Exclusive Interview with Nolan Sotillo from Disney’s “Prom”

Did you see Disney’s PROM in theaters? If not, you can get your chance to see it this Tuesday, August 30th when it comes to DVD and Blu-ray! It’s such a fun film and with school back in session for most, this is the perfect time to watch a movie about life at school.

Not only did I have the chance to interview Janel Ortiz who plays Ali, but I also interviewed Nolan Sotillo who plays the shy Lucas Arnaz who’s trying so hard to get the girl. We chatted it up about his character, making the movie and his next project – a pilot for Disney Channel called Madison High!

modOration: Tell me a little about your character Lucas from PROM.

Nolan Sotillo: Lucas is a sophomore and he’s kind of a geek and he has one very close friend at school, played by Cameron Monaghan, Corey. They’re really close friends and Lucas can totally just be himself around Corey. But then when it comes to his crush, Simone who’s played by Danielle Campbell, he is super super shy and just really awkward.

Every time he’s around her, he doesn’t know what to say. He’s done everything he can to try to have a chance with her. Through all his awkwardness and not knowing what to say, he actually turns out to be really charming.

modOration: So, your character was struggling between getting the girl and keeping your best friend, have you ever dealt with something like that in real life?

Nolan: No, not as badly as Lucas did because he was trying so hard [to get the girl] that he forgot about his best friend. He didn’t really do it on purpose, he just wanted to impress Simone.

modOration: Do you have any advice for guys who want to ask a girl out to prom and they’re really nervous and they have no idea what to say?

You know, I don’t think there’s ever really the “right” thing to say. And even if you did find just the right thing to say, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to say yes. You just need to be yourself because you don’t want to put up a front and then they end up liking someone you’re not. Then you can never truly be yourself around them. If it’s the right girl, she’ll like you for who you are.

modOration: Are you and Lucas a like in any way?

Nolan: Yes, in some ways. He has a big love for music and so do I. It’s a big part of my life. I have a couple of really close best friends. I don’t think I’m as awkward around girls as Lucas is though.

modOration: Have you been to your prom and if so, what was it like?

Nolan: No, not yet. I’m only 16 and am a junior this year so I haven’t been to one yet. But, I am definitely looking forward to attending one.

modOration: This was your first big screen movie right? Tell me about that experience.

Nolan: Well, the auditioning process was just like a normal audition. You always have to put 100% into every audition because you never know where it could lead to. Through the whole process, I just gave it all I could and it worked out. I realized then that you have to always give what you do 100%.

The movie itself was just the greatest experience of my life. Being on set and making all these amazing friends. There were such great people from Disney to work with and it was such a great experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better cast.

This also led to me auditioning for another show, which is a High School Musical spin off called Madison High. I ended up booking that show. It’s a singing and dancing show. It’s a pilot right now and they’re trying to get it picked up, but it should be on next year.

What was it like working with the cast from Prom?

It was just incredible. I didn’t get to work with everybody who was in the movie in a scene, but I did get to hang out with everyone. I had such a unique relationship with every single person. Our cast bonded so well, right from the get-go and I definitely have to thank them for helping me out so much on the film, since I didn’t have much experience. They really helped guide me through the process.

Do you have any funny stories from making the movie?

Nolan: I do actually have one. The shoot was so quick. We only did about 30 days on set of shooting. But, there was this one point where we were doing a photo shoot and Janelle [Ortiz] was in her prom dress and we were doing this shoot at the top of the stair case. So, we finish the shoot and Janelle is walking down the staircase and she tripped and fell and tumbled down the stair case. She was bleeding and think she cut her leg a little. Everyone ran up and wanted to make sure the dress was okay.

Do you have a favorite scene from the movie?

I actually really loved the tree scene just because it was such a blast to shoot. We didn’t do it at the studio, we did it at someone’s house and the tree was just amazing. The tree looks so amazing from the outside and the inside of it is hollowed out, very cool.

So, I had to hit the pencil case so that it would fall down. They worked some movie magic there. They had a piece of clear tape and string, but it turns out that I hit it every time that I threw. The scene was shot at midnight and that whole scene was a lot of fun to make.

modOration: Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about? You mentioned Madison High. Can you tell us anything about that?

Nolan: Right now, it’s still just a pilot. But the cast is just incredible. I’m not sure if it’s just luck or what, but everyone is just bonding so well. It’s going to be a great show. It’s really funny. The music is great. We have some really talented song writers that wrote music for the pilot. I got to be in one of the songs.

My character’s name is Colby Baker and I’m pretty sure he’s a sophomore in high school. He’s really into anime and he draws cartoons. He’s such a gifted artist. His cousin is a really good tennis player, she’s a girl named Peyton and she’s played by Leah Lewis. She tries to guide him [her cousin Colby] through his first high school experience but his motto is stay out of trouble, don’t bother anyone and everything will be fine. But she goes out and does the exact opposite.

modOration: When did you start acting?

