The Return of Shay Rudolph: Netflix's Newest Breakout Star

Guess who’s back? Back again. Shay Rudolph returns as the amazing Stacey McGill for the new season of The Baby-Sitters Club. Tell a friend.

Shay Rudolph for MUD Magazine from the Netflix show The Baby-Sitters Club where she plays Stacy McGill.
Photo: Tiziano Lugli

It’s been about a year since MUD first sat down with breakout star Shay Rudolph to discuss her role in the Netflix's hit series, The Baby-Sitters Club. Since then, you have no idea how much has changed in this 16-year-old’s life.


In case you've been living under a rock and haven’t heard, season two of The Baby-Sitters Club dropped on October 11th. The show follows five young girls in a Connecticut town as they navigate life, school, and family, while managing their successful babysitting business.


For the second season, Shay continues her role as Stacey: the treasurer and fashionista of the club. Although Shay’s role hasn’t changed much from the character people know and love, off the screen she is not the same girl you saw last season.


When sitting down with Shay, I kept forgetting she's just 16 years old—a literal teenager who started filming The Baby-Sitters Club when she was only 13. In between studying the scripts for her next scene, she manages to squeeze in her high school Algebra II homework, a social life, extracurriculars, and dealing with all that comes with being a teenager today.


Our conversation felt like I was speaking to a wise, industry-savvy QUEEN who’d just been nominated for her third Oscar. She was enthusiastic and bubbly throughout the interview, but her words packed a meaningful punch. The origin of this youthful maturity made sense when Shay described how both she and Stacey have changed within the past year.


“Growing up and maturing as a teenager has allowed me to bring new light to Stacey. Such a big part of confidence is self-love. Luckily, I discovered that within the past year.”

Shay’s newfound confidence and maturity lend a realness to her fictional character. Her authenticity reveals what it’s like to grow up as a teenager, struggling to earn the acceptance of our peers, while—more importantly—figuring out how to accept ourselves.


Whatever Shay learns, Stacey does.


Shay Rudolph for MUD Magazine from the Netflix show The Baby-Sitters Club where she plays Stacy McGill.
Photo: Tiziano Lugli

“Sometimes Stacey feels like she can conquer everything. Both her and I think we can do everything ourselves. But at the end of the day, we’re all humans; and sometimes we do need help," Shay said.


Her embrace of vulnerability can be credited to the closeness of the cast (or as Shay calls it, her best friends). The closeness that jumps out of the screen translates into real life. These girls are more than co-stars, and while being the same age definitely helps, they are all such unique, warm, and talented people that it does not surprise us they're all so close.


“Being around the same people on set helped me get to know everyone really well. Now, the scenes that are friendship-driven are so real because we all have that sort of friendship together off-camera. Filming is super fun because we can pull from our own experiences together off set and sprinkle in those fun little moments on set.”

In the video above, Shay shares a freaking hilarious behind-the-scenes moment that actually happened to her and her BSC cast-mates.


Aside from Shay’s teenage experiences and the genuine friendships she’s made with her cast-mates, her passion for creative arts makes Stacey the beloved character her audience can relate to. After starring as a Lost Boy in her third-grade rendition of Peter Pan, the spotlight has been Shay’s oasis. Whether it be ballet or an elementary school play, she feels at home whenever she’s performing on a stage or in front of a camera.


“I've always loved performing. My favorite thing is being on stage and dancing, just fully going for it."

Although she was drawn to the stage at first, it actually wasn’t until Netflix cast her on the The Baby-Sitters Club that she pieced together her love for performing. By incorporating her dance and acting background, Shay brought the famous and beloved Stacey McGill to life. From her cool factor and her vulnerability at the face of challenges, Stacey is a modern hero and a leader for so many young people growing up in today’s world. She is a beacon of authenticity and truth. Ultimately, Shay adds a special ingredient to her acting that makes this character come alive; a true example of her passion for performing.


When Shay finds time in between filming, studying, and being a normal teenager, she spends her spare seconds immersed in creativity.


“I’m definitely very involved in the creative world, especially in my personal time.”

She mentioned the hopes of eventually penning a few fantasy books of her own. Keep an eye on the bookshelves for Shay Rudolph’s name in print.


Toward the end of our conversation, Shay’s answered MUD’s age-old question.


Shay Rudolph for MUD Magazine from the Netflix show The Baby-Sitters Club where she plays Stacy McGill.
Photo: Tiziano Lugli

What does it mean to be young in today’s world?


So you can truly understand the groundbreaking, youthful artist Shay is, I’ll let her answer speak for itself:


“Being young in this world holds a door for so many opportunities. With all this love and acceptance in the world, there is so much open space to do anything you want. It’s truly a gift from the universe to be growing up with such amazing and inspiring people taking matters into their own hands.”

Little does Shay know, she is one of those “amazing and inspiring people” who’s holding the door open for others, offering them a glimpse at what we can accomplish with just a bit of opportunity—and a lot of passion.

 

Make sure to watch the second season of The Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix, and to follow Shay Rudolph on Insta for more.