WKU freshman stars in Justin Bieber, Chris Young videos

Bowling Green freshman Grace Wilson starred in Justin Bieber’s music video “One Less Lonely Girl” and country singer Chris Young’s music video “You,” which premiered on Oct. 11.

Tabitha Waggoner

When Bowling Green freshman Grace Wilson got the principle role in Justin Bieber’s “One Less Lonely Girl” music video, she wasn’t nervous at all.

“I actually had no idea who he was,” Wilson said. “So he was just another 15-year-old guy to me at the time.”

Although Wilson is a huge fan of country music star Chris Young, she said she still wasn’t nervous when she played the girl in the red hat and red car in Young’s new music video, “You,” which premiered on Country Music Television on Oct. 11.

“It all comes with the job, and when I’m there in the moment doing what I love that’s all that matters – there’s no time to be star struck,” she said.

On campus, she is often recognized as the “one less lonely girl.” But it doesn’t feel like she’s famous.

“I haven’t reached my goal yet, so to me, it’s just starting,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s best friend, Bowling Green freshman Kayla Bartley, said that Wilson is “pretty much a pro” during auditions, even though Wilson said she is nervous beforehand because she doesn’t know what to expect.

“She was more excited than anything to be fulfilling part of her dream,” said Deanna Wilson, Grace’s mom. “She knows that this is what she was meant to do.”

Wilson gave many people credit for the success she’s had in her life, but she gave credit to God first, saying that her religion is her life.

“God is the most important thing to me above everything else, and I give all the credit to Him,” she said.

Before every audition, Deanna Wilson said that the family prays God will give her favor in the eyes of the casting director.

“It helps, it really does – or it has so far anyway,” Grace said.

Although she’s California-born, Wilson grew up in Bowling Green and graduated from Greenwood High School. It all started after her fifth grade teacher saw her in her first play.

“She encouraged me to pursue it and got me to audition at the Public Theatre of Kentucky, where I fell in love with the art,” Wilson said.

Wilson has played in a variety of productions ranging from “Snow White” and “Fiddler on the Roof” to “Grease” and “Romeo and Juliet.” She has been Snow White, Alice in Wonderland and Juliet. Her face is on the books, “Stand By Me” and “Never Been Kissed.”

Wilson grew up learning from “incredibly talented directors” at the Public Theatre of Kentucky.

However, Mike Wilson, Grace’s dad, is the one who introduced her to acting.

“He helps me push toward my dream every time I start to falter,” she said.

Mike Wilson also enjoys acting; he did so in high school and in community theatre. Both father and daughter have been in plays together.

From a young age, the Wilsons knew that she had a natural gift for acting.

“She knew her lines and she knew everybody else’s lines too,” he said.

She will be cast in lead roles in the theatre and dance department’s Reveusicals and also in Public Theatre of Kentucky’s “Our Town.”

She is enjoying the success from Chris Young’s video, and she may even be a movie double soon. Wilson said she feels like she has a tiny foot in the door but she wants more – she wants to get that one big break.

“There are times where things are really going great, and there’s times where there’s a dead period where there’s nothing. So it does get really discouraging, but I try to remember how good it feels when I’m performing and when I’m in a show, you know, how good those good times are – and it’s worth it.”

When Wilson is not acting, she enjoys hobbies such as bow hunting for deer.

“I’m actually a pretty good shot,” she said.

Wilson also is in Kappa Delta and said she never painted herself as a sorority girl, but said it has been “the best college decision” she has made so far.

“She’s not superficial,” Bartley said.

Bartley said even through all of Wilson’s success, she’s still the same person.

“Honestly, we don’t ever talk about her video stuff,” she said.

Wilson chose musical theatre as her major and would love to be in movies or to star on Broadway. One day she hopes that she will be Christine in Phantom of the Opera.

“I think she gets faced with too many choices,” Mike Wilson said.

Wilson said she gets overwhelmed just like other students.

“But I love being busy. I love always having something to do,” she said. “It’s all worth it. It’s hard trying to do it all, but there’s nothing I want to cut out so for now it’s going to be extremely overwhelming.”

She advises her peers to follow their heart and do what makes them happy, no matter what others say.

“I’ve never been this happy just being able to do what I love,” Grace said. “And I know some people who come to college, and they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s not practical,’ and so they do something else and they’re miserable.

“Even if it’s not practical, if you’ve been given a gift, you’ve been given that gift for a reason and I think you shouldn’t ever waste it.”