I started getting really serious about acting in January of 2010 and then I auditioned for PROM, so I had been acting for about a year and a half.

modOration: Do you have any advice for kids wanting to get started in acting?

Definitely. Just know that it takes a lot of hard work. And it’s not as easy as it might look. You don’t just audition and then the part is yours like magic. It takes a lot of hard work and perserverance. Just put everything you have into every audition. I probably auditioned for about 30 things before I even got a call back. So, you have to realize that part of it is luck. They’re usually looking for a very specific type of person but they’ll bring you in anyway thinking maybe you would be right for the part. Just work really hard and don’t worry if you’re not getting call backs right away. Just keep trying, keep on working on your craft. All you need is one yes to take you somewhere.

modOration: Thank you Nolan!

Exclusive Interview with Janelle Ortiz from Disney’s “Prom”

Disney’s Prom is coming to DVD and Blu-ray on August 30th and I had the chance to chat with a couple of the stars from the film. First up, Janelle Ortiz who played Ali Gomez. I enjoyed talking with her about her character, her own prom and making this fun Disney film.

modOration: Tell me a little about your character Ali from PROM.

Janelle Ortiz: I play Ali Gomez and my character is the best friend of Aimee Teegarden’s character. She is basically the person in high school who wants to know everything about everybody else. She’s not necessarily malicious. She’s the typical teenager who texts all the time and tweets all the time and wants to know everybody’s buisness.

modOration: Are you and Ali a like in any way?

Janelle: In some ways. I like knowing things about people. She’s always trying to keep herself busy in a way. She meets Rolo and is fascinated by Rolo and just what he’s about and how interesting and awkward he is. I like finding quirky things about people and finding out things but not as much as she does.

modOration: Have you been to your school prom?

Janelle: I did! I was a senior this past year. I went to my friend’s prom when I was a junior and my prom when I was a senior, and they were both absolutely fantastic. We had a massive party bus and it was a 2 story bus. We took all the awkward pictures by the fireplace beforehand. We all got in the bus and danced on the way to prom on the bus, danced at prom, and danced on the way back in the bus, so there was a lot of dancing that night.

modOration: What do you think it is about prom that makes it such a big event for high school students?

Janelle: I think prom is the ultimate celebration of high school in a way. You’re celebrating everything you’ve learned in the past four years, and the relationships you’ve made and the things you’ve done at that school. It’s the final celebration with your entire class before every student goes and does their own thing and goes to college. It’s the final celebration as a group, I suppose.

modOration: This was your first big screen movie right? Tell me about the movie making experience for you.

Janelle: Yes it was my first movie. I got the audition and manager and then she submitted me for it. I went in to audition and I believe there were 1600 girls and it was pretty ridiculous. I didn’t know that there would be a lot at the time, and if I did I probably would have crawled in the corner and freaked out. There was three different auditions. You go to the casting director and director and producer and it was all on tape.

It was kind of a funny story because I got the audition, and I thought early in my career that I didn’t want to be a kid actor on like Disney Channel or Nickelodeon or anything like that. So I found out it was a Disney movie and I said I was going to rebel agaisnt it and not conform to what they watch. So I went in and I purposely did the most awful audition. There was a bunch of random pauses and random beats. After I came out I was talking to one of the producers and they said that after I left, she knew I was the one because it was the most natural. So it was fun for me.

modOration: Tell me about making the movie and what that was like for you.

Janelle: It was so great. I was so nervous. It was my first show and I didn’t know what to expect. There were so many great actors and producers there that have been working for a long time. I was nervous because I was the newbie, but they were so sweet and they took me under their wing and helped me and taught me everything I needed to know. If I messed up they said it was okay and we kept on going. It was the best experience.

modOration: Do you have any funny stories from the set you can tell?

Janelle: Yes, we have a lot of funny stories. I was the cast klutz. I’d always fall all the time because I wear glasses in real life. When I was younger I wore contacts because I played softball and I was a catcher, so I’d always get dirt in my eyes. So I have a scratched cornea and all that nonsense. So I can’t wear contacts for more than two hours. Filming is like, 8,9,10 hours straight, so I did everything on set blind. I would always trip over things and knock things over and I would just fall.

We were doing a photo shoot at the top of the staircase and I felt so cool because I did my first photo shoot snd everything. So I was walking down the stairs and I tripped and fell and rolled and tumbled and it was terrible. I was wearing my prom dress and everyone ran to me and the first thing they asked was if I ruined the prom dress.

modOration: Do you have a favorite scene from the movie?

