Do you guys remember a while ago I mentioned on Twitter and Instgram that I would be interviewing one of the lead actresses of the Disney Channel’s new DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie)? Well, it was delayed a bit but Disney South Africa came through for me and now I am very happy to reveal the quick Q&A I had with the new Disney Darling, Grace Phipps.
You may recognise Phipps from a number of projects including The Vampire Diaries and The Nine Lives of Chloe King. I’ve had my eye on her for a very long time and have watched her grow from each role and I had a feeling she would become immensely famous in a matter of moments – I was right. When it was announced that Phipps would be starring in the DCOM Teen Beach Movie I was thrilled as 1) it’s a DCOM – of course and 2) this movie was tipped off as being just as big if not bigger than High School Musical – they were right!
Teen Beach Movie is about surfers Brady and McKenzie — a rogue wave magically transports them inside the classic ’60s beach party flick, Wet Side Story, where a full-blown rivalry between bikers and surfers threatens to erupt. There, amidst a sea of surfing, singing and dancing, Brady and Mack accidentally change the storyline, and the film’s dreamy hero and heroine fall for them instead of for each other! The movie aired last night and three words: I. Loved. It.
Phipps portrays the role of biker girl, Lela and I found out all about her preparation for the role, what happened on set and her future projects!
What is your next big project?
I’ve got lots of projects in the pipeline, but there’s nothing I can reveal at the moment. I’ve just finished an independent movie that was a lot of fun to work on – and I’ve also got an episode of Supernatural to shoot soon. After that, we’ll see what happens. That’s the joy of being an actor. You never know what’s around the corner, but I know that something fun and interesting and different will pop up.
What is your fondest memory of filming Teen Beach Movie?
I’ve got so many memorable moments from the film shoot in Puerto Rico. It’s really fun to remember all of the dance scenes we had to do on the beach. The sun was shining and the sand was really hot – but it was amazing. What else did we get up to? There was one day when we went to a rain forest called El Yunque, which was beautiful. We got to swim in a waterfall, which was really cold but amazing. That was a really fun and very memorable day.
Is your personality similar to Lela’s? Why/Why not?
I really enjoyed playing Lela. She’s very sweet and girly, which was a lot of fun to play. She’s a huge fan of pink, which means I wore more pink in this movie than I’ve ever worn in my entire life! We’re very different in that respect; I’m not into pink at all really. I guess the biggest similarity between us is the way that we don’t presuppose things about people. We don’t look at people and base who they are and who they are supposed to be on what they look like. I was raised very well by my mother, so I’m not like that. I don’t pre-judge. I think it’s a great way to be!
In real life, would you say you are a surfer or biker, and why?
In real life, I’m probably more of a surfer than a biker. When you surf, you get to be barefoot – and I love that. Also, I love to surf! I’m not so good on a bike. I’m extra clumsy when I’m not on my feet! The bikers have the better outfits in our movie, though. I think the biker fashion is a lot more stylish than the surfers. I grew up listening to rock and roll music, so I’m a big fan of biker fashion.
What advice would you give aspiring actors?
My best piece of advice is to get as much experience as possible. Train in drama. Take up classes. Join an after-school drama club. Sign up for your local theatre group. Get involved! It’s also important to get into the industry for the right reasons. Do this because you love acting, dancing or singing and not because you want to be famous. You have to work really, really hard if you want to make it – but it’s important to follow your dreams. That’s exactly what I’ve done and I couldn’t be happier.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
To be honest, I haven’t had much time to travel yet – but it would be a dream of mine to travel the world one day. My dream destination would be India, but I’ve also heard wonderful things about South Africa and I’d love to see it. Fingers crossed it happens some day soon!
Do you have a special message for your South African fans?
I’d love to say a big hello to all of my fans in South Africa! I hope you’re all excited about Teen Beach Movie and tune in when it airs. I’d be incredibly happy and privileged if you guys watched – and don’t forget to let me know what you think of it!