Bebe Wood, who plays Goldie’s precocious daughter Shania on NBC’s The New Normal, is building an impressive resume of impersonations thanks to her role on the sitcom. Shania has already channeled Little Edie from Grey Gardens, Cher, and even Honey Boo Boo. Now, in tonight’s brand new episode of Normal, she takes on one of TV’s most-discussed characters: Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey. EW has an exclusive first look at the young actress dressing up like the beloved character.
Turns out, Wood is a huge fan of the British hit. “It’s my favorite show ever,” exclaims the 11-year old, who tonight also does Smith’s Mother Superior (Sister Act) and Professor McGonagall (Harry Potter). “I was on the red carpet for the People’s Choice Awards and they said, ‘What’s your favorite TV show?’ and I said, ‘Downton Abbey!’ Then the writers wrote the script that night and sent it to me but they hadn’t even had seen the interview!” Wood used a dialect coach and repeat viewings of Abbey to nail the impersonation. Click below for the finished result.
Gardens’ Little Edie was easier since Wood has been doing that bit for years. “I’ve been doing it actually since I was 8 and a half,” she says. “When we were filming the pilot last April, Ryan Murphy was directing and he wasn’t having such a great day. So I was like, ‘What can I do to make him laugh?’ I was just thinking and thinking, ‘Maybe he knows Little Edie?’ So I just walked up to him and said, [in perfect Little Edie voice] “Oh hi….” He just like fell out of his chair and goes, ‘That’s gonna go on the show!’
Tune in to see Wood’s scene-stealing performance on The New Normal tonight at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.
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