Imagine The Breakfast Club goes to Willy Wonka's factory at Christmas.

Trey Best as Cedric

Classical Music Helped Trey Best Prepare For Cedric


ATLANTA, Ga. — According to Trey Best, the actor who plays him, the Santa’s Boot Camp character Cedric may seem like a goody-goody but he truly deserves his place on Santa’s naughty list.

Best was already acting when he was told he should attend Creative Studios of Atlanta’s Film Academy in 2010, when he was 13. He continued attending and built a good relationship with CSATL founder Ken Feinberg. During his second year at Film Academy, Feinberg decided to produce a feature film instead of a short film. Although Best had been in The Blind Side (as Michael’s brother) and Joyful Noise (as a choir member), he had never played a major role before and was quite excited.

“They designed the role around me,” he said. “That was really awesome because I got to put a lot of myself in the role.”

Cedric is very intelligent, but isn’t a nice person at all. He’s devoted to following the rules 24-7 and sucks up to the person in charge so people think highly of him. That’s why he’s on the naughty list. To prepare to play Cedric, Best started listening to classical music because he figured Cedric wouldn’t enjoy what the other kids enjoyed and would think he was above others. He started talking with a more proper vocabulary to reflect Cedric’s intelligence

“I started thinking, ‘If I was the smartest person in the class, how would I act, but if I were a mean person too,’” he said.

Best also added some comic moments to his role, including how he walked and delivered his lines. During the scene where the kids try to escape Santa’s barn, Best ran in a crazy way. Cedric is not as athletic as the others because he devotes his energy to intellectual pursuits, so Best figured he would run strangely and that would be amusing.

Best described working on Santa’s Boot Camp as a great experience. He got to work with Feinberg, which is always a great pleasure, as well as act alongside his friends. He enjoyed acting alongside them and improvising off them. He said since Feinberg is an actor, he allows other actors to be creative. Many times a director directs the shots, not the actors, but Feinberg was very hands-on.

His favorite part of the experiment was working with a group of fellow actors he called “the hypothermia survivors.” The nickname came from the first time they were filming Santa’s Boot Camp, it was very cold. They couldn’t feel their fingers and toes.

“It was so, so cold and we all just bonded over being in the cold together,” he said.

His favorite scene was when the kids run through the barn and keep getting zapped back.

He exhorted everyone to see movie when it is finished. It’s a great story about friendship and how people can work together to make everything right.

“Teamwork makes the dream work,” he said.

He said it’s a fun movie, a great holiday movie, and everybody is going to love it.