In the world of made-for-television, made-for-tweens movies, there is little offered that can even manage to simply avoid annoying those outside the target audience. StarStruck, while certainly not something parents are going to fall in love with, is a slightly different breed.
Starring Sterling Knight (Sonny with a Chance) and Danielle Campbell, the movie takes a fairly common situational romance story (at least it used to be), and aims it at a younger crowd. Sterling plays Christopher Wilde, an outrageously popular teen idol, thus providing us with opportunities for song, while Danielle plays Jessica Olson, one of the only teen girls who isn’t a fan.
We’re introduced to our story by way of Sara, Jessica’s sister, mooning furiously over Christopher in typical, self-proclaimed number-1 fan fashion. Jessica is sickened by her sister’s crush, and doesn’t want to go on the family vacation to Los Angeles which is apparently being taken largely for purposes of Christopher-stalking.
Things progress just how you’d expect. Jessica and Christopher meet by chance, and are thrown into a few adventures which force them to spend some time together. The push in this case being Christopher’s attempts to avoid the paparazzi. Jessica dislikes Christopher on principle, but eventually is convinced there is a certain error to that logic, and they hit it off rather well. In order to clear the runtime, they are forced apart, before managing to get back together. Hilarity and angst ensue.
Though filled with many of the hallmarks of that which is parentally unwatchable, there’s a nice mix at work here, and the film takes some pretty serious shots at stardom in general. Christopher ultimately turns out to be a nice enough guy, of course, but the barbs Jessica throws at him about the unreality of his life never go away, and are in fact reinforced by his best friend Stubby (Brandon Smith, also of Sonny with a Chance). Events unfold in an obviously tween-centric manner, but it’s nice to see such an effort that takes aim at tween fanatics and the objects of same.
The DVD release isn’t filled with your normal special features, but it does come with the soundtrack CD, and that’s a nice addition for those who are going to be after this film. You’ve also got an option to watch the movie with Rock Along tracks which put the words up on the screen as the movie plays in Karaoke fashion. You also get three music videos which are sure to impress, and a featurette with Zack and Cody of The Suite Life selling you on the wonders of Blu-Ray.
Overall, this is actually a pretty solid bit of entertainment for the younger crowd, and I’m sure parents won’t mind the storyline at all. It may actually lead to a lot of thought, and a lot of questions. Cutesy fun that it is, it takes the subject surprisingly seriously, not least in that Christopher’s parents are decidedly in the Christopher Wilde business, as opposed to the parenting business.
Film – In My Shades:
Film – Hollywood Montage:
Film – Be Myself:
Film – Just Believe:
Bonus – Party Up:
Bonus – Something About the Sunshine:
Q&As with Sterling Knight and Danielle Campbell
Hi Sterling! Tell us all about your new movie…
StarStruck is a fun-filled romantic comedy. The story is about a ridiculously famous pop star who meets a normal girl and they end up on an adventure together. They learn a lot about each other and a lot about themselves along the way.
Are you a fan of romantic comedies?
Absolutely! I’m definitely a romantic comedy dude because I’m a big romantic at heart. I’m a softy, so it’s always nice to watch movies that make you think that love at first sight is actually possible.
What can you tell us about your character in StarStruck?
Christopher Wilde is the most famous and successful pop star on the face of the planet. He has a skewed perception of reality because that’s what his life is like, but he’s a good person underneath it all and he works hard to do his job properly.
Did you enjoy playing Christopher?
Sure. I love cars, so it was really fun to play a guy that has six of them in his garage! I had the time of my life on this movie.
Have you ever met anyone like Christopher Wilde in real life?
Zac Efron is dangerously close to Christopher Wilde. He doesn’t have as many cars as Christopher, but he is hardworking and he is genuinely one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
Where did you meet Zac?
We shot a movie together called 17 Again and we’ve been friends ever since. He’s very similar to Christopher because he’s really, really famous and he’s extremely inspiring to watch.
Would you like to become a pop star like Christopher?
Not really. I’ve always had fun with music, but I prefer to listen to it rather than sing. It was definitely a fun experience to get into a recording studio and see how everything works, but it’s never been a main goal of mine. I don’t think I’ll be actively seeking a pop career.
So there’s no solo Sterling CD in the works?
Not right now. I’m not going to say yes or no, but there’s nothing going on at the moment. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens because you should never say never.
Spill the beans, Sterling… Have you ever been starstruck before?
I don’t usually get starstruck, but I met Sir Paul McCartney randomly on Sunset Boulevard a few years ago and I lost it! I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think and I didn’t know how to speak. It was crazy. He was nice enough to talk to my family and me for 10 minutes, but I remember babbling away about nonsense.
Which celebrity would make you starstruck right now?
I think I’d be pretty starstruck over John Mayer. I’m a big fan of his music and I think he’s great. Like I said, I don’t usually lose my cool when I see a celebrity – but I’d be impressed if I got to talk to John Mayer. It would make my day.
Did you have fun shooting StarStruck around Hollywood?
