Danielle Campbell was in Chicago during a press tour for the movie “Prom” which opens April 29. She and I met and chatted about her role, the movie, family and her hometown of Hinsdale.
Sarah Adamson: Are you exited for your classmates in high school to see your new movie, “Prom?”
Danielle Campbell: I’m really excited. I don’t really talk about the stuff that I do too much at school except with a few of my close friends because I don’t want to come off weird at all but people have started to see the commercials and have started asking about it. It’s great having a lot of support from my friends and the teachers. It’s really nice.
Q: That’s great. I think you did a fabulous job in the film.
DC: Thanks! I haven’t seen it yet, actually.
Q: Your character goes through so many changes in the movie, which I thought were really interesting. I was wondering, when you have a decision to make, who do you go to?
DC: Well, as a teenager I am back and forth on so many things. My mom, I have a close relationship with her, along with my brother. We’ve grown up together and moved a lot so I’m super close with my little brother. I tell him everything. I’ve got some really good close friends at home.
Question: How old is your brother Johnny?
DC: He’s 14. He’s awesome… a little stud muffin. He’s going to be breaking the hearts (laughs).
Q: That’s funny! Did you have fun working on the set with so many kids your age? It seems like it would be a blast.
DC: It truly was. I couldn’t have asked for a better cast to work with. We had a range of ages because a lot of the cast were in their 20s and others in their teens, like me. Age did not matter at all. We got along so well. We hung out outside of filming and would go to dinners and have game nights. I still have a close relationship [with them.] I talk to them all the time. I miss them. They’re my great friends.
Q: That is so neat. Can you tell us about your character, Simone?
DC: I play Simone Daniels. She is a sophomore in high school, like myself. She is kind of a free spirit. She is confident but reserved at the same time. She’s still trying to figure out who she is, especially this year. She’s trying to figure out how she falls into high school just like everyone else is trying to figure themselves out. She loves music and her guitar.
Q: That’s really neat. She’s a fun character, too. I think a lot of people are going to enjoy watching her on screen.
DC: I loved playing her.
Q: Are you alike in any way? Do you play the guitar?
DC: I’m starting to pick it up because my brother is big on guitar. Especially, while filming this – I’ve had to pick up some things for it. I have a huge passion for music. I’d like to say I’m grounded and down to earth like my character so I can relate to her and that helped a lot.
Q: What kind of music do you like to listen to?
DC: I have such a range of music, its ridiculous. I love classic Bon Jovi. I like all the new stuff like Rihanna and Usher. I love Usher…I like so many different things.
Q: Let’s talk about books a little bit. Have you read any great books that you want to recommend to your fans?
DC: I’m a huge fan of The Hunter Games. I’ve recently heard they’re going to make it a movie and I’m so excited. My brother and I are obsessed with those books. They’re so, so good. I’ve also read the Alex Rider series and the Cherub series. I like the books that are action oriented.
Q: I have to ask you, because I love fashion, about your dress…the blue dress. I totally loved it. I thought it looked beautiful on you – your hair, your eyes. I thought it brought everything out. How did you feel about wearing it? Did you like it or not?
DC: I did like it! The color, everything about it was so flowy. It was just really, really pretty. The designer did such a great job on the dresses and not just mine – all of them were so pretty. I loved the dress, I really did.
Q: Let’s talk about your teachers along the way…any that stick out in your mind as a favorite?
DC: All of my teachers, especially right now during high school when I’ve been really starting to pick up with needing to be going back and forth all the time. It has been so helpful having their support through this. If I didn’t have their support and they weren’t willing to work with me it would be so difficult for me to leave school.
Question: It really does help when you have a support system like that! What do you like most about acting?
DC: There are a lot of components that I like. I like to take on different characters. Some are more challenging than others and that just makes it great to grow with that. I’ve also met so many people during different films or events and I enjoy that so much. I’ve also seen how behind the movies work. There are so many different people that go into making a movie that go unrecognized.
Q: I was a little surprised by the film, “Prom” I thought it had some really great messages in it. It’s not just a fluff movie about prom. What do you think kids might take away from this film?
DC: A great thing that I thought “Prom” had was the ensemble cast. So, there were different story lines. It wasn’t following just one person. Something great about it is that there is somebody that everyone can relate to. Whether you are the more nerdy kid or the really well known [kid] in the school, everyone faces their own set of challenges along the way. I think towards the end of the movie you see everything fall into place where it should.
Q: And I like that! I love the ending of it – it’s a great ending. Do you think you want to be in any plays in high school?
DC: I haven’t really done any stage before. I’m comfortable talking in front of people so I think I’d enjoy it but I’ve been really busy going back and forth already. When you do a play you have to be fully committed to it. I haven’t been able to make that commitment, yet.
Question: Yes, all those practices. Let’s talk a little bit about Hinsdale. What is your favorite thing to do in Hinsdale?
DC: I think the great thing that I now have is a license (laughs)! That allows me to drive around with my friends. That certainly helps because Hinsdale is a small town…there are great things to do in it.
Question: Yes, a lot of charm and character! Is there anything you’d like your fans to know about you?
DC: Hmm…I think I’ve said this multiple times so far. I think I’ve grown up a little bit more on dinosaurs than Barbie’s (laughs). When I was younger, I thought I was going to be a spy but I fell into acting and I’ve been loving this. I love camping and I love being outside…surfing and snowboarding. We’re a huge outdoorsy family and I’m so thankful for that. I’m really new to all of this but I’m enjoying each part of it.
Q: I just want to thank you so much for chatting with me today and best of luck with the film!
DC: Thank you!
Sarah Adamson© April 20, 2010