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July 17, 2003

Little Girl: Do you like riddles?
Monk: Yes
Little Girl: Good, 'cause I have one.
Monk: Did I say yes? I meant no.
Little Girl: Pete and Repeat are in a boat. Pete falls out. Who’s left?
Monk: Repeat…. [You know how the rest goes and goes and goes.]

"Mr. Monk and the Airplane"


10-year-old Haylee Wanstall guest starred on the first year’s season finale, "Mr. Monk and the Airplane," in a memorable turn as the little girl who finds the perfect victim in the seat behind her. Haylee is from Toronto and she made her feature film debut playing an autistic child in The Safety of Objects (2001) with Patricia Clarkson and Glenn Glose. She recently finished working on the Steve Martin film Cheaper by the Dozen 2, to be released in theaters Christmas 2005.

Haylee was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. [Special thanks to Karen Wanstall for all your help and for the pictures.]

Getting the Part
They chose me because I am good at being relentless, and that was really what the part was. The director of The Safety of Objects [Rose Troche] said that I get brat parts because of "my nose". LOL

First Day on the Set
I was a little nervous because I had watched Monk and really liked it and didn't know if I was going to be good enough for it. I was on set for a week and it took the first day to calm down.

Funniest Moments
There were a couple. The first one was I mixed up the words from Pete and Repeat and said Repeat and Pete were on a boat and Tony Shalhoub was laughing and the director was yelling cut and everyone was cracking up.
The other thing was when the wine spilled they thought it was the last take so Tony spilled the wine for real and then they had to do another one. So he was freaking out.

The Best Part
The best part was how nice they were. Tony made time for me and explained what it was like to play a part of someone who was unsure but smart. Bitty was great. She was really nice and invited me to her trailer and we took pictures. Garry was really really nice and he sent me a copy of the Princess Diaries and a signed book and took pictures and he told me he runs a baseball league which I thought was really cool. He told me one day when I become famous he might put me in one of his movies. They were all really great.

What She Learned from Monk
I learned that the way TV is shot is much faster than film. I did Queer as Folk was when I was little and I didn't remember. I learned that each director has a different way of dealing with things.

Time for Pete/Repeat
It took all morning pretty much. Tony had to take a break because he was laughing so hard and so was Garry. It was my favourite scene.

When She Started
I have been acting since I was 4 and I have learned a lot in 6 years.

Best Thing About Acting
I like that I get to meet people I look up to. But I also like to watch directors and learn because that is what I want to be when I grow up. I love playing different people other than myself. I like to be in somebody else's mind and think differently than I do.

Hardest Thing About Acting
The hardest thing is getting settled for the part. I played a girl with ADD in a movie called Sugar recently and I had to cry really hard. That was hard to do but I did it three takes in a row.

Her Favorite Actor
My favourite actor is Patricia Clarkson. I worked with her on Safety and she was really nice and has amazing range in roles and is serious, but very funny. Of course, I love Orlando Bloom like every other girl my age. I like Johnny Depp. I like Nicole Kidman too. There are so many it is hard to keep track. Oh yeah, Mike Myers and Jim Carrey cause they're Canadian and very funny.

Favorite School Subject
I would have to say spelling and I love to read.

Favorite Pastimes
I hang out with my best friend, I figure skate 3 times a week, I play on the internet. I love swimming.

What She’d Like to Do This Summer
I would make my mom take me to Hollywood.

[Hollywood should be ready whenever you are, Haylee.]

-- Teresa Murray

Click on images to enlarge


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