Tommy2: What’s up it’s Tommy2 and today we’re being joined by Laura Marano from Disney Channel’s hit TV series Austin & Ally. Laura, how’s it going?
Laura Marano: It’s going awesome, thank you so much for having me.
Tommy2: You bet! Now to get this interview started how about we shoot through some of your favorite things, I’ll just give you a topic and you give a quick answer, easy as that.
Laura Marano: Okay, okay… we can do it. I believe in myself.
Tommy2: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
Laura Marano: Italy! Because I love Italian food and it’s beautiful there.
Tommy2: And your favorite type of car?
Laura Marano: Oooh… okay, well that’s a great question because I’m currently looking for cars and that’s been a hard decision for me so I’m going to say a Lexus even though I don’t know if I’ll get that car anyway. Lexus, bam!
Tommy2: And favorite smartphone App?
Laura Marano: So I have a flip phone so there’s not too many Apps because it’s a flip phone, but there’s a cool one called a camera, I like it, it’s great, go flip phone.
Tommy2: And you favorite book in the Harry Potter series?
Laura Marano: Hardest question of my life because I’m obsessed with that series, but I think I’m going to say the seventh book. I read it eight times, I’m not exaggerating, I cry each time.
Tommy2: Good good! And your favorite ride at the Disney Theme Parks?
Laura Marano: Splash Mountain! I don’t know, it’s just adorable, you get wet, there’s a huge drop and they sing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” So done!
Tommy2: Can’t beat that.
Laura Marano: No.
Tommy2: And last but not least, your favorite type of exercise?
Laura Marano: Well I’m a huge soccer fan. I don’t know if I’m a “great soccer player” but I love playing soccer, so I guess that’s my favorite form of exercise. That and yoga.
Tommy2: Awesome! Do you ever get out to any Galaxy games?
Laura Marano: I wish, are you kidding? That would only be the coolest thing in my life. I’ve only watched soccer on television unfortunately.
Tommy2: I highly recommend it. I saw a game against Barcelona at the Rose Bowl a few years back and that was… you can’t top that.
Laura Marano: Oh… you don’t understand how fun it is to watch soccer. Like obviously it’s really fun to play, but it’s really fun to watch. I get so involved, it’s ridiculous.
Tommy2: Okay, now a little over a month ago you attended the Radio Disney Music Awards, that looked like a lot of fun.
Laura Marano: It was so much fun. It was, what was even cooler about it is that it was the first time it was ever like filmed and televised, so that was an awesome experience to be like the original people being there. That was so cool, and I had a great time seeing all the people that I know from the Disney family and you know, hearing music, like I love watching live music. It was kind of the funnest time ever.
Tommy2: Okay, and who did you enjoy seeing perform that night?
Laura Marano: Oh let’s see… that’s a hard one, there were so many good ones. I love Coco Jones, like I just love her music and I love her as a person, she’s the sweetest girl ever. Huge Bridgit Mendler fan as well, like c’mon Hurricane… obsessed! I mean all of them, they were all really really good. Selena rocked it out of the house with the last number so, it was really fun.
Tommy2: That’s right, and out of all the guys attending, who was looking the best?
Laura Marano: Ohh… great question, let’s see? You know, Tommy you have to understand it was a little while ago so I’m going to have to think back. Okay, all the guys looked very very great but I’m going to have to thing to say my adorable Italian father kind of, I mean, he kind of just rocked it out of the park. He had his suit on, he was looking adorable. So I’m going to say my father which I hope people don’t take as semi-creepy, so I’m saying my father.
Tommy2: And Father’s Day is just around the corner so that’s the perfect answer.
Laura Marano: Yes.
Tommy2: Now you started off acting at a very young age, what was it that inspired you to get your start?
