Calum Wor­thy goes to the dark side in new tele­vi­sion com­edy

Busy with sev­eral projects, former sit­com star makes time for PACE open­ing

Times Colonist - - Life - MICHAEL D. REID Big Pic­ture

As luck would have it, the open­ing week­end for this year’s PACE Mu­si­cal Theatre revue co­in­cides with Earth Day. So Calum Wor­thy can be for­given for miss­ing Thurs­day’s dress re­hearsal for the 32nd edi­tion of Sooke School Dis­trict’s mu­si­cal-com­edy show his mother, San­dra Web­ster-Wor­thy, has staged over three decades. The Vic­to­ria-born ac­tor was busy hang­ing out at the Avalon Hol­ly­wood night­club Thurs­day night with Robert Kennedy Jr. and his wife, ac­tor Cheryl Hines, for a live com­edy fundraiser for the Water­keeper Al­liance.

“I’m a huge ad­vo­cate for the en­vi­ron­ment, so I was ex­cited to be able to lend my voice to the cause,” said the former

Austin & Ally star, whose com­edy rou­tine poked fun at his Dis­ney ex­pe­ri­ences.

Con­sid­er­ing how busy Wor­thy, 26, has been since his hit Dis­ney Chan­nel sit­com went off the air, he says it’s a mir­a­cle he was able to come home again this year to in­spire a new gen­er­a­tion of per­form­ers.

“I just re­ally be­lieve in this pro­gram. It had such a huge im­pact on me, giv­ing me a lot of the con­fi­dence I have, even us­ing it to go on­stage with Robert Kennedy,” he said.

The PACE alum­nus has re­cently been putting his home­grown skills to use on a mul­ti­tude of projects — so many, you have to won­der how he finds time to sleep or see his girl­friend of two years, ac­tor Ce­lesta Deastis.

Al­though he says he would have loved to bring his sweet­heart home this year, she’s busy work­ing on an episode of TruTV’s se­ries Adam Ru­ins Ev­ery­thing.

He can cur­rently be seen de­liv­er­ing a sur­pris­ingly edgy per­for­mance as Owen, a flawed char­ac­ter who live-streams him­self hav­ing sex with a hook-up in the mil­len­nial-tar­geted Fullscreen se­ries Cas­san­dra French’s Fin­ish­ing School. His char­ac­ter is kid­napped by Jessica Re­nee Rus­sell’s ti­tle char­ac­ter and locked in a basement, “where I’m tor­tured into be­com­ing a bet­ter man.”

The dark com­edy se­ries about the per­ils of mod­ern dat­ing can be seen glob­ally on fullscreen.com, home to the com­mer­cial-free online subscription ser­vice.

He’ll also soon be seen in a new Net­flix 10-part se­ries he says he can’t dis­cuss yet, ex­cept to say it in­volves CBS and the

Funny Or Die team. “They’re spoof­ing one of their own shows, and it’s un­like any­thing I’ve ever done be­fore,” says Wor­thy, who has also landed a pi­lot deal for a show he cre­ated for a ma­jor net­work.

Wor­thy spent time in Mon­treal last year shoot­ing Lost Gen­er­a­tion, a new TV se­ries about free-spir­ited club­go­ers.

On his down time, he learned how to “bat­tle-rap” via Skype for his role in mu­sic video di­rec­tor Joseph Kahn’s bat­tle rap­pers movie Bod­ied.

“I was so ner­vous, work­ing with all th­ese bat­tle rap­pers who work with Eminem,” he said. “I had to go up against them. But they’re great guys and so much fun.”

Al­though he says he’s a fan of rap and the Eminem film 8 Mile, he had no idea how to rap be­fore shoot­ing be­gan.

“Now half the con­tacts on my phone are from the un­der­ground bat­tle rap com­mu­nity,” he said with a laugh, rat­tling off names in­clud­ing Diza­ster and Kid Twist.

As al­ways, Wor­thy will sign au­to­graphs, greet home­town fans and ap­pear on­stage dur­ing the open­ing-week­end per­for­mances of It’s a Mu­si­cal! at Is­abelle Reader Theatre.

He said he’s par­tic­u­larly ex­cited about this year’s show, since it fea­tures mu­sic from more con­tem­po­rary mu­si­cals,

in­clud­ing La La Land, Hamil­ton, Some­thing Rot­ten, Matilda and Seussi­cal.

If the show had taken place next week­end, Wor­thy says he wouldn’t have been able to make it, since he’ll be re­unit­ing with Al Gore to lead the Peo­ple’s Cli­mate March in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

It will be the first time he’s seen the former U.S. vice-pres­i­dent since De­cem­ber, when the two re­united in New Jer­sey for the sec­ond an­nual broad­cast of Cli­mate Realty Project’s 24-hour cli­mat­e­change telethon.

“I re­ally hope Trump is there next week­end,” said Wor­thy, a critic of the U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ap­par­ent cli­mate-change de­nial and un­will­ing­ness to ad­dress big en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

“All I wish is that we’d talk more about the in­credi­ble achieve­ments we’re now see­ing lo­cally, since the head of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency re­ally isn’t do­ing any­thing to help the en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

“A lot of peo­ple in the States have re­al­ized that we can’t rely on peo­ple in gov­ern­ment to fix this, so it’s on us. A lot of this change will hap­pen in the pri­vate sec­tor now.”

Mean­while, Wor­thy has thrown his sup­port be­hind his former Claremont Sec­ondary School teacher Mark Neufeld, the B.C. Greens party can­di­date for Saanich South.

“It’s be­cause of him that as a stu­dent, I was mo­ti­vated to make a dif­fer­ence. He re­ally helped shape the way I see the world,” said Wor­thy, who co-founded a Teens Against Cli­mate Change club in Grade 11.

Calum Wor­thy in the dark com­edy Cas­san­dra French’s Fin­ish­ing School. He plays a char­ac­ter who is kid­napped and locked in a basement, and “tor­tured into be­com­ing a bet­ter man.”

Calum Wor­thy with girl­friend Ce­lesta Deastis.

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