The second season of “School of Rock” just started filming and we can’t wait to see what covers and adventures are in store. We recently chatted with Jade Pettyjohn—who plays Summer—about the show, music and how she got her start in acting.
Let’s back it up just a tad. “School of Rock” premiered on Nickelodeon in March and it’s based off of the 2003 movie, “School of Rock” which stars Jack Black. It’s also one of Miranda Cosgrove’s first productions.
The television show follows a rocker turned substitute teacher and the crazy antics that ensue at the prestigious prep school where he is now educating students.
Jade plays the role of Summer, who was played by Miranda in the movie.
Jade got her start in acting when she came up with an interesting thought…
“Once I put together that actors were the people who play make believe for a living, I was like, alright, cool, I’ve got to get a part of this,” Jade said in a recent interview.
From there, she asked her parents if she could start getting into it. That was nearly eight years ago and Jade has been really enjoying it.
In fact, you may have even seen her on a couple shows in the past. She’s made appearances on “The Mentalist,” “United States of Tara,” “The Cape” and “Criminal Minds.” She also played McKenna in American Girl’s “McKenna Shoots for the Stars.” Prior to landing the role on “School of Rock” she worked on another Nickelodeon show, “Henry Danger.”
Since the show combines both acting and music, we asked, “How did you prep for this role?”
Well, Jade herself is a musician—even though so far, Summer’s only played the tambourine. She sings, writes songs and plays guitar. She also plays just a little piano and cello.
Jade also watched films that infused music into their plot and films that she thought would play to Summer’s character. She chatted with writers and got their input on what they thought the character to be and of course, she watched the film.
It’s got to be hard filling Miranda’s shoes. From “School of Rock” she grew into a huge star first on “Drake and Josh” and later landing her own show “iCarly.”
“Miranda Cosgrove did such an amazing job!” she shared.
In watching Miranda play Summer, she took elements of her performance and added her own little twist.
“School of Rock” (the television show) also adds plenty of awesome covers. In Season 1, some of the covers included The Romantics’ “What I Like About You,” Meghan Trainor’s “Lips Are Movin’,” and Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack.”
Jade’s—and Breanna Yde’s—favorite cover was WALK THE MOON’s “Shut Up and Dance.”
“It was such a great feeling playing that with the cast. All of us got so into and we were dancing together and it was the last song we got to play for the season,” said Jade.
Earlier this week, the crew even got to play it live in New York.
This season also featured several guest appearances including Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and Kendall Schmidt from Big Time Rush and Heffron Drive.
Musically, Jade’s a huge fan of Alessia Cara.
“She’s got an amazing voice, she’s an amazing songwriter,” said Jade.
She’s also a fan of 21 Pilots. She’s totally digging their latest album “Blurryface”—that’s the one that features radio hit “Stressed Out.”
Other than that, she’s been listening to some classics such as The White Stripes and Smashing Pumpkins.
Jade’s really into music. On her Youtube Channel she runs a series called Jade’s Jukebox. Through that series she chats about music and some of the artists that she loves. Be sure to check it out. So far, she’s talked on Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Blondie. On her Youtube account, she’s also got a couple covers.
You can catch full episodes of “School of Rock on Nick.com.
Want to connect with Jade? Follow her on Twitter at @JadePettyjohn.
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