EXCLUSIVE! Cailey Fleming’s life is *not* turning out how she imagined

After a decade of nonstop work in a slew of high-profile projects, the 17-year-old actress was sure of her next step. Then, one phone call changed everything. 

Right before she landed the starring role in the movie IF, Cailey Fleming had officially decided to take a break from acting. But when John Krasinski calls and asks you to be in his new movie, you change your plans. 

"I was like 'Mom, this is Jim from The Office. I've got to do it,'" Cailey says of the no-brainer decision to call off her temporary retirement from the spotlight. "Like, I need to do it." 

An unreal opportunity 

Cailey had definitely earned that planned hiatus: She's spent most of the last decade popping up all over your screens in movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and shows like Loki. She was wrapping her four-year stint on The Walking Dead when she decided to focus full time on school. "I knew that I could always go back to acting, but you can't go back to high school," Cailey shares. 

As much as she was looking forward to the role of "regular high school student," IF's Bea, a girl with the ability to see (and help) other people's imaginary friends (IFs for short), was a part she couldn't pass up. 

Also un-pass-up-able? The chance to work with her Office idol Krasinski, who wrote and directed the film along with Ryan Reynolds. (Cailey spills that both actors are somehow even cooler IRL than she could've envisioned.) 

Cailey says IF (in theaters May 17) proves to the world that Reynolds isn't just hilarious/talented/invited to all of Taylor Swift's parties—he's also a fabulous dancer (even if he won't admit it).

"He can tap dance!" Cailey says of her uber-famous co-star.  "There's a moment where we're kinda dancing up the stairs in the middle of Brooklyn...and he won't tell you that he's good, but he's really good. He's humble, so I'll brag for him."

Dancing queen 

If anyone is qualified to judge anyone's moves, it's Cailey, who's been dancing since she was literally 1 year old. 

The funny thing is, Cailey wasn't cast in IF to dance. In fact, Krasinski didn't know about her backstory until he saw a video of her dancing for fun. He wound up reworking a scene for the film as a result. "It became this amazing dance number where I'm surrounded by 8-foot-tall monsters and butterflies," Cailey shares. 

Movie magic

With IF's release on the horizon, Cailey plans to keep acting, even if it means hitting the breaks on her hiatus for the time being. "John is just so magical—I think he was made with pixie dust or something," she says. "What he did with this movie was incredible. I fell in love with acting all over again." 

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our April/May 2024 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Photo: Jackson Beals


by Kayleigh Roberts | 5/17/2024