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Interview with Cassie Scerbo of "Teen Spirit" on ABC
ABC Family’s Q&A Session with Cassie Scerbo – Teen
Moderator I wanted to ask you what is it about the movie
or the role that really drew you to wanting to be a part of it.
Obviously, it's not your average teen role, or average role for ABC
C. Scerbo Yes. Well, as everyone knows, I tend to play the mean girl
quite often. But the cool twist about this is that I got to play a dead
mean girl. So I think just the name within itself, Teen Spirit, drew me
to it. I mean because I knew that it wasn't about cheerleading, it
wasn't like, Go Team, Go Team Spirit. And I had heard that it was about,
obviously, basically a dead prom queen.
So that kind of drew me to the role in itself. Yes, I think that was the
main thing. It was just really cool, something different, and I knew
that with that, I love challenges. I knew it would be a little bit
challenging and it was, because you don't realize how much physical
interaction you have with people when you're working. I couldn't touch
anyone, and there was a lot of green screen and special effects. I was
just really excited about it. It had something for everyone. Yes, it was
a fun role.
Moderator Speaking of having physical interaction, how was it getting to
work with the cast? You have such a wonderful cast there with Andy
(Andrea) Powell and with Tim Gunn making an appearance?
C. Scerbo Yes. It was amazing. We had a great cast. We also have Chris
Zylka, who's going to be coming out in all the new Spider-Man movies,
which is pretty awesome. He's going to be playing Flash Thompson. So
that is really cool. And then Lindsey Shaw, who is just an amazing
person to begin with; really fun, and we got along so well. And I kind
of knew her a little bit due to the fact that she was on ABC's Family on
10 Things and Pretty Little Liars. And then Andy, who played my mom,
she's so talented and she really liked nailed the role. We had so much
We shot in this beautiful house overlooking the water in Wilmington and
it was just a really awesome experience. So yes, the actors definitely
made it more special; especially when you're in a location away from
home and you don't have your friends with you or your family. They would
come visit but just, in general, that definitely makes it more
comfortable when you're with people that are first of all, talented,
fun, and friendly, and we all had a really good time.
Moderator What would you say was the most challenging aspect of working
on Teen Spirit?
C. Scerbo I would say the most challenging was, like I said, just
playing a spirit for the first time, playing someone who wasn't alive
because, like I said, you don't realize how much physical interaction
you have with people, and it was just really crazy. I couldn't touch
anyone. I couldn't touch Lindsey. Obviously, I'm a ghost; I'd go right
through her. So, just realizing that usually when I'm just acting as a
regular human being there's a lot of physical interaction, and I had to
eliminate a lot of that.
It was that and all of the green screen work. You don’t realize how
specific it is. If you don't hit your mark right on you have to just
redo it and redo it and redo it. It has to be perfect when it comes to
special effects, and jumping in and out of the bodies and walking
through people. It was a lot of green screen, a lot of special effects
which I've never done before.
So that was definitely challenging as well, knowing timing and marks and
all those little things. It was a lot of being able to move my body a
certain way. And we to kind of master each other's bodies, the way she
worked, the way I work. If I'm jumping in her body, I had to do kind of
the same movements that she was doing. It was a lot of green screen and
special effect where I thought that was definitely challenging, just
with jumping inside her body throughout the film.
Moderator How would you describe Amber's motivations in the film?
C. Scerbo I think in the beginning they're very selfish, and towards the
end they become very selfless, which is a really cool switch around. Her
motivation in the beginning, all she wants to do is become prom queen.
Then her second motivation is just to turn this dweeb into a popular,
pretty girl. She is pretty, but to take her, reshape her, and find her a
new style and the boyfriend. And she's really excited to do all that and
to switch her life around.
And then she starts to realize, it took her to see the characteristics
of herself in someone else to realize how much she didn't like them. And
when she started to see Lindsey's character, Lisa, actually pick up on
Amber's comments and the way she would treat people she actually started
to realize how much she didn't like herself, and her motivation changes
towards the end of the film, which is really cool.
Moderator Are you afraid you'll get typecast as just another pretty high
school girl, or do look at it as paying your dues until you get a chance
to show your range as an actress?
C. Scerbo I do definitely have things I’ve passed on, that conversation
has came up a lot. I don't want to be stereotyped as the blonde bitchy
cheerleader or gymnast. I do play a lot of these mean girl roles, the
pretty popular blonde. I do play a lot of those roles. And actually,
this summer I completely dyed my hair black and I took on a few
different types of roles. I just played a role in a film called Music
High where I was a very vulnerable, kind, intern music assistant
teacher. And it was just completely opposite and I loved it, and I
definitely don't be want to be stereotyped.
