Cameron Seely provides the voice of the adorable Cindy-Lou Who in Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch. We had the opportunity to chat with the 11-year-old actress, who has also starred in the major motion picture The Greatest Showman and the TV movie Christmas Break-In, about her experiences working on the new animated The Grinch movie. Cameron proves to be a normal kid, with normal kid dreams of playing a mutant… well, somewhat normal. Catch up with our Q&A below. ~Emily Chavez
How did you prepare to play the voice of Cindy-Lou Who?
I didn’t have to prepare too much because her character is so much like me, that I didn’t really have to do much to prepare, just kind of be myself!
How would you say you’re similar to Cindy-Lou?
I feel like she wants everybody to be happy and she’s really adventurous. She’s up for anything, she’s up to take the challenge and I feel like I’m like that too.
What was your favorite scene in the movie?
My favorite scene in the movie is when we were testing my trap to catch Santa, and Groopert was acting as Santa, and he comes down and I get really really mad at him and I’m like, “Groopert, just pick up the cookie!!”
Have you ever tried to catch Santa the way Cindy-Lou does?
No I haven’t, the only reason being is I feel like if I try to catch him then he’ll know I’m trying to catch him… and then won’t come.
In the film your character asks Santa for a present that is kind of difficult to receive… What was the craziest thing you ever asked Santa for?
I feel like I remember one year asking for a 3D printer, I think I did, I think I either wanted a 3D printer or a xylophone, so yeah, that was kind of crazy.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
The best gift I probably ever received was actually probably this year… I got a ukulele for Christmas and I really enjoy messing around with it and playing songs on it.
Did you know how to play the ukulele before getting it?
I was taking lessons in my music class at school so I wanted to have one at home too. I can play a few songs, I can play “Happy Birthday.” That’s a pretty good one, just so when I want to give someone a present, “Uh, yeah I can just give you a ukulele song! Here you go! Happy birthday!”
What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?
Ohhh, that’s a hard one. Honestly I like getting socks, so there’s nothing really bad I remember getting. I don’t know, I feel like I got something like some paper or something, not paper, hmm I never really had that bad of a gift!
The Grinch is actually one of my favorite holiday stories. I grew up watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey, and I watched it almost every day for a year! Have you seen that one?
I actually haven’t seen that one… I liked the cartoon one. It was good, I remember watching it in second grade with all the second grade classes in one room, there were like maybe 60 kids in the classroom. I think there’s like 400 kids in total at my school, it’s very crowded in the morning. You know how when you get there, you kind of, well at my school you put your backpack down and then you can go onto the playground, there’s so many kids on the playground, like everyone is just piling in, and when buses come, all you see coming down the stairs is just a swarm of kids, and then there’s barely anybody and then another swarm of kids come!
Are you treated differently at school?
No, not really not too much. I mean occasionally I’ll get some questions or something but usually not, no.
Do you have a favorite character from The Grinch?
In the new The Grinch I really like Bricklebaum, he’s so funny and the fact that The Grinch hates him so much and that he loves The Grinch so much, like they’re just two really funny characters together.
If you could voice any other character who would you want to voice?
I would probably want to voice The Grinch, it’d just be so much fun! I’d come in all happy and be like “Hey guys, what’s up?” and then start working and just be like “Uggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.”
Have you ever had a Grinch-y Christmas where you didn’t want to celebrate Christmas?
Yeah, I think I’ve had one before, I feel like I was so excited and then in the morning after I opened all my presents… I think I got some sort of putty and then I tried to paint it because it was white and I think it glowed in the dark. And it was like white putty and I was like, “I don’t like this I want it to be a different color.” So I tried to paint it and it didn’t work and it really ruined the whole putty and it became stiff and I had to throw it out and then it made me really upset and then everything just kind of went downhill from there, all because of putty.
Have you been on the naughty list? Ever gotten coal?
Oh, honestly I’m not sure yet, I haven’t gotten far enough into the year yet to know if I’ve been really good or really bad this year. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it before. And I really don’t think it’d be that bad though [to receive coal]… I could just warm myself up with it!
What’s next for you? Do you have any projects you’re currently working on?
Not many right now, but I did do another movie called Christmas Break-In, I’m not too sure if it will go in theaters or not, that was just a smaller movie I did, it was fun!
What’s your dream role?
I’d probably want to do something that involves being in the ocean a lot… that would be awesome! Yeah like maybe some sort of mutant that can jump in the ocean, breathe underwater and crawl around. That would be really cool… to just be like, “I’m a mutant, I can swim under the water and breathe now.” I could be like… a shape-shifter, that would be a fun role to play, like in a superhero movie to just be walking around and all of a sudden turn into a bird and fly to your destination and then back into a wolf or something. And to disguise when people came by, just turn into a rock, turn into a pebble. Pebbles are indestructible, because they just fit into such small places, it’s like they stick right in there and then when someone falls, or like you run over it with a car or something it just stays right under it, indestructible: “I’m an indestructible pebble!”
Do you want to pursue acting for the rest of your life?
Yeah, I think I might want to, but I would also want to be a marine biologist because I very much enjoy animals and especially sea animals so that would be pretty cool. I do really like seals and would want to work with a few seals, I do also really like sea turtles and I think there aren’t really many around anymore because they’re getting a little bit endangered with all the plastic in the ocean so I would definitely want to save a few sea turtles. I think people are trying to save sea turtles and I want to join the group.
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch is now available on Digital, and on DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday, Feb. 5!