Mollee Gray: No Regrets
Words + Interview By: Krystal Luster
Not only is she creating a buzz in the movie scene, Mollee Gray is also a talented dancer who was a finalist on season 6 of “So You Think You Can Dance”. Mollee spends her downtime with her wife and furry companion. She enjoys healthy food with an occasional cheat meal of chips and queso. She will next be seen in the upcoming films “The Favorite”, which hits theaters September 7th, as well as “The Reliant”.
Did you enjoy being on season 6 of “So You Think You Can Dance”?
SYTYCD was one of the greatest experiences of my life! It was the first time I was out of the house living on my own. I was staying in an apartment with my cast and had all the responsibilities of being on the show. It was incredible! I grew as a dancer and person and learned so much discipline that I’ve carried into my career today. I’m forever grateful.
How tough would you say the competition became once the Top 8 finalist were chosen?
I think the competition was tough the whole time. You’re never safe until the judges say you’re safe. You’re constantly working to better yourself as a dancer and to impress the audience and the judges. It’s just a lot of work that each dancer had to do and every dancer was so talented.
Are you still close with anyone from the show?
Oh, absolutely! Once you’re a part of SYTYCD it’s like an automatic family no matter what season you were on. I met my best friend Noelle Marsh on my season of the show and we are still best friends to this day, celebrating almost 10 years of friendship. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding.
How is life different now being married to your partner Jeka Jane? How did you two meet?
Being married is awesome. I absolutely love it. Jeka is the most incredible person that I feel honored to share my life with. We met in 2009 at a dance convention where we became friends and didn’t officially start dating until 2013. We then got married in 2017. It’s been a long and fun journey and I can’t wait for the many years to come!
Did you have plans of your own to “pop the question”?
No, not really. I knew that was something special Jeka wanted to do for me so I never even thought about being the one to get on one knee.
Are there plans to have children in the future?
Heck yes! I want to be a mother so bad. I think it’s one of the most beautiful things in life. Not to mention my own mom keeps bothering me about whether she is going to have grandchildren soon or not. Definitely in years to come.
Tell us about your character Chelsea Bilson in the Lifetime movie, “A Night to Regret”.
Chelsea is an intelligent girl who has a passion for film-making and although it conflicts with what her mom wants for her, she attempts whatever she can to make her film happen. During that time, she is a little naïve to her rekindling of friendship with Milla and ends up having to face problems and life-threatening situations that she never thought she would have to go through. Chelsea is an extremely strong girl who is able to call herself a survivor and now sees life as a privilege, knowing not to take anything for granted.
What type of feedback has this movie received so far?
I’ve heard so much positive feedback from the film that it makes my heart so happy. The coolest thing is people reaching out to me in direct messages stating how my character, was able to help them cope with some things they have been battling in their life. I’ve seen great reviews written in amazing articles and on the internet. I’m just really grateful that everyone has enjoyed this film we worked so hard on.
Did you relate to this character on a personal level at all?
Personally, I have not gone through what Chelsea has gone through, but I can relate to her in the way of her strength and survival instinct. My favorite thing about Chelsea is that no matter how hard her days were getting, she never gave up. She fought for her life every single second because she knew she was given a great one, and I think that’s so special.
What do you remember most about being a part of Disney’s,“Teen Beach Movie” and “Teen Beach 2”?
I remember everything from rehearsals to hanging out on the balconies in Puerto Rico. It was some of the best years of my life. The most memorable days were the longest. We were all so tired but each and every person would cheer each other on, keep the energy going on set and just push through whatever exhaustion we had to make sure that we were creating the beautiful magic everyone was able to see.
How does your character “Giggles” develop throughout the two films?
Giggles is such a fun character. In the first movie you saw her as a very energetic type girl who just loved to dance shake. In the second movie you started to see her “human” side and her true emotions for her friends and of course, girl power!
Did you find it difficult playing Courtney in “South 32”?
Courtney was a difficult character to play. She was constantly bullied to the point she felt like there was no other choice but to take her own life. It was hard to play that role because it’s so real. There are multiple kids and teens taking this measure because of the severity of being bullied at home, on the internet and at school. Being in such a dark place on set for so many days definitely was difficult but I just wanted to make sure I did the character justice and portray as much honesty that I was capable of to represent kids who are battling this themselves.
Did you ever have a “coming out” moment with your family and friends? If so, what gave you the courage to do so?
I did! I told them when I had my first serious girlfriend. It wasn’t too bad with my friends and family. I grew up in the dance world which luckily is one of the most accepting careers out there. It definitely was a change for my parents and took them some getting used to, but they’ve always accepted and loved me unconditionally.
What advice can you give those who may be struggling with their own “coming out” moments?
I would say do it at your own time. Don’t feel pressured from other people but also be encouraged and inspired by the positive change in society. Just know that everyone has their own time. It’s never too late and it’s never too early.
What are your thoughts on the LGBTQ+ community being portrayed on screen? Do you feel these portrayals are accurate?
I feel it’s an amazing thing for LGBTQ+ to be seen on the big screen more. I’m thankful for the opportunities that it is given our community. The end goal that I would like to see is that a gay person can play straight on film just as much as a straight person is playing gay on film or if there is a gay/trans person in the film to give that opportunity to an actual gay or trans actor. I think that would just be absolutely amazing!
What is “The Favorite” about?
The Favorite is based on a true story about two brothers who are constantly competing for attention to be “the favorite.” In doing so, one of their arguments causes a severe car accident in which one brother is in survival mode to fight for his life and the other is facing the repercussions of damage he has done!
How did you prep for the role of Sophie in “The Reliant”?
Sophie was a really fun character to prepare for. There is a lot of action in the movie so making sure I was fit and prepared for the filming process was a must. I had to do gun and ammo training to learn how to load and properly hold a gun.
What it was like working alongside Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman in, “No Strings Attached”?
Incredible! Ashton Kutcher is so hilarious in real life and such a nice guy. He made me feel completely comfortable on set, as that was my very first acting role and Natalie Portman is just magical. She’s a class act inside and out!
What’s next for you?
Right now, just doing as much press as possible for the release of my two new films, The Favorite and The Reliant which will be coming out this year so stay tuned and I will keep everyone updated.
Any last words?
Just huge thank you to everyone who has supported me all these years. I feel so grateful to be doing what I love for a living and it’s because of all of you so thank you and please know how much I adore each and every one of you!
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Photo By: Jeka Jane