I don't mind for the time being, because it’s been a cool little spot to
place myself. And I think a lot of these people, a lot of my fans,
actually I think they love to hate these characters I play and it's
really fun for them. So I'm kind of going with it for the moment. It's
fun. It's kind of been my little trademark on ABC Family. But I'm
definitely going to want to spread my wings. There so many things that I
want to play and different things I want to do. The horizons are
limitless. I definitely want to expand my horizons and try out—I would
love to play anything and everything under the sun, seriously.
So I definitely don't want to be stereotyped. But for the time being,
I'm just having fun with it. I'm young, and it just happens to be the
role that keeps coming up, and they're always so fun and the scripts are
so great. And I kind of just got stuck in it for a bit. But I’m
definitely going to want to spread my wings. I cut my hair. I dyed it
dark, and I'm trying out new things over on hiatus, for sure.
Moderator How did you get involved in acting?
C. Scerbo That's my favorite question because it's like the only one I
don't have an answer to. I literally could talk forever when people ask
me questions because I'm Italian, from New York. It's my personality. I
can go on and on. And this is the one thing I don't have an answer for.
There was never a moment in time where I was like, oh, I want to be like
her, or you know what? I want to try out acting. I literally was born
just a natural performer. My parents laughed, they were like, before you
could even talk you were dancing and singing. I'd make up little dances
and I'd perform them for my family. I'd make up skits with my friends
I just love performing. I love making people happy. I love being a
positive influence in people's lives. I love all of that. So, I guess
this was just a good career for me. A good career pop. I started at
Charm School when I was eight because I just wanted to do it for fun.
They have these little “Academy Awards” at the end of the year, it was
really cute. And I won “Best Actress” and I was so excited about it. I
won it the second year I was there. And I wouldn't leave until I won it.
I just kind of went from there, and then agents and managers, and I had
an original screen test for Hannah Montana, the original one. It was
actually between me and a totally different girl, not Miley.
So you've just got to know that everything happens for a reason, and it
just wasn't meant for me. I'm really happy where I am now in a drama,
because that's where my heart's at. So yes, that was the first time I
went out and I just kind of went from there. They decided to go younger
with the role, and a little bit different look. But just, in general, I
just always, since I was little, wanted to do this, and I'm loving it.
Moderator So if you had to tell or give someone a reason why they should
watch this movie, how would you get someone who didn't really know what
it was about, and how would you describe for them to tune into it?
C. Scerbo Well, like I was saying, when I walked off the plane—because
I've seen Lindsey around because we both shot at Santa Clarita Studios
for our ABC Family shows. But when we showed up at the airport it was
the first time I actually got to meet her one-on-one, and just to look
at our physical differences was hilarious. I was like the small blonde.
She was this tall—like I had long blonde hair. She had short brown. She
was wearing converse. I was wearing wedges. We're just complete
And it was so much like our characters, and we literally just started
laughing. We're like, "Oh my gosh, this is going to be so funny." Our
dynamics, just looking at us, I'm 5'1”; she's 5'9”. It was really funny,
honestly. And I was always standing on apple boxes, of course, like I’m
I think it's just going to be a really good dynamic. You have two
complete opposite girls, yet at the end of the day, you wind up
realizing that doesn't matter, the physical appearance, these girls had
so much in common and wind up getting really close and bonding. There
are so many different morals in it; to not judge a book by its cover. We
both had all these, in the movie, we have all these prior thoughts about
each other and we wind up getting so close and changing each other's
lives. You never know who's going to change your life; it's crazy. In
this movie you definitely see that.
Never would Amber think that Lisa would be the girl to do that, and
never would Lisa think that Amber would be the girl to do that. And they
wind up becoming friends that have truly changed each other's lives and
share this beyond special bond. I think the cool aspect is that Amber is
not alive. She's a spirit which is really different. It's something I
don't think ABC Family's ever had. Well, I think they did do one movie
that was kind of like that with Christmas Cupid or something.
But this one's just completely different, and I really like the fact
that this whole film, we have all these special effects and I'm jumping
inside her body. It's just really fun. It's something different and
there are a lot of good morals that go along with it, like I said. And
it's really funny. It's got everything. There's fashion, there's
music—great music actually. Lindsey is singing in the film. Her
character sings and winds up performing. And the cute boy, you've got
Chris Zylka. And there's just really something for everyone.
