I make no secret of my love for Ross Lynch (Austin & Ally, R5, Teen Beach Movie), but today I am super-excited because we have interviews from the entire awesome cast of Austin & Ally: Laura Marano, Raini Rodriguez, Calum Worthy, and Ross Lynch. There is a definite Harry Potter theme, but I was floored when I found out that one of these actors actually auditioned (and was rejected) for a major role in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! Read the interview to find out who!
Laura: I have way too many! Ross and I were filming this PSA and we were running and jumping on this log. Ross jumps perfectly and then I jump and fall right on my face on the ground. Everyone was like, “Laura, are you OK?” and I said “Yeah, I’m fine. Let’s do it again,” and they were like, “We’re never letting you do that again!” It was so embarrassing.
Ross: A consistent embarrassing moment is forgetting lyrics when I’m on stage, especially since I write the songs! I forget my own lyrics. My excuse is John Lennon forgot lyrics all the time—it’s something that creative people do.
Raini: Last week, we filmed our Christmas episode, and I tripped in the Sonic Boom and I cut my arm. It was a minor thing and they put a Band-Aid on it, but it kept coming off so we wrapped my arm in gauze which made it look like I had a cast on my arm. Then, I walked head-first into a snowflake that was hanging on the wall and got a nice unicorn bump on my forehead. Pretty embarrassing.
Calum: I’m the king of those stories. Recently, I had to be in this really large outfit. I can’t tell you what it is because it’s coming out this year, but there was a girl on set who was flirting with me and I’m trying to act all cool. And I put my arm down and knock over the entire set, and everything comes crashing down. I didn’t get the date.
What is it like being famous?
Ross: The funny thing is I’ll put on a hat and sunglasses but they still recognize me. It’s always weird when they run across a parking lot to hug me but I quite enjoy it. Any time I go out in public something interesting happens to me.
Calum: What we’ve all been doing as we’ve gotten fans and fame is not taking ourselves too seriously. We haven’t let it affect our friendships. I remember the first time I got mobbed at a mall. That was very bizarre. During my time in high school, no one knew who I was. I was kind of an outcast. So it’s funny being recognized. I’m really not that cool.
What’s in the note that Austin gave to Ally?
Raini: We left season two on a cliffhanger. When we were filming the season two finale, we didn’t know what was in the note either. We didn’t find out until we filmed the first episode of season three.
Favorite subject in school and tips for getting a good grade in it
Laura: I’m a nerd. I love all my subjects. I think with any of them, it’s the work you put in to it. They’re a lot of work but I love the classes. I make index cards and they help. I think it has to do with both my parents are teachers.
Ross: I really like literature, ‘cause I like words, and I write songs. I’m an actor so I spend a lot of time with words. The tip is you can’t skim over anything. If you want to get good grades, you have to read a few times. Take your time with it.
Raini: My favorite subject was reading. I love to read. To get a good grade in it, actually sit down and read the book. I know it seems easier to watch the movie, but I recommend reading the book because it’s really important to interpret it for yourself. When I read a book, it comes alive in my mind.
Calum: I loved math. My tip for kids in those classes would be to go into it with a positive attitude. A lot of kids go into math class thinking it’s going to be tough.
Advice for surviving middle school
Laura: Be confident in your thoughts. We all have insecurities. But look at them, own them, and be like, “That’s what makes me different, and I should be proud of them.”
Ross: Be yourself. Get your friends and stick with them. Have their backs and they’ll have yours.
Raini: Don’t be afraid to make new friends. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Depending on your height, pick the right locker. I’m so short and I always had the top locker, and it’s so hard to reach. And always carry a scrunchie to put your hair up and some lipstick or perfume to refresh yourself.
Calum: Lesson #1 would be enjoy yourself and don’t take it too seriously. A lot of kids get stuck in a social hierarchy that doesn’t actually exist. Have fun and be yourself.
Advice for dealing with bullies
Laura: Tell somebody! The biggest mistake people make is keeping it to themselves. Communication is key.
Ross: Tell a teacher or a friend. If you’re scared to tell, get a friend to tell someone. Tell your parents. That’s very important.
Raini: Sometimes bullies bully kids because nobody says anything. Let the bullies know they’re hurting your feelings and that’s not cool. If bullies still bother you, don’t let it get to you because they love to see that it bothers you. Find friends who love you for who you are.
Calum: I think kids have the wrong idea about what being cool is. They think being cool means you have to look a certain way or act a certain way when the only really cool thing you can do is be nice, kind, and generous. Anything else is fake.
What would you do wish people would do to make the world a better place?
Laura: Everyone has the power to support a cause that means something to them. I became an ambassador for Trick or Treat for UNICEF. That is really easy to do for Halloween—collect money for UNICEF.
Raini: Smile more. If you spread love to other people, it will be a giant wave of love that will hopefully continue on.
Calum: I’d want everyone to get to know each other. The biggest problem we have is that people don’t really understand each other. If we could relate to each other better, we wouldn’t have the problems that we have internationally.
Motto that you live by
Laura: I love Dumbledore quotes from Harry Potter. There’s one from Chamber of Secrets and he basically says, “Our abilities do not define us. It’s our choices.” It’s not our attributes but what we do with them. Dumbledore is so wise.
Ross: “Don’t let opportunity pass you by.”
Raini: “The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams,” by Eleanor Roosevelt. I love that.
Calum: There’s a book that I live by, All the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. Whenever I’m having a hard time my mom always has me read it.
Literary character you’d love to play in a movie
Laura: Lizzie Bennett in Pride & Prejudice. Ginny Weasley or Hermione in Harry Potter, although they’re obviously taken.
Ross: Percy Jackson, but they’ve already made two of them with Logan Lerman. I’d take his job if he wants to give it up!
Calum: I did audition to play Ron Weasley in Harry Potter. I think I would have had fun playing that. I got really close but I was too young and not British.
Aah!! Can you imagine Calum Worthy as Ron?
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer