DOVER — While most 9-year-olds keep a busy schedule with school and extracurricular activities, Dover’s Molly Savini goes one step further — with TV and film roles.
Since taking acting classes last year, Molly, a fourth-grader at Holy Cross School in Dover, has filmed parts in three high-profile productions.
On Nov. 11, she was featured in the background of two scenes on the grounds of an Amish school in the hit CBS drama “Bull.”
In December, she’ll be seen again on the small screen on the HBO “Sex in the City” reboot “And Just Like That.” Then in August, she’ll be on the big screen in the Universal Pictures romantic comedy “Bros” starring Billy Eichner.
She has also done some modeling on top of her regular guitar lessons, Irish dancing and tae kwan do activities, in which she is a blue stripe belt.
Her mother, Carolyn, said Molly has always been interested in acting, having done some plays for The Children’s Theatre in Dover.
“She’s pretty dramatic in real life so it works,” Ms. Savini joked.
Once COVID started last year, Molly asked her mother if she could take her acting one step further with some online classes. The rest became a whirlwind.
“At the end of the acting classes, they did a showcase where they did almost like a recital for all the work they had done. Different monologues or commercials, different techniques. And after that showcase, she was invited to audition for a big conference called the International Presentation of Performers or iPOP. And she auditioned for that and she was accepted for iPOP,” Ms. Savini said.
“We went to iPOP in July and she performed in front of 200-plus agents. She goes there and does her commercial, does her monologue and does some cold reads. And at the end of the week, the goal is to get a callback and she received 11 callbacks, which was quite impressive.”
After iPop in Orlando, Florida, she ended up signing up with two agents and one manager and, since late summer, has done the three roles plus a photo shoot for the youth safety group The Polaris Foundation in New York City’s Central Park.
Molly filmed her part on “Bull” in September in Old Bethpage, New York, where, as she says, she “got paid to play.” She can be seen running and jumping in the background of one of the scenes.
Ms. Savini said Molly’s photo and videotape were submitted to producers and her blond hair and blue eyes made her the perfect type to play a Mennonite child.
Acting is a huge time commitment for Ms. Savini and Molly, who is also the daughter of the late Patrick Savini, but they say it’s been worth it so far.
“The benefit right now is they actually shoot a lot of productions in New York City, which is not a bad commute. I think the thing that adds an extra layer of complexity right now is COVID because she has to be tested at least 48 to 72 hours before production. So that adds an extra couple of days. At times, we’ve gone up, tested and come back,” Ms. Savini said.
“Other times, we’ve gotten to stay, depending on what school schedules look like and what our life schedules look like. Because she is a minor, I have to legally be on set with her. So I have to get tested along with her as well. So they’re very protective of the kids and they do an excellent job. All three (productions) have done a really good job with the kids.”
COVID concerns have lessened a bit as Molly got her first vaccination the day after kids 12 and under were allowed to do so.
Although they can’t say much about her roles in either “And Just Like That” or “Bros,” they did let a little bit sneak out.
“In ‘And Just Like That,’ she’s a schoolgirl on a scooter. And then for the movie ‘Bros,’ she is the daughter of one of the characters. So she’s in a scene with her parents in the movie and her brother (in a parade scene),” Ms. Savini said.
None of the three roles have been speaking parts but that is OK with Molly for the time being.
“I have to memorize other things for my tests. I have one on Wednesday and it’s driving me nuts,” she said Monday evening.
She’s happy to be doing what she loves. And she says she doesn’t get nervous when she’s in front of the camera.
“Why be nervous? In ‘Bros,’ all I did was shake,” Molly said.
Prior to attending Holy Cross, Molly went to W.B. Simpson Elementary in Camden where the whole school knew she was going to be on “Bull.” She said she heard from a lot of people after the show aired.
“We got tons of texts and stuff,” she said.
Her modeling work has paid extra dividends as well.
“All you have to do is pretty much walk around and then you get some good photos to put on the background of your phone,” Molly said.
She says her busy schedule suits her just fine.
“I have time after homework where I get to make up all my work so I just do it. And I don’t miss too much guitar and Irish dancing although I haven’t done my second class yet. And we try to do a lot on the weekend. So it’s not that much of a big deal,” she said.
She also talked proudly of her TikTok account where folks can keep up on her appearances at LMGOreo3.
Molly did audition for the part of Cindy Lou Who in a national touring production of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” She did not get the part but knows there is another opportunity right around the corner.
“This is all new and things were flying at her really fast and furious. And it was a lot and the fact that she was getting so many bookings, it actually was OK. I know she wanted it, but it was OK. And she’s not relying on this for a paycheck. It’s not like she really has that perspective,” said Ms. Savini, who added that should the day come that Molly decides she doesn’t want to act or model anymore, that’s the day that it all stops for her.
“She’s doing really well in school. She’s got a really good head on her shoulders. She understands when she’s out, she’s got to make up the (school) work. She’s really, really handled it well. It was really exciting (the night of ‘Bull’). She got to see herself on TV. And it just blew her away. She just said, ‘I can’t believe this.’ It was really, really cool.”