It's going to be hilarious yet it's going to have touching moments. I've
only heard great feedback from the network. They've gone out of their
way to call my manager, and my manager has been like, "They went out of
their way to just call me today to just tell me they just are loving
this film." So, I can't wait to see what other people think.
The director just called me two weeks ago. He saw the final cut and he
was like, "I just had to call you the second it was done. You're going
to be so impressed with the film." I really, truly believe people are
going to love it. So I'm really excited about it.
Moderator What is going on with Make It or Break It? When is Season 3
C. Scerbo I know. That's a question that I would like to know. We've
been on hiatus now for awhile. And it's been great because we got to do
different things and live our lives a bit, because we were shooting so
much back to back. But I'm such a workaholic. I've been working on my
hiatus. But I want to get back into it, and we don't know yet.
Like I said, they're saying that everything seems like it's good like
we're definitely going for a third season. One of the guys said if he
was betting man, one of our producers, that he would bet that it would
definitely be going. But we don't know for sure if it's even getting
picked up. So we’re kind of just crossing our fingers right now and
hoping for the best.
But, like I said, we have these Teen Choice Awards we’re up for this
weekend. So on Sunday where all the girls—I’ll finally get to see all my
girls together again for the first time since the day we stopped
shooting. Or the day, actually, because Chelsea's going to be there too.
So we haven't all been together in almost a year. So it's going to be so
great. Well, I would say nine months, eight months. It's been awhile.
So we're just really excited to see each other, and we're just hoping
for the best. If it comes back, we'll probably start shooting, I would
say in October/November. And it would probably come back in January, I'd
say. But we don't know for sure yet. So we're still waiting as well. If
it goes, it would be our Olympic season. It would be the best season
yet, the grittiest, the most intense. So we're just really hoping for
the best and crossing our fingers and taking every day as it comes.
Moderator With the Teen Spirit script, who did you relate to more; Amber
or Lisa, on a personal note?
C. Scerbo I would have to say Lisa because there is nothing I would ever
want to relate to Amber except for her little transformation that she
does go through in the end. But, the only thing that me and Amber had in
common was fashion. They really did a great job with the clothes.
Everything is so tailored. I wanted to steal all her wardrobe, and I did
steal some of it. But I wish to be seen more—and I'm really not like
either, but more like Lisa.
In the film she's a little bit of a dork, but I don't mind that. She
makes these claymation films and I guess she has a more artsy side from
the things you see in the film she does. She's singing in it. I guess
there are little things she does that are more like me than Amber in any
way. But honestly, neither of them are much like me. I guess that's what
I have to say. I'd have to go with Lisa. But neither of them, really.
Moderator Since you now have fans of your own as an actress, how do you
deal with the pressures of popularity?
C. Scerbo I'm honestly just blessed. There's no pressure. I think that's
silly. You get into this industry, you have to know, you have to expect
that to happen. You have to want that to happen. I want to have as many
fans as possible and to be able to change every single one of their
lives if I can, or just bring joy to their lives, or just have a show
that they enjoy watching weekly. So I love it.
I absolutely tweet every day. Some people think it’s silly and will say
things. I don't care. I'm a Twitter-holic. I do what I do for my fans.
I'm in an industry where I'm performing for people. I'm giving things
for the people. So, I love talking to my fans. I love having my own
There are certain situations that do sometimes get a little weird and a
little pushy. But you've just got to take it for what it is and just
always be cautious and careful because there are some people out there
that are a little interesting. But overall, I really truly love all of
my fans. The more the merrier. So I only hope for that to grow, and I
just continuously feel blessed. I definitely don't feel pressure from
Moderator What did this project teach you about young girls striving to
C. Scerbo That's a very, very good point. I think it goes to show that
sometimes popularity can actually hurt, to be honest. It's not about
being popular. It's about having the right friends. And in this film you
realize, definitely, there's certain people that you care about and
certain people that matter and there will always be people that will
stab you in the back.
There's some good people and bad people out in the world. It's not about
being popular; it's about just having the right friends. And I think
Lisa and Amber, by the end of the film, both know who their true friends
are in both their groups, because there are people that turn on them on
both sides. They both, by the end, realize who their true friends are.