It was really cool to film at some of Hollywood’s most famous landmarks. I’ve been living here for a few years now, so I see the landmarks on a daily basis – but you get desensitized to them when you see them all the time. Then you see them pop up in a movie and you realize they are world-famous. That’s pretty crazy.
What was the highlight to filming in Hollywood?
It was especially cool to film in Hollywood because Danielle – who plays Christopher Wilde’s love interest in StarStruck – had never been to Hollywood before. She’d never seen any of the landmarks and she was really awestruck at the handprints in the concrete at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. It added a great element to the shoot.
Was she blown away by the Hollywood landmarks?
She was! I had so much fun watching her eyes widen when she saw things for the first time. She walked up to the imprint of George Clooney’s shoe to see how big his feet were and things like that. She was really funny.
Did you film the Hollywood scenes during the peak tourist season?
We shot at Grauman’s Chinese Theater at five o’clock in the morning, which was horrendous for me. I’m not a morning person at all, but we thought that most sane human beings would be asleep at that time.
Were there many tourists around?
People started to show up and take pictures at around six o’clock. Once people spot a film crew, they start staring – and then a group of younger girls spotted us and started freaking out and screaming. It must have been pretty funny to watch, but it meant that we had to stop shooting whenever the screams got too loud. It’s all the fun of filming in Hollywood really!
Hi Danielle! What can you tell us about your new movie?
StarStruck is a movie with a great, little love twist. I play a character called Jessica – and the movie’s story is all about her falling for a pop star, played by Sterling Knight. I think the movie’s going to have everyone laughing because it’s funny and it’s really, really sweet.
How would you describe your character?
Jessica is really down to earth and sweet. She’s not obsessed with fame, but her sister is. In fact, her sister is obsessed with Christopher Wilde – who is the pop star played by Sterling in the movie. She’s a huge fan of his!
Are you similar to Jessica in any way?
Well, I can really relate to Jessica because I’m new to Hollywood, just like she is in the movie. Hollywood is a whole new world to me!
Do you live in Hollywood?
I live in Chicago, but I’ve been flying back and forth to LA a lot recently. Los Angeles is a really fun town. There is a lot to do there, so I’ve been enjoying seeing the sights and exploring the landmarks.
What do you like the most about Hollywood?
All of the people in LA are really nice and it’s sunny all the time. Plus, there’s so much to do there. You can go hiking in the hills, you can go swimming in the ocean, you can go surfing… You can do everything. Oh, and the food is amazing!
What’s the worst thing about Hollywood?
Well, it rarely rains in Hollywood – and I love the rain. There are ups and downs to anywhere in the world, but I get frustrated without any rain.
How much fun did you have working with Sterling Knight on StarStruck?
Sterling is a lot of fun. He kept everyone laughing the whole time he was on set and he has this great way of keeping everyone’s energy up. We bonded really well and we loved to tease each other.
What did you tease him about?
He’s not a morning person at all. In fact, you can’t speak to him in the morning. He hates it, so I’d always try to get him into heavy conversations as soon as he got to work. It was always funny to see him struggling with words over breakfast!
Can you tell us any secrets about Sterling?
Sterling is obsessed with cars. He loves them to bits. We were in a Ferrari the other day and he was literally drooling over the car. It’s crazy! It’s his biggest obsession.
After starring in your own movie, have you attended many glamorous red carpet events?
I haven’t! I’m still waiting to walk a red carpet. I’m patiently waiting, but I know I’ll get to do one some day.
Are you nervous about your first red carpet event?
To be honest, I’m more excited than nervous. I get excited about everything! I’m excited about auditions, I’m excited about working and I’m excited about visiting Hollywood all the time. I couldn’t be happier!
Have you always wanted to be an actress?
I never really pictured myself as an actress. I just fell into the industry when I was 10 years old.
How did you get your big break?
I was getting my haircut in Chicago when someone approached my mom. They asked me to audition for an agency and it all started from there. I hadn’t even performed in any school plays or anything like that, so it was pretty amazing to be picked up like that.
So what’s your top tip to acting success?
I think it’s all about working hard and learning as much as possible about acting. I took acting classes and I’m always trying to improve myself. Everyone can improve and the more you work in the industry, the better you are going to feel about it.
Do you have any audition tips for youngsters who want to follow in your footsteps and act?
Be yourself. It’s important to get into character when you’re performing a scene, but it’s also important to be yourself when you’re meeting people at castings. Put yourself into the character’s shoes and really follow your instinct when you perform the scene, but it’s fine to be yourself once the scene is over.
Is it natural to be nervous at auditions?
Some people get really nervous, but others don’t. It’s completely random. If nerves hit, you’ve just got to work through them and be confident with yourself. Oh, and stay positive.
Before we go, we’ve got one last question… Would you like to see a StarStruck 2?
Of course I would! I think that would be really cool. I have no idea what we could do in a second movie, but there have been loads of great sequels and I’d love to be part of one. Count me in!