The latest Disney+ reboot makes its way to the streaming platform this weekend. The new film starring Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff alongside an incredible new cast of kids and teens is Disney’s latest take on Cheaper by the Dozen.
A classic family dramedy about bursting at the seams, Cheaper by the Dozen features a diverse blended family, and each of the dozen has their own story to tell. Starring as Harley Barker, teen actor Caylee Blosenski (a self-proclaimed “huge Cheaper by the Dozen fan!”) gave us an inside look at her acting journey and her experiences with her first major film role.
15-year-old Caylee is just stepping out onto the red carpet, but she is no stranger to the spotlight. At 5 years old, she started acting with Missoula Children’s Theatre. She also started taking gymnastics. “When I was young, I love to dance and sing. I wanted to be an actress and a model.” (Caylee is also a big outdoor sports enthusiast. She loves everything from water skiing to riding ATVs!)
“I think by leading [as] an example of never giving up on my dreams is a way to speak to others. A setback I had in my life when I was 10 years old just made me want to achieve my dreams even more,” Caylee shared when we asked her how her love for gymnastics and performing has led her to advocate for disabled creatives and athletes like herself. “Many things inspire me. I think my family and other actresses and actors achieving their dreams are things I look up to.”
For the next five years, Caylee spent time falling in love with gymnastics and performing arts. “Both gymnastics and acting are passions of mine since I was really little.” She said. “They come together because both are things in life I felt driven to do.” At age 10, Caylee was diagnosed with osteosarcoma which led to a leg amputation. Leading up to the procedure, Caylee started practicing her skills on one leg, and afterward, returned to the mat and qualified for Nationals at age 12.
Caylee’s character Harley is driven and confident just like her. “She’s very sarcastic and not afraid to speak her mind which I have to say I’m also like that,” she told us. Caylee’s real-life personality wasn’t the only thing that helped her bring Harley to life. Her wheelchair skills were essential, too. “I actually used to be in a wheelchair,” Caylee shared, “so Harley and I definitely have that similarity. I love how she’s so outgoing and doesn’t let it define her.” During the audition process, Caylee showed off her wheelies and other wheelchair tricks. These (alongside her acting) helped her land the role!
Some of Caylee’s favorite things about the Cheaper by the Dozen franchise are the “family and chaos” that the films focus on. Both feature pretty heavily in the new film—even off-screen. Caylee revealed that one scene, in particular, had the cast cracking up. “I’d have to say a scene I had a blast in was when I peek my head out of the shower curtain. Something you probably didn’t know is that it wasn’t actually shampoo in my hair…it was SHAVING CREAM! Loads of it piled on top of my head! We all had some laughs with that!”
A dozen characters to keep up with might be a lot, but Caylee is excited for people to see the film and what everyone has to offer. “I hope everyone falls in love with this as much as I did!” She told us. Some of Caylee’s favorite things about the film are that “it shows families come in all shapes and sizes,” and she’s “really excited for people to see how each character is their own unique self and how they were encouraged to embrace their differences.”
Cheaper by the Dozen is streaming now on Disney+.