SCAD’s aTVFest 2019 just wrapped last month in Atlanta, and FanBolt’s Mike McKinney had the pleasure of sitting down with two of the stars from ABC’s Schooled, AJ Michalka and Brett Dier. Schooled is a spinoff of The Goldbergs, and takes place in the 90s, where AJ Michalka’s character Lainey, gets a job as a music teacher at her old high school, and is mentored by Brett Dier’s character C.B., a cool teacher that is loved by his students.
Check out the interview below!
Brett, did you have to audition for ‘Schooled’?
Brett: Well I had a meeting that was sort of an audition. I went into the office of the creator of the show, Adam Goldberg and met with him, executive producers Mark Firek and Doug Robinson. I love all three of those guys. So I went into the meeting and pitch a bunch of ideas so they could get a vibe of me. I did a lot of crazy stuff in the meeting.
That’s what I was wondering about, because I love the stuff you do in the series, like when you come into the classroom and just do crazy stuff like breakdancing. I just love that.
Brett: Thanks so much. I have fun with the role.
What’s it like playing the cool teacher?
Brett: It’s fun because while he is cool, he also is the biggest nerd ever. As the show goes along you find out that C.B. is just a nerd. He is pretty much a big kid and that’s why the kids like him. He can relate to them. I love this role, I’m having so much fun.
What’s it like being in a series where some of the actors, like Tim Meadows (Principal Glascott) and Bryan Callen (Coach Mellor), have been playing their characters for years? What’s it like coming into that situation?
Brett: I am just soaking it all up. I have learned so much from them. Obviously, I knew who both of them were going into doing the show. And I knew AJ because we were friends before the show. I go to the set and just have a great time. We have had some really cool guest stars. So I am learning a lot. I got to the set and try to learn something every day.
AJ, it must have been really cool to play a character that you have already been for a while. You have already figured out what makes your character tick and what they feel and think.
AJ: That kind of the coolest part about this show. A bunch of us were coming in feeling very comfortable about who we were playing. We still had to figure out what our characters were like ten years later. I don’t think you change that drastically. There are built-in characteristics that stay and live with you as the decades’ turn. I think Lainey is who she is. She is a very interesting girl. She’s got a lot of heart but she also has a bit of an edge. She can be a little stubborn and will fight to the bitter end to get what she wants. I think that characteristic is going to make her a great teacher.
We are about halfway through the first season, and Lainey is starting to take responsibility for things, which she didn’t do in the past. I feel like Lainey is developing much more than she did in ‘The Goldbergs.’
AJ: So much more. Thank you for noticing, I appreciate that. It’s hard when you are working on a show with so many characters. Obviously, ‘The Goldbergs’ was very much about the family. So the rest of the cast were much smaller characters but as the show went on, the fans starting really loving characters like Coach Mellor, Principal Glascott, and Lainey. And now here we are being able to be a bigger part of something. We have never seen our characters tell this big of an arc before. I appreciated you seeing that in Lainey because I feel that too.
So you play a music teacher. There is already a lot of music in the show, but do you think there will be a musical episode?
AJ: Yeah we do a full-on musical episode. There are a bunch of episodes where my students will be singing and I have a really cool duet with a student of mine in one of the episodes that I am very excited about.
Can you talk a little about the chemistry of the cast, because it looks like everyone is having so much fun.
Brett: Yeah we are having a blast. I have never laughed so hard. We play around and improvise, we banter with each other about our characters. We laugh so much that it has been so much fun to be on this show. I love the cast.
How was the experience at the end where you interview the real-life person that the character was based on?
Brett: It was so cool. To get to meet the real C.B. was so cool. I was already, I think four episodes in when I met him. The interesting thing is I didn’t change anything out how I portrayed him because what I imagined was what he was in real life. He is a super great dude is passionate about teaching and loves his job. He’s positive and nerdy, just like me. I loved meeting him and interviewing him. It is such a genius idea to getting the real people the characters are based on and interviewing them. It is such a cool idea and so much fun to do.
AJ: I haven’t done one yet and I’ve talked to the creator of the show Adam Goldberg about doing it. While we have wrapped the main part of shooting, I am still recording narration and we are still doing the end credit interviews, so I am hoping I get to do one this season. I don’t know who I am going to interview but I am very excited about doing it. It is such a fun show to do.
Schooled can be seen Wednesday nights at 8:30 E / 7:30 C on ABC.
For more information about SCAD aTV Fest, go to www.atvfest.com