Janelle: Yes, we have a character named Lloyd and there’s a scene where he goes up to a couple who have been together forever and it was the most awkward scene. He goes up to her to give back her pencil and they are just hugging and it’s my favorite scene in the whole movie.

modOration: I was reading that you had a sports injury, which led to you giving up your dream of a college sports scholarship. Can you tell me about that?

Janelle: When I was 8 I started softball and I was a catcher. From then I always knew what I wanted to do and I wanted to go to college doing that. My junior year in high school was when I was recruited by colleges to play and I had about five colleges recruiting me at one time. I had everything that I worked for since I was 8 years old right in front of me. My junior year, which was the most important year in the process, I got injured and I knew I could never play ever again.

What happened was I had tendonitis in my shoulder for about two years and I was a catcher. I really didn’t want to tell anyone. So for two years I told no one and it got to the point where I couldn’t even throw it to second base. So when I would play, my muscles would rip, and when they would go back together they would overlap each other.

Once that happened, that was my identity. I was the athlete, the one wearing my Letterman jacket to school, that was me. So it was like my identity was taken away from me and I kinda freaked out for a little bit and I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I started acting classes so I could get out of my own head and become somebody else. Once the classes started I just fell in love with the class, and once I got comforatble with my talent and my skill, I started auditions for Prom.

modOration: Do you have any advice for kids who have the same acting dreams as you?

Janelle: When I told my softball friend that I wanted to be an actress, she was like “What are you doing? You’re never going to be an actress. Why would you do that?”and I just told her that I was extremely passionate about it. I would definitely tell them to follow your passion. It doesn’t matter what people tell you. If people tell you no, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It doesn’t matter what they say. If you try, the worst thing that can happen is if they said no, and then you move on to the next one.

So just follow your passion and never give up and never let anyone tell you no because it doesn’t matter what other people have to say about you. If you believe in yourself, you’ll be good.

modOration: Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

Janelle: Yeah, I have a couple things in the works. I’ve actually decided to go back to acting school. So I’m going to train better and hopefully get better with the craft itself. I’m also auditioning here and there and working on some music, so there’s a lot going on and I’m really busy but I love it!

modOration: Thank you Janelle!

Aimee Teegarden & Thomas McDonell Tell You to Watch This “Prom” Clip on modOration (Yes! They Said Our Name!)

Phew! That is a very long headline up there, but I had to get your attention somehow right? Right.

The lovely Aimee Teegarden and the handsome Thomas McDonell from Disney’s Prom movie, were kind enough to tell you to check out this clip of their movie “Prom” right here on modOration. You heard me. They said our name. Thomas said our name to be exact. Here you go! Enjoy the clip and don’t forget that Prom comes to Blu-ray and DVD August 30th!!

At “Prom”, every couple has a story and no two are exactly alike. For Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden), it’s a classic tale of opposites attracting when she finds herself drawn to the guy (Thomas McDonell) who gets in the way of her perfect prom. Share the laughter and the drama as secrets are brought to light, seemingly steady relationships unravel and new romance catches fire. Get ready for this hilariously heartfelt date with destiny featuring a hot ensemble cast of rising young stars and cool bonus features. There are hundreds of nights in high school, but there’s only one Prom.

Q & A with Aimee Teegarden from Disney’s Prom

Disney’s PROM is coming to DVD and Blu-ray August 30th and we have so much to share with you leading up to the release, including a couple of exclusive interview I did with two of the stars! Look for those on Monday.

Today, we have this fun Q&A with Aimee Teegarden who starred in the movie. She talks about the fun and original film that follows a group of high school students as they learn the complex truths of growing up, balancing relationships and enjoying the most memorable time of their lives. She also talks one of my favorite subjects – FASHION!

How does it feel to be the star of Prom?

It feels great. It’s exciting, but it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been in the business for 10 years already and I’m only 20 years old. That’s half my life!

It must be thrilling to see your name on billboards across the globe…

It’s amazing and I’m really excited about everything to do with this movie. I worked on a TV show called Friday Night Lights for the last five years, so I’ve been able to move from a critically acclaimed TV show into a huge Disney movie. It’s really rewarding and exciting – and it’s also a little nerve-wracking.

Let’s talk fashion, Aimee! Do you like the clothes your character wears in Prom?

I love Nova Prescott’s clothes in the movie. She has a lot of really cute pieces, but she’s not got the same sense of style as me.

How would you describe your personal sense of style?

My own personal sense of style is very feminine. I love classic pieces in my wardrobe, but I’m also accepting of new trends and fashion-forward outfits. Fashion is fun, and I enjoy playing around with it!

How much input did you have into Nova’s look in the movie?

If you look closely at the fashion in the movie, you’ll notice that there are a lot of pastel colors. You don’t see many black or dark-colored outfits because we wanted to keep everything light. In real life, I’m a big fan of black. Black is amazing!

