intuition Cassie and Grace both share — and a fair helping of romance in the cozy, small town. It's managed to capture a high viewership, despite the minimal critical conversation surrounding it. The New York Times' Mike Hale wrote about the show's uniqueness: "Men in "Good Witch" aren't judged by their ability to orchestrate scams or kill zombies — they're judged by whether they can be trusted to tell a woman the truth, and whether they try hard enough to make her happy. Binge-worthy or not, it's a refreshing sentiment."

After five seasons as a series regular, Madison's character graduated high school, and she left the show to do new projects. So far, she's been a talented child actor, but now, at only 21, it's easy to see that Bailee Madison has a lot ahead of her.