Hollywood veterans & up-and-comers collide in a story that exposes how the industry values image versus talent.
Fresh off the final installment in the Twilight saga, Christian Serratos is stepping into a very different spotlight — one that reveals the darker side of the entertainment industry. In her new movie Pop Star, Christian stars as a young singer named Roxie who lends her voice to a talentless actress in exchange for the fly/fancy lifestyle she’s always dreamed of. But if that sounds too good to be true, well, you know how the saying goes.
Pop Star‘s executive producer George Caceres recently chatted with HollywoodLife.com about the message behind the movie, the surprise vocal prowess of Christian, and the advice he’d give to aspiring stars and filmmakers.
Read our full interview below:
HollywoodLife: What inspired this story?
George Caceres: The director and I wanted to do a movie for teens that was also grounded with the various realities facing today — especially girls. We wanted to tell a story that not only entertained, but also dealt with self-accceptance, family values and self esteem.
HL: “Heartbreak” and “betrayal” sound pretty intense. Does the movie have its lighter moments, too?
GC: Pop Star is just like real life; there are moments of intensity, romance, and comedy. Roxie, played by Christian Serratos (Twilight) is pursued by two very good-looking guys, played by Ross Thomas (Soul Surfer) and Robert Adamson (Princess Protection Program.) I guarantee the audience won’t know which guy she chooses until she sings the last song in the movie.
HL: Are there any stand-out scenes or moments you can tease from the movie?
GC: I love all of the scenes, but I have to say that my favorites scenes are the ones where the characters sing. Adam H. Hertsfield, the music composer, did an amazing job writing songs that not only helped move the story forward, but also revealed a lot about the character’s inner struggles.
HL: What will audiences be able to take away from this film?
GC: First of all, my hope is that they are thoroughly entertained and inspired. If they get to walk away feeling better about themselves and if they realize that we are in control of our lives and the choices we make, then I’m a happy man.
HL: How was Christian your lead? Can she really sing, or was everything dubbed over?
GC: Christian is a star! Her performance was amazing and she sang every song herself. Wait until you hear her sing!
HL: There is such an ensemble cast, from Eric Roberts to Christian; Do you think the dynamic of having “seasoned hollywood actors” as well as “up-and-comers” is something that sets this film apart?
GC: Yes, there is a good mix of seasoned talent and up-and-coming talent in this movie. Not only do we have up & comer Christian Serratos, but we have Ross Thomas, Robert Adamson and Rachele Brooke Smith (Bring It On) as well. They all had great chemistry! Having actors of the caliber of Eric Roberts (The Expendables) also helped to raise the bar. Everyone had incredible passion for the project and it definitely shows on-screen.
HL: What makes a good filmmaker? What other filmmakers do you personally admire?
GC: A good filmmaker, like our director Carlos Portugal, is one who can bring out the best performances from actors as well as deliver visually stimulating films. I admire many directors, all the way from Alfred Hitchcock to Steven Spielberg.
HL: How important do you feel soundtracks are to films? And what are some films that you think have exceptional soundtracks?
GC: A good soundtrack is key to a movie. The soundtrack sets the tone and moves the audience, especially in a movie like Pop Star, where the music is almost its own character in the story. Most soundtracks these days are based off of plays. Besides Pop Star, I can only think of one other film off hand that has an original soundtrack, and that’s Saturday Night Fever, from which most songs became top 10 hits.
HL: What is some advice you’d give to aspiring filmmakers?
GC: You learn by doing. Start volunteering on friend’s projects. Take screenwriting and acting lessons; it’s just as important to understand how to communicate with actors as it is to shoot the film. The more you understand how others do their job, the better your work. Also, don’t fool yourself into thinking you know everything. You don’t.
HL: What is some advice you’d give to up and coming actors? What are the qualities in an actor that make them great to work with, from a filmmakers perspective?
GC: Know your craft and be prepared, whether you’re auditioning or you’re on set. Take acting classes. Do Theatre – it’s important to perform in front of an audience. You only have one chance to make a good first impression (usually in casting sessions) – you are competing with hundreds of others for the same part. You can’t control how you look, how tall or short you are, but you can control your acting skills; it’s the one thing that will set you apart from all the competition. I look for are Actors who are professional, have a thirst for success and deliver a unique performance. An actor who is prepared and has complete control of his or her craft is what producers like myself are always looking for.
Go behind-the-scenes of Pop Star with Rachele Brooke Smith below: