Alyson Stoner is all grown up, but she is still an incredible talent. Her fans remember her for her work in Disney hits such as The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and Mike’s Super Short Show. She went on to show off her dance skills in Step Up and just grew up before our eyes.
Now she is starring in Expecting Amish, a new Lifetime movie that premieres this weekend. To celebrate her new role, we have a special exclusive interview with Alyson. Below are some of the highlights from our chat.
THE BEGINNING: Alyson, who is originally from Ohio, started out as a dancer. She attended a convention at the tender age of seven, which led to her heading to LA for a nine month trial period to try acting. She ended up showing potential, so she and her family relocated there permanently.
She went on to work on several products for The Disney Channel, while still dancing. She worked with several artists, such and Missy Elliott, Ludacris and Eminem during this time, and eventually pursued a singing career.
EXPECTING AMISH: In her new movie Expecting Amish, Alyson plays Mary, who is a friend of Hannah. She describes her character as having a blurred line between ally and villain because although she wants to support her friend in her new journey, she has her own insecurities and jealousies.
To prepare for the role, she read several books and watched documentaries about the Amish culture in order to get a better understanding of the culture’s customs. Her goal was to show what was going on while still hiding the fact that she had a deceitful side to her. This kind of role was a new challenge for her, but one she happily accepted.
WHAT’S NEXT: Now that Expecting Amish is about to premiere, Alyson has been hard at work with several other projects. She as several new movies coming out, such as A-List and Step Up, as well as two new animated shows for Disney and Nickelodeon.
In addition, she is going to be in New York for a concert series she is working on August 8th and 9th.
ADVICE TO FANS: Alyson has been a star for most of her life and has also been a very positive role model for her fans. When asked about what advice she would give them, she had a very interesting answer: build self awareness and emotional intelligence so we can relate to the environment and people according to the past. Be in tuned to your own mind and spirit in order to become a responsible, scholarly, respectful citizen for society.
PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW: Although she is a staple on television and film, Alyson is actually ‘painfully normal’ and an ‘extreme introvert.’ She is social because of her job, but would prefer to be home alone with a good book or spending time outside.
She is also in school studying neuroscience. She is still taking the gen-ed classes, but is loving every moment of being a college student. She says it is a good way to keep her grounded so she isn’t entirely busy with work.
Alyson Stoner is one of the busiest women in Hollywood taking on acting, dancing and also singing. Most notable for her roles in Disney Channel’s Camp Rock movie and as the voice of “Isabella” on Disney’s hit show ‘Phineas and Ferb,’ it was her amazing performances in the ‘Step Up’ movies and her musical talents that made us want to have a chat with Alyson (who is one of the most authentic and lovely human beings I’ve ever chatted with). Check out our interview with Alyson below and don’t forget to watch her on Lifetime Channels “Expecting Amish” on July 14th and also in ‘Step Up: All in” on August 8th.
Ashleigh: How did you get started in acting, singing, and dancing?
Alyson: I’m from Toledo, Ohio and at age 3 I admired my older sister who was a dancer, so I enrolled at the same dance academy as her in their modern program until I was 7. Then I went to an IMTA convention and met with different agents and managers, just for fun, I wasn’t really thinking about making it career. I showed enough potential that they recommended I spend time out to Los Angeles, so my Mom and I commented from Toledo to Los Angeles for the next 9 months. I went on quite a few auditions and after the 9 months my family all moved out to California and my little kid from Ohio dream turned into an everyday reality.
Ashleigh: You’ve been in 3 of the ‘Step Up’ movies so far, what do you like about the ‘Step Up’ franchise?
Alyson: I personally find that each instalment has a different director, cast and crew, and I’ve also been in a different season in my life for each of them, so I feel like each movie is a unique experience that centres around my undying passion for music and dance. Also, I think that the success of the franchise is helpful for launching different aspects of my career. It’s sort of the reliable cousin that you can always count on for every family reunion. Because of ‘Step Up’ I’ve been able to really take my career to the next level. I have them to thank for a lot of my success.
Ashleigh: What is it like on the set?
Alyson: For me it’s a new experience every single time, because – The dance community has a great strength in synergizing immediately. So we recognize that opposed to being competition, which we are in the audition process, once we’re on the job is about cohesion, it’s about striving to highlight each individual in their own element, while also creating something that is visually tantalizing to the audience. While the ingredients of each movie has been different, the recipe for success is the same, which is to click immediately and make the best possible movie.
Ashleigh: Before ‘Step Up: All In’ hits theatres, fans can watch you in a lifetime movie entitled ‘Expecting Amish.’ Can you tell us a little about that movie?
Alyson: ‘Expecting Amish’ stars Jesse McCartney, AJ Mikalka, Jean-Lue Bilodeau and myself during Rumspringa which is the time that Amish teenagers get to decide if they want to remain in the Amish community and abide by their belief system or venture out into the English world. It’s really thought provoking and challenging to study a different culture and I can’t just make character decision on my own inklings, I have to sort get into a different mindset. I play Mary, AJ’s best friend, she wilder than most of the characters I’ve portrayed but it’s been because of her upbringing. She is quick to experiment and quick to try anything and everything. Mary’s personality adds a good contrast to AJ’s character and we show what it’s like to grow up Amish and know that there’s this whole world happening outside your community but being told that’s it’s evil and wrong, and wrestling with that. It’s a major spiritual and psychological issue that everyone wrestles with in the Amish community.
Ashleigh: For your research did you ever watch TLC’s ‘Breaking Amish’?
Alyson: I did not, I personally watched a documentary that AJ recommended. I’m glad I did because the format was more raw and vivid than the style that a 27 minute reality television show can really get into. What’s great is we actually have friends who belong or have previously belonged to the Amish community, so we got first hand stories and I was able to talk with them about visitors and visiting the Amish country. It was very enlightening to think this is very much going on as we speak. What was really interesting was that the upcoming Amish generation is actually closer to average American teenager in their use of the English language because of the use of technology.
Ashleigh: Along with acting you also have started a singing career! What made you decide to take on singing as well?
Alyson: I was first asked to sing as my character in Phineas and Ferb and being a perfectionist, I didn’t want to settle for just getting by, so I enrolled in a vocal training program. I then learned that songwriting and studying the voice actually pair with a lot of troubles that I had expressing myself, being vulnerable, trusting other people, trusting myself, calming anxiety. It became a life instructor of sorts and that is what kept me engaged with it. Also, with acting and dancing I portray a predetermined character and story for the most part, with music I have the creative freedom to create a song on a whim with whomever I choose and at whatever time I choose to do it. It’s more liberating artistically and that’s why I’ve stuck with it. It’s a good balance to be able to portray a character and also be myself in avenues that I’m passionate about.
Ashleigh: Your latest single ‘Dragon (That’s What You Wanted)’ has quite the story behind it, do you mind sharing that with our readers?
Alyson: Ironically, the story didn’t hit home until after I had released it, some might call it was a bit of a prophecy, some might call it a curse of sorts. The song is about a long term relationship that hits the point of an ultimatum when neither side is willing to grow or adapt due to stubbornness or what have you. You reach that place when you have to decide what is best for our futures, individually, and if it doesn’t match why are we still waisting each others time? The song tag is “That’s what you wanted, that’s what you’re going to get.” basically someone gives you the ultimatum and threatens to leave and you bet them to the punch line and say, “While you’re there, don’t bother coming back because I’m actually going to move forward without anyway.” So it’s kinda sassy and I didn’t resonate with it personally until after when it happened with my first relationship. The good thing is in my case I’m all about love and communications, so there was no hard feelings, it was like ok we reached the end of this season and I wish you well and it’s time to move on. As a pop song it’s definitely open to many different interpretations, I received a call from a cousin saying that it helped her heal after an abusive relationship and another friend said it represented her of a summer fling. We tried to write carefully so that it can be relatable to cover a wide audience.
Ashleigh: I see that you also recorded a cover of the song ‘Sweater Weather’ with The Neighbourhood, how was that experience?
Alyson: To be complete honest, I received a phone call from Max’s girlfriend (who I’ve known for years, she’s a dancer) saying “hey we are looking for people to collaborate and we want to do this song” and I agreed. Within six hours I showed up, recorded it in about 30 minutes and had no idea the longevity it would have on YouTube. We ended up shooting the video, I was sick the day we filmed and ended up in the ER as soon as we wrapped. It was just something I decided to throw into the mix, even though you’re already busy and it ended up being a stand out performance. It was super unplanned, a lot of fun and pretty organic.
Ashleigh: I have to ask, how many sweaters did you two go through in that video?
Alyson: I think we changed 5 or 6 times and it’s one take, so we had to hide the sweaters and change with the choreography of the camera. Truth be told, we spent 6 to 8 hours trying to get a single take and the only one that worked was the last time right before I had to go to the hospital. The same thing happened with Rixton when I was in their video for “Me and My Broken Heart.” We spent about 8 hours trying to get one usable take and then finally got one right before they had to get on a plane to fly back to the UK.
Ashleigh: What’s next in your music career?
Alyson: Well I was just on the phone with my producer in New York and we are dreaming up a concept for an EP, I’d like to have 3 or 4 solid songs by the end of the summer. In the meantime I am preparing to perform in New York with the top classical musicians from around the world, we have an orchestra doing a string adaptation of whatever music I choose. We will be playing a few different venues. Still moving forward, I’m just being very selective about what I put out there. There seems to be a lot of music out there and I don’t want to put something out there that isn’t a) completely authentic and top of the line, b) it’s not going to be set apart from the maze of other artists that you can stream and download. I have nothing to prove so I don’t feel like I’m in a rush, and also I’m not trying to be famous musically so I have less pressure to conform. I’m trying to strike a balance between sonically pleasing and something that’s different.
Ashleigh: What can fans expect to come next with your acting and dancing career?
Alyson: Acting wise, July 14th I’m going to be on Major Crimes on TNT, July 19th is the release date for ‘Expecting Amish’ on the Lifetime Channel, August 8th is the release of ‘Step Up: All In,’ I also have a film coming out next year called “Hoovey,” another one releasing soon called ‘The A-List,” more episodes with “Phineas and Ferb,” and a thriller called “Selling Isobel.” In about a week I will be shooting a new psychological thriller called “Cadence.” I also am traveling around the country teaching master classes and dance workshop intensity programs. Wherever people call, I show up and work with their students.
New promo still of Alyson from Step Up All In!
Alyson has announced that she will be guest starring on TNT’s “Major Crimes” this Monday July 14th at 9pm episode “Jane Doe” Alyson will be playing “Bug” a homeless drug addict.
Episode Synopsis: A young runaway is murdered, leading the unit on a long, perplexing odyssey to find her killer and discover her identity. Elsewhere, Raydor reaches out to her husband to discuss a big proposition involving Rusty.
You definitely don’t want to miss this new and totally a different role of Alyson!!
We’re at that time again! August is quickly approaching which means Alyson’s birthday is right around the corner! Alyson will be turning 21 this August and I wanted to make the BIGGEST project yet! Want to help make Alyson’s birthday special? Participate in this years project! Details below:
- Write a birthday message to Alyson wishing her a ‘Happy Birthday’
– Get creative and make birthday edits/graphics for Alyson
– Mention anything else you want to tell Alyson!
I will be putting together a birthday book with everyone’s messages and sending it to Alyson herself!
All submissions must be sent in by AUGUST 1st! That gives everyone about a month to work on their messages! Email everything to email@example.com
PLEASE INCLUDE NAME/TWITTER NAME
Source: @AlysonStonerUS / alyson-stoner.us
For more info be sure to follow @AlysonStonerUS on Twitter!
New promo still of Alyson from Step Up All In!
New still of Alyson and Adam from Step Up All In which will be out in theaters on August 8th!! Thanks to my friend Kiki (@AlysonStonerUS) for sending me the photo!