Laura Marano: You know, my mom owned, and she still does… she owns a Children’s Theater and so my sister who is also and actress and I just kind of fell in love with it at a young age and we were constantly always in her theater and having the best time loving performing loving acting. And so we asked our mother if we could be actresses and so my mother who was an actress herself said no. Nope, she said it’s not going to happen. “No, no, I’m not going to let you guys be actresses.” So, most kids would probably take that as a no since she said no multiple times but my sister who is the most determined and persistent young lady ever continued to beg my mom for two years, no big deal, every single day whether she could be an actress or not. And so my mom felt guilty about it and so she said she would help us find agents. But, my mom still didn’t want us to act, right Tommy? So she did some research and she looked up agents who turned down kids 95 percent of the time and she found an agent and she’s like ding, ding ding, gonna take my children to that agent, no big deal. So, you know we go to the agent, I’m five at the time, my sister’s eight. My sister goes in, she comes out the agent wants to see my mother, and so my mother is like okay, they’re going to want to reject her and then that will be over and Vanessa will never want to do it. So again, I’m five, I think you can tell just from this interview that I like to talk a lot and I’m a little outgoing. Now imagine that times a billion when I was five, like I was crazy outgoing, it was ridiculous – so I was like “la-la-la, I’m five, I’m going to meet everybody here, la-la.” And so I’m following my mom into the agents office and the agent says “we want to take Vanessa.” And my mom is like, “we what?” And I say, “well I don’t have an agent.” And the agent says “oh honey, I’ll take you too.” And my mom is like, “wait! What?” And we’ve been with the same agent ever since.
Tommy2: That’s amazing, I’ve heard a lot of stories like that where the older sibling goes in and the agent says “hey, what about the younger one?”
Laura Marano: Yeah, I know. And it was funny because we both got the same agent but Vanessa and I laugh at that all the time because here Vanessa had to do all of the work and all I had to say was “I don’t have an agent” and I just got that agent so, I think it’s hilarious.
Tommy2: Right, did the smile and look cute, right?
Laura Marano: Exactly and you know be outgoing and crazy as a five year old, which I was.
Tommy2: Alright now let’s fast – forward to you landing the roll on Austin & Ally. What lead up to you getting the opportunity?
Laura Marano: I mean it’s honestly, it was just like any other role. You know there’s breakdowns about it, you audition for it, you get called back, you test for it. I just remember seeing the breakdown for the part and you have to understand Ally is so much like me, like I was like… wait, are there camera’s here like, are they recording my life, like what’s happening right now. This is me, this is literally me. What’s happening? And so you know I auditioned for it and then I got a call back and then I tested for it. And you know I say this all the time cause I think it’s hilarious because I was so stressed and it was absolutely nerve-wracking while it was happening. But you know, you get to the final four and what was happening was there’s one person for Austin, it was Ross (Lynch). There’s one person for Trish, it was Raini (Rodriguez) and there were two people for Ally. Me and this other really nice girl and I was a mess because I like did now know if I got the part or not. Like Ross and Raini, they were totally cool. Like they were like we’re the only person left for the role, we definitely have this like no big deal. Me on the other hand, I’m hyper, well not hyper ventilating but I’m kind of flipping out and it took like a couple days for me to find out that I got the part. So, those two days were the worst days of my life, I was so stressed out. And then when I found out I was so happy, it was just the kind of happiness that is so hard to explain and I did jump on my bed multiple times out of excitement. Don’t judge me, it was the only thing I could do to get it out. I was so happy.
Tommy2: That’s awesome to hear. Now I hear also, some big changes will be happening with your character Ally on the June 23rd episode “Tracks and Troubles.” What can you tell us about the episode?
Laura Marano: It’s… it was so much fun to shoot, oh my gosh. What’s great is that Ally kind of gets her first solo performance and she sings a song that I happened to co-write, which is really awesome, and which is even more exciting for me. But at the same time it’s even more nerve-wracking because not only do I want everyone to enjoy my performance, but I want everyone to enjoy the song. So I’m kind of nervous for everyone to hear everything and really excited. But it was, you know, you start out seeing Ally in the first season, she’s so shy, she’s so insecure and has this horrific stage fright and now you see her in the second season and she become so strong, she’s become so confident and she doesn’t have stage fright anymore. So the song is just kind of representative of that feeling. It’s called “Finally Me” and it’s about Ally finally becoming herself, finally becoming confident, becoming secure, feeling with so happy with where she is at that current moment. So… yay!
Tommy2: And you mentioned you co-wrote that song. Who did you work with on that and was that a song that came together real easy or did that take awhile?
Laura Marano: So I wrote it with Matt Tishler and Ben Charles who have written quite a few songs for Austin and Ally. They both wrote “Christmas Soul” which was featured on the Austin & Ally and Jessie crossover this year and they’ve written more songs for Austin & Ally separately and together. And how I met Matt was because he wrote “Don’t Look Down,” which was the first song I basically sang on Austin & Ally, it was a duet. And so I met him and we totally clicked and then he brought Ben who he knew very well and so we totally clicked over at the recording studio and we’re like we should write a song together. And so Matt lives in Canada, Ben lives here but he also goes to the east coast a lot so we finally coordinated time when they were both gonna be like here and it happened to be when I was recording “You Can Come To Me,” which Matt also wrote, which was the second song I sang on Austin & Ally. And so one day we did a recording session and then the second day we got together and wrote the song and it really came together pretty easily. Like, you know some songs take a couple days, maybe even a couple week. This song really, you know we wrote in a few hours and then they did, they took it home and kind of worked more on the track and everything and it was really awesome to kind of experience because I had done co-writing session before, but it was a different co-writing session than I had experienced. We basically just all wrote such like random parts of the song and that it came together, like you know Matt would write the melody here and Ben and I would write some of the lyrics. And then Ben would write the lyrics here and I’d write the melody there, Ben would write the melody here and I’d write the lyrics there like it was just, you know, it was so cool how it came together. It was an awesome experience and I am so happy that they’re using the song.
Tommy2: Was that a little different when you went in to record that song since that was a song that you actually wrote?
Laura Marano: Yeah, I mean obviously I felt like I knew it the best out of all of the songs that were recorded for Austin & Ally and you know… but even though I co-wrote it I still wanted, I feel like that kind of motivated me more to work even harder on it than I’ve worked on other songs. Which is saying a lot because on the other songs I worked really, really hard on it vocally and practiced super hard to make sure it sounded good in the recording. But like this song I wanted to make sure it sounded really good so, you know I always take vocal lessons, but in the vocal lessons I worked so crazy hard on it and like when I was in the recording studio, I don’t know it just felt… it really came together and it felt really good. So yay!
Tommy2: And what’s the future look like as far as new music coming from you?
Laura Marano: Oh, you know that’s funny you said that because I’m always songwriting, but in June I’ve been really writing a lot and going to different studios and really co-writing a bunch which, you know… no big deal, it’s just I’m having the best time ever, having incredible fun so, I’m really excited to just continue writing and continue to kind of like form my sound. The thing is that I am currently, when I work on Austin & Ally I really give it 110 percent of myself and you know when I work on my music I really give 110 percent of it. So, it’s kind of impossible to be made of 220 percent unfortunately, so it might take a little while for me to release a record because I want to make sure it’s the best I possibly can do. But, I definitely in the future want to release one, it just… it just might be a little while. It might not be too soon.
Tommy2: Alright, and you definitely can get some good advice from your co-star Ross Lynch. It’s pretty amazing what he’s been able to do with his musical career and his group R5.
Laura Marano: Oh my god, it’s… I honestly don’t think he sleeps but… I’m pretty convinced he doesn’t. It’s ridiculous, he works so hard. It’s so easy to see how much he loves his music and how much he loves working on Austin & Ally too. But, it’s funny because he’s really a music addict. Like on set we’ll be rehearsing lines and then you know our sets filled with instruments and so he will just get distracted and start playing the piano or started playing the guitar like he’s addicted to music it’s awesome. So it’s really funny to see and it doesn’t surprise me at all that he’s been able to do both because of that and also because he doesn’t sleep.
Tommy2: Well Laura it’s been a blast getting to talk today and I’m definitely looking forward to your special episode of Austin & Ally on June 23rd. You take care now.
Laura Marano: Oh thank you so much Tommy. Have a wonderful day.
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