Frosted Fame in Chesterfield

by Jon Baliles 

The Chesterfield County weekly newsletter featured a great story last week about Bailey Sheetz, a 13-year old Chester resident who is now on a first-name basis with Jerry Seinfeld and Melissa McCarthy in Hollywood. Sheetz made his movie debut in Seinfeld’s new Netflix movie Unfrosted, the satirical comedy about the launch of what we now know and love as the Pop-Tart.

Sheetz walked the red carpet with the venerable comedian and has become noticed in Hollywood and has his own agent and an IMDb.com page. A few years ago, at the tender age of eight, CBS6’s Wayne Covil ran a story about Sheetz and his innate ability to fix old vacuum cleaners and his appreciation for anything antique. From that story, Sheetz was sought out and cast in the Season 4 premiere of Little Big Shots.

After his Little Big Shots appearance, Covid shut down the filming industry for a while but Sheetz got an agent and received a callback. He finally got a voiceover role in the Duck and Goose animated children’s series and then received a callback in early 2022 to audition for Unfrosted. He recorded his audition tape at home with his parents, Bryan and Nancy, both teachers in Chesterfield schools, reading with him and filming him. A month later, Bailey received an invitation for a Zoom callback that was conducted by Jerry Seinfeld himself.

Bailey was ultimately selected for the role of Butchie, one of two dumpster-diving kids who inadvertently spark the film’s central “conflict:” a hilariously inept competition between 1960s-era cereal giants Kellogg’s and Post to create the first hand-held breakfast pastry.

Bailey flew to Los Angeles six times in 2022 for filming and again once last April, but neither Bailey nor his family could tell anyone about the project while filming. On a film set with such names as Seinfeld, McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr, Amy Schumer, Jon Hamm and Hugh Grant, you might think anyone might get a bit star-struck, but the then-10-year old played it cool.

“Bailey goes on set and is very professional. He doesn’t get star-struck, he doesn’t change the way he acts – it doesn’t matter if he’s working with Jerry Seinfeld or Melissa McCarthy, he’s going to be himself and that’s that,” Bryan Sheetz said.

Bailey described the process as “almost like coloring inside the lines: It takes a while to learn how to do it the right way, but once you’ve done it, it’s pretty easy.” He also credited Seinfeld for maintaining a fun, relaxed atmosphere on set; on the rare occasion when there was any tension, he’d stop filming and say, ‘Guys, remember we’re making a movie about Pop Tarts.’”

“Nobody took themselves too seriously,” Bailey said.

So, at the premiere at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles last month, Bailey walked the red carpet and stopped for all the photos, signed autographs, and was introduced along with the famous cast. But the young Sheetz didn’t let that moment go to his head and is well aware that fame can be fleeting; he flew back home to Chester after the premiere.

In 2020, after he finished filming the episode for Little Big Shots, one of the producers told him everyone would love him and he was going to be famous now.

Bailey’s response was, “I will not let those balloons take me up into the clouds,” his mom said. “I’ll always remember that. And it’s true, they haven’t.”

Asked if he expects Unfrosted to open other doors for him professionally in the future, Bailey sounded more like a seasoned Hollywood performer than a 13-year-old coming off his first feature film.

“In this business, after this movie I could skyrocket or I could fall on my face. I would be happy with either one,” he said. An old soul indeed.

Republished with permission from RVA 5×5.