Debby Ryan: 'Radio Rebel' Portraits & Interview -- Exclusive!

Debby Ryan: 'Radio Rebel' Portraits & Interview -- Exclusive!

Check out our exclusive, portrait session with Debby Ryan!

How amazing does the 18-year-old actress look?! caught up with Debby (in a Joe’s top with Lisa Ho pants) recently to chat about her new DCOM, Radio Rebel, which premieres THIS Friday, February 17th on Disney Channel. Check out what she had to say:

JJJ: Tell me about your character on Radio Rebel and how you came about the project
Debby Ryan: I basically came to Disney and I told them I was ready to do another movie. Radio Rebel came about because after 16 wishes and after we had talked about Jessie I went in for a pitch meeting where I had pitched a couple of ideas and books. I suggested some projects for them to do using me as talent or as a producer or whatever it is. They liked this idea and liked that it was a bit older, with me playing a nanny. They wanted to do 6 episodes of Jessie and