What do you think of the fashion of the movie?

I think all of the outfits look great. The pastel palate is beautiful! We tried really hard to create relatable characters and we didn’t want them wearing anything too trendy because we wanted to produce a timeless movie. We want people to be able to watch Prom in 10 years and still feel like the fashion is relevant.

What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion is a big expression of who you are, so I think of it as a creative outlet.

Sometimes, I’m the type of girl who throws on whatever I can find that is clean in my bedroom – but I make an effort when I’m going to an event or a premiere. On those days, I like to make a statement with my wardrobe.

Who is your fashion icon?

I think Zoe Saldana wears amazing outfits on the red carpet, and I think Anne Hathaway and Reese Witherspoon always look gorgeous. I don’t have just one fashion icon… I like loads of different fashionistas.

What’s your favorite fashion trend at the moment?

I love the print trend going on right now. I love the different prints you can find on dresses, skirts, tops and even shoes. I think that’s fun and exciting, although I don’t like it when people match up double prints.

What do you mean by that?

Some people think it’s fun to wear stripes with floral patterns, but I don’t like it. Don’t mix up the prints!

What one fashion item can’t you live without?

I can’t live without a great bag. It doesn’t have to be a big bag, but a well-made bag that can take a lot of abuse is a must in my life. My bag is always getting thrown around and it’s overstuffed. It’s in and out of cars, trains and planes, so it has to be very sturdy.

What can we always find in your bag?

What’s always in my bag? You’ll find typical stuff like my phone and wallet, but you’ll also find some green teabags and a highlighter pen for scripts.

Is there anything else you never leave home without?

I also carry around a little pocket planner that I would be lost without. It charts my whole life! I tried going digital, but it’s not the same. Oh, and you’ll also find some lavender lime lip treatment to keep my lips moist. Lavender is lovely.

What’s your makeup style?

When it comes to red carpets, I love dramatic eye makeup and big lashes. I’m starting to experiment with colored lipsticks as well – but I tend to keep it very clean and simple in my everyday life away from work. I just put on a little mascara and that’s it. If anything takes longer than 10 minutes, I’m over it.

What are your beauty secrets?

My top beauty tip would be to use organic and natural products whenever possible because you don’t want to add weird chemicals to your skin. Exfoliation is also key, too. I exfoliate every day and I love, love, love it! It refreshes your skin cells and it makes you feel really clean.

Do you work hard to take care of your skin?

I do, which is why I always wear lots of SPF. If you want to have beautiful-looking skin well into your 80s, you’ve got to work at it.

Are there any other beauty tips you want to add?

Drinking lots of water and getting lots of sleep is essential in life. People don’t put enough emphasis on getting a good eight hours of sleep every night. It really does help your skin stay clear.

Do you love acting?

Of course I do! I love my job. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else in this world. This is a dream come true for me and it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun, too. I couldn’t ask for anything better!

PROM is Available on Blu-ray & DVD August 30th!

Disney’s “Prom” On DVD & Blu-ray August 30th

Get ready! Disney’s Prom is coming to DVD and Blu-ray (as well as a digital download and On Demand) August 30th. Pre-order your Blu-ray Combo Pack or DVD today.

At “Prom”, every couple has a story and no two are exactly alike. For Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden), it’s a classic tale of opposites attracting when she finds herself drawn to the guy (Thomas McDonell) who gets in the way of her perfect prom. Share the laughter and the drama as secrets are brought to light, seemingly steady relationships unravel and new romance catches fire. Get ready for this hilariously heartfelt date with destiny featuring a hot ensemble cast of rising young stars and cool bonus features. There are hundreds of nights in high school, but there’s only one Prom!



·       Putting on PROM: Making of Featurette

·       Bloopers


Everything on the DVD, plus…

·       “Last Chance Lloyd” Exclusive Short — Laugh out loud at all the creative and hilarious ways Lloyd (Nicholas Braun) asks girls to Prom in his heroic quest for the perfect date…actually, any date!

·       4 Deleted Scenes—With introductions by producer Justin Springer and director Joe Nussbaum.

·       7 Music Videos:

o   Allstar Weekend—“Not Your Birthday”

o   Neon Trees—“Your Surrender”

o   Moon—“Time Stand”

o   Nolan Sotillo—“We Could Be Anything” (English version)

o   Nolan Sotillo—“Juntos Lo Haremos Bien” (Spanish version)

o   Those Dancing Days—“I’ll Be Yours

o   Girl In A Coma—“Come On, Let’s Go”


Everything on the DVD, plus…

·       3 Music Videos:

o   Allstar Weekend—“Not Your Birthday

o   Neon Trees—“Your Surrender”

o   Moon—“Time Stand”