Maia savours plum surf role
Not even starring in a Disney telemovie can faze Northern Rivers teen Maia Mitchell, writes
NORTHERN Rivers teen Maia Mitchell says landing a role in the new Disney telemovie Teen Beach Movie was a dream come true. Billed as the new High School Musical, Teen Beach Movie follows the adventures of teen surfer McKenzie Fox (Mitchell) and her musical loving boyfriend Brady (played by Ross Lynch, an actor and musician from family band R5).
The pair catch a wave which magically transports them into a 1960s surf musical where they do their best to blend in while they try to find a way home.
‘‘My favourite scene is when Ross and I – our characters anyway – start to sing and just can’t stop. It’s very funny,’’ Mitchell laughs.
The Lismore 19-year-old wears plenty of 1960s inspired costumes and McKenzie and Brady meet surfers, rockers and dabble in a variety of retro musical styles. ‘‘I had so much fun dressing up,’’ says Mitchell. ‘‘I don’t know if I can pick my costume. I had some leather pants I liked, retro shorts and a couple of swimsuits – my favourite was this little orange swimsuit. It was two-piece and lots of fun.’’
Mitchell got her break as an 11-year-old with a recurring role in the Gold Coast filmed kids TV show Mortified. She followed up with a role in the Brisbane-filmed Doctor Who spinoff K9 and kids adventures Trapped and Castaway, both filmed in Broome, Western Australia.
She moved to Los Angeles to film Teen Beach Movie and now has a recurring role in the Jennifer Lopez-executive produced family drama, The Fosters, which airs in Australia on pay TV’s Fox 8.
She plays Callie, one of a rainbow family of foster kids reared by two Mums. The ensemble cast includes Jake T. Austin ( Wizards of Waverly Place), Teri Polo ( The West Wing) and Sherri Saum ( Revenge).
‘‘I read the script was quickly became obsessed with the story about the two mums who foster kids. There’s a biological son too. It’s a meatier role than I’m used to but I’m up for the challenge. I play Callie. She can be callous – she’s hardened – and vulnerable too. It makes for an interesting contrast.’’
Teen Beach Movie debuted in the US last month to an audience of 8 million-plus viewers as the No. 3 Disney movie of all time – High School Musical 2 is No. 1. Set to debut in Australia tomorrow, there is already talk of a sequel.
‘‘I was just the right age for High School Musical – about 12 years old when the first film came out.
‘‘I knew Disney films, I just never expected I might be in one.’’
Her recent Australian visit with co-star Lynch was a fleeting one, but she’ll be back for a real holiday soon. ‘‘I’ll relax. Try to do as little as possible. If I’m lucky, Mum will cook my favourite meals for me. She makes this amazing marinated chicken and pomegranate salad.
‘‘It’s been quite a year, moving to a different country to take a different job and work with new people. It’s been a big undertaking, but nothing I was not prepared for.
‘‘I grew up in a small town, my family are still there and I can go back any time. ‘‘It’s solid, regular sort of life. ‘‘I won’t lose my grip on reality and if I do, my parents will provide the counter balance.
encore August 17.
Friday, 7pm, Disney;
Mondays, 7.30pm, Fox8.
Teen Beach Movie:
The Fosters: Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell