Interview with Aly Michalka for Bandslam

Alyson Michalka plays Charlotte in Bandslam

Can you tell us about Bandslam?

Aly Michalka: Bandslam is a great movie about relationships that I think we all go through with our friends, and it’s about becoming an individual and a unique person. The story is based on this kid, Will, who comes to a new town and a new school. He’s kind of a loner but he is a genius at music and knows how to put a sound together and form a band. He ends up becoming friends with this girl Charlotte, which is my character.

Can you tell us about Charlotte?

Aly Michalka: She has recently made a pact with the universe that she will become a better person, if the universe cures her father of the sickness that he is going through. She finds Will and she thinks this is her opportunity and befriends him. He ends up forming a band that sounds really good and she is fronting the band and they end up going to the Bandslam competition. She teaches him how to be a confident person and she teaches him how to kiss for the first time and tells him “You are a cool dude, don’t be insecure about yourself”.

What drew you to the film?

Aly Michalka: It’s a really good film that has a message and heart and some really funny moments, so that and the musical element. It’s not a musical but it has music in it. David Bowie is mentioned and it has really great bands and these amazing elements that were brought to the film and these classic songs that were able to be used was a big thing for me as well.

How much could you identify with Charlotte?

Aly Michalka: I could totally identify. I feel like Charlotte is very much like myself in some ways, but she has some insecurities that I don’t necessarily have. She is going through the loss of a parent and I have never experienced anything like that but I was able to pull from certain things in my life that made me feel for her and understand where she was coming from. There were some great arcs that he went through as a character and she changes by the end of the film. She goes through this whole thing and she is not the same person she was when she started.

In the film, Will is a music snob. How much of a music snob are you?

Aly Michalka: I definitely am a bit of a music snob! In a good way! I definitely know what I like and I know quite a lot about music… I am definitely not the most educated person ever in the world but I have got my rock books and I have my history pretty down. I really enjoy all kind of music. I like the classics like Van Halen, Heart and Cheap Trick but at the same time I love Coldplay, U2, Imogen Heap and Tori Amos so I definitely have a wide range of music that I like to listen to.

Charlotte is quite unusual, in that she is listening to The Velvet Underground in high school. What did you listen to in high school?

Aly Michalka: I listened to The Police and The Beach Boys and that kind of stuff when I was in high school which is classic music, like The Velvet Underground is. So I definitely feel like I was listening to music in a similar vein as that…

There is a moment in the film where your character, Charlotte, says to Will “I bet you will remember this song forever”. What song do you associate with filming the movie?

Aly Michalka: Probably Femme Fatale by The Velvet Underground, it really reminds me of the film and takes me back to it whenever I hear it.

A lot of what the characters do in the film is what most people would do to chill out. What did you do to relax on set?

Aly Michalka: I love reading and I take massages and stuff like that. I have my laptop so I can surf the web and I love watching movies, so I did that to chill out. When we wanted to have fun we would all go out and play laser tag, have dinner or go bowling and do fun stuff like that.

You worked with Lisa Kudrow on this film. What was she like?

Aly Michalka: She was so cool, she was the sweetest lady! She’s so funny, so in the moment. I really learned a lot from her. She was really great to work with because she really gives a lot in her scenes and that is one of the best attributes an actor can have.

What do you hope audiences will take away from the film?

Aly Michalka: I hope they will be inspired! I hope they will think they have the time to do something they were afraid to or make new friends, or be an individual. I really want people to walk away being and feeling more confident in themselves.

You are known for singing and acting. Which do you prefer?

Aly Michalka: I love both, they are so different but extremely complimentary of each other but I really can’t live without music. I love acting and would never wanna have to choose one or the other but music is definitely a key part of my life, especially because it involves my sister. Music and acting are really two of my loves but I really can’t live without music.

You have had quite a career so far. What has been the highlight?

Aly Michalka: Probably being able to perform in front of 10,000 people and sell it out. That’s a pretty amazing feeling, being able to perform every night and for people all over the world to know who you are. It’s really amazing to be able to have those kind of opportunities. I have never been able to come to Ireland, but I will be there in July to promote the movie, which I am really excited about. Being able to tour and visit new places, that’s definitely highlight of what we have been able to do.

You have sang, acted, directed, starred in and written for books, what’s next?

Aly Michalka: I would love to do a clothing line in the next few years, when I get around to it and be able to do it properly. I would love to produce, I love finding projects that I am excited about, even if I am not starring in them that I can have a production company and make films of my own.

Originally published in Movies Plus Magazine.

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