Set to be this year’s High School Musical, Teen Beach Movie premieres on the Disney Channel on July 19 at 6pm. We caught up with the film’s star Ross Lynch to find out more…
Firstly, welcome to London, Ross!
“Thank you! I haven’t done much sightseeing this time but I have been to London before. I like travelling in general, just experiencing new cultures and seeing how things are different to America is really cool.”
You’re starring in Disney’s Teen Beach Movie. Can you tell us a bit about your character and what happens in the film?
“Well, Brady is this cool surfer dude, who loves this movie ‘Wet Side Story’. He and his girlfriend, McKenzie (Mack), have just had the best summer of their lives and are head over heels in love when they learn they’re going to be torn apart as she has to go to boarding school. However, they soon find themselves in the middle of this crazy musical movie and their arrival throws the movie’s plot off course. Brady and Mack have to figure out how to things back on track in order to get home.”
Isn’t there some kind of rivalry going on too…?
“Yeah, there’s a rivalry between the surfers and bikers because they both want Big Mama’s. It’s the perfect hangout for both gangs but one group doesn’t want the other one there.”
There are a lot of high-energy song and dance numbers in the movie. What was it like filming those?
“That was a lot of fun. I’m good at learning things real fast, so learned all the dance routines – even the ones I wasn’t in. It’s also very challenging to dance in the sand.”
And what about the surf? Is that really you we see riding those waves?
“You know, for some of the scenes it actually IS me. But, for the most part, I had this surf double named Tommy, who actually looked a lot like me, which made it more authentic. I’m actually surfing a lot since making the movie. Surfing is the perfect getaway, to just forget about the world, which I need sometimes.”
Teen Beach Movie does have a real summer feel to it…
“It does! We went to Puerto Rico to film for two months. We had a great time because when we weren’t filming we got to Salsa dance and do all sorts of cool stuff. Also, the water was really warm, so whenever we had to do surf scenes it was very refreshing. Leaving the island really took a toll on me – it kinda sucked to have that experience come to an end.”
Have you made any lasting friendships with other members of the cast?
“Absolutely! Maia Mitchell (pictured), who plays Mack, and I are super close. I think she does a great job in the movie. The chemistry really comes off and you can just tell she’s a really cool person. I hang out with Maia the most but I see the rest of the cast occasionally.”
What themes or messages do you think viewers will take away from watching Teen Beach Movie?
“Well, from my character Brady’s point of view, it’s to take advantage of all the opportunities you’re given because life’s too short. Meanwhile, as a young woman, Mack learns not to try and please other people – it’s important to do what you wanna do and follow your own destiny.”
Speaking of destiny, Disney’s High School Musical launched the career of one Zac Efron. Are you prepared for the recognition Teen Beach Movie will give you worldwide?
“You never really know if it’s gonna happen or not. I just had such a fun time making the movie and if it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Obviously it would be nice because then I would have my pick of whatever project I want to do next. But we’ll see what happens.”
We know you are very musical. Is that more where you see your career going rather than acting?
“I see my career going pretty much 50/50, so, six months acting, then six months doing a world tour. I became addicted to music at a very young age – it was basically always around the house, always in my ears, just everywhere. And then we moved to California and taught ourselves to play instruments. I play drums, keyboard, guitar and bass.”
So, you’re multi-talented?
“Ha, ha, yeah. My siblings and I started a band, R5, and I got this role in TV show Austin and Ally that involved acting and music together. That pretty much launched it all.”
Being so busy with singing and acting, do you get any time to just be a teenager?
“I love sport… surfing, hockey, football… and flying is a great way to escape the world. I’ve been flying since I was really young. My dad would put a booster seat in the co-pilot’s chair and I used to sit there doing the controls.”
High School Musical spawned two sequels. Do you hope Teen Beach Movie does the same?
“I certainly hope so… but only if this one’s a success. If it fails and they wanna do three movies I’ll be like: ‘Come on guys, don’t shove it down people’s throats!’ But, yeah, if it’s a success, for sure. That’d be great! I’d love to go back to Puerto Rico.”
Teen Beach Movie premieres on Friday July 19 at 6pm on Disney Channel UK.