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Presley Penny-Lynn[1] Smith is the Canadian actress who portrays Sunny Baudelaire on Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Biography

Presley Smith is a Canadian actress who portrayed Sunny Baudelaire in Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events. When the show started filming, Presley was only eight months old.

Presley is the daughter of actress/model Paige Lindquist and Mike Smith.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

While most infant characters are cast with twins- such as Kara and Shelby Hoffman- the crew of A Series of Unfortunate Events felt there was something "special" about Presley. As she could not be on set as much as older actors, the original plan was to give her a robotic double, but when it proved too noisy, they used the filmmaking trick of having her siblings put her down at the start of most scenes, so that she wouldn't have to be onset for most of the scene. They would then film most of her close-up shots separately.

Her family was very supportive during the process and moved to Vancouver island during the filming so commuting wasn't an issue. Her mom got to know about the series through her publicity agent and took her daughter to an audition. The production crew originally looked at twins but none looked right for the part so when they found Presley they decided to take a risk on her because she nailed her audition.

Presley was seven months old when production began, and did not have enough hair for Sunny's signature ponytail, so a "baby toupee" was attached to her head with a firm gel until Season 2.

While filming Season 1, Malina Weissman was helpfully able to soothe Presley while preparing for a scene. At the beginning, Louis Hynes was afraid of dropping her, but he and Weissman quickly warmed up to her. Rose Lam, the Executive Producer, was also very good at getting Presley to perform; she would hold up stuffed animals and run around behind camera to get Presley to look in the right places, or dangle an iPad with her favorite game in front of her to make her smile. In Season 2, she got less interested in such things, and so the crew had to improve their distractions for her.[2] According to Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes, during the filming of Season 1 Presley loved to grab onto his glasses and Malina's dress buttons.

She had several photo doubles including Colby Cremers who would stand in for her if she was being cranky or needed a break. According to an interview with Alan Arkush the directer of The Hostile Hospital by law she could only be on set for 15 minutes and then she got a twenty minute break. So scenes were blocked without her, and when everything was ready she would come in with her mom to film the scene.

She also had a doll (dubbed the "Jelly Baby") that would sometimes stand in for her when the camera was not focused on her character. Jacqueline and Joyce Robbins recall the process of Presley's image being lasered into a computer and when the model was completed, they brought the little actress in and sat her next to her doppelgänger. Jacqueline and Joyce reported that Presley did a double take and laughed upon seeing herself. However they tried to use the "Jelly Baby" as little as possible because the audience would notice.

Presley celebrated her second birthday on set during filming of "The Vile Village: Part Two."[3]

Her souvenir from the show was one of the fur stools from The End.

She has since moved on from the world of acting, and is focusing on other things. In fall 2020 she started kindergarten. She also is working on ballet, horseback riding, and loves riding her bike. She also has done several tape auditions for various productions but, has not had any additions to her resume since the Netflix show.

Filmography

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2017-2019 A Series of Unfortunate Events Sunny Baudelaire Voice provided by Tara Strong in Seasons 1 and 2.

Gallery

Season One Premiere

Behind the Scenes

Videos

Presley and Colby Talking (season 3): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_JSvOOmLyw

Presley Behind the Scenes (season 3): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgH9hwGkH5I

Presley Gets a High Five from Mom after a good Take during the Austere Academy (season 2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v-lf8z3a0M

Presley Takes a coffee Break on set during the Penultimate Peril (season 3): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1s89KsoaQY

Presley Drinking water on set during the Austere Academy (season 2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSlNEd-vVTM

Presley's Second birthday on set of the Vile Village Part 2 (season 2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnG9hCznSgI&feature=youtu.be


Sources

https://asoue.proboards.com/thread/35601/avenue-interviews-allan-arkush-answers

https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/Sunny-Real-Baby-Series-Unfortunate-Events-43007860

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