And like I said, being super popular can actually take away from who you
are as a person, make you feel pressured, or you have to get to be a
certain thing or trust a certain way. So even with personality, the more
popular Lisa gets in the film the less likeable she gets, and the less
unique and beautiful she is. And I think that, who cares about
popularity? It's about just loving who you are and having great people
around you and just being happy and feeling good about yourself. It's
really not about how many friends you have; it's about how great of
friends you have. Quality not quantity.
Moderator Can you explain the similarities or the differences between
your character in the movie versus the character you play on Make It or
C. Scerbo Yes. Well we both know their both pretty snobby,
popular—Lauren really doesn’t go to school. But their both snobby,
pretentious, more uppity rich mean girls. So there's a lot in common,
definitely. But I would say the difference is that Lauren is a little
bit more of an athletic, hard core, kind of like “I don't really give a
crap” type character. Where this character, Amber, is actually more
snooty and more girly, snooty, pretentious.
And I think that Lauren is like, “This is how it is, this is me, deal
with it, take it or leave it.” She's kind of more hard core. Whereas,
Amber is a little more girly and snooty and snobby. Yes, I would say
Lauren is just more kind of hard core and just up front and blunt.
Moderator Can you also tell us about any cool fan encounters that you've
had, the kind of like touching moments or anything that you've had just
out in the public?
C. Scerbo Yes, I've had so many. Honestly, when I've had a bad day if I
just go on any of my sites, it makes my day. It makes my day just to see
people who care so much and are so supportive and loving and always just
have such nice things to say. I've literally had bad days and like, I
just wanted to go on my Twitter or my website and just speak to my fans
or just look at some of their comments. It just makes me feel so good,
and I love them for that. I've had so many great encounters.
And literally, I've done that before where I've had a bad day and I'll
go on my website, and I would even cry. I'm not even kidding. I love
seeing things from my fans and special letters and messages and notes.
I’ve had fans; I have these two girls who I think one was from Norway. I
think they're both from Norway, make me a fan book. This thing is so
intense. They sent it to me from overseas. It came to my manager. My
manager sent it to me. It was a book of like 200 pages with blurbs from
all of these different fans around the world and pictures people have
drawn of me.
They went around asking people what you would do, like how far would you
take it, what would you do to meet Cassie Scerbo? And they have all
these different chapters, and it's like an actual novel of the fan book,
and Twitter and pictures. They just spent so much time on it; it took
them a year, and that was so, so touching. And I share it with so many
of my friends and my family members when they come in town. I have it
sitting on my desk here in L.A.
So that was wonderful. I now have a fan that I've had for awhile telling
me they want to get my quote, "Nothing's impossible" tattooed with my
name underneath it, and I was like, that's really intense. But it's
amazing to see how you can change people's lives and I really will take
the time if someone's like, I've got to talk to you. Will you talk to
me? I follow a lot of my fans on Twitter. And if they're like, can I
talk to you, in a message? I'll actually sit there and I'll talk to
I've talked to people about family members passing away. I've talked to
people about personal issues, their image, school problems. And I also
used to have a blog in a magazine called Cool where I would do that as
well. I would help girls and give advice and whatnot. It was called
Cassie's Corner or something, and I love doing that and those are always
special moments for me.
I also have a fan that's been following me from Bring It On. She's made
so many websites and fan sites. It's so funny because you have to be
careful on the internet but I somehow, throughout the years, wound up
becoming friendly with her because this was like 4 or 5 years ago now. I
wound up inviting her to a premiere in New York with me, and we are
friends to this day.
Her name is Nana, and she actually became like a really good family
friend of mine and my family knows her, everything. When I go to New
York she'll come to my family dinners. It's really crazy. That's usually
like something that doesn't happen. But I've had a lot of really special
fan encounters, for sure.
Moderator In the future, who would you like to work with?
C. Scerbo That's a good one. I would love to work with Michael Pitts and
Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd. I'd say those are some of
my top priorities. Robert Pattinson. I'd want to work with Robert
Pattinson. I love him. I'm a big, big Team Edward fan. So I would say
those would be some of the people I'd like to work with.
Moderator What do like to do during your free time?
C. Scerbo I think the most important thing is spending time with your
family and friends, which is what I love to do. I like to see movies. I
just started a hobby with a friend of mine and we like to surf. We've
been surfing all the time; we're actually at the beach right now. It's
my new favorite hobby.
I'm also a boxer. I like to box. I like to go on vacations if I have
time, just go shopping and hanging out with my girlfriends and go
hiking, staying active. I like to do a lot of things in my free time. I
think those would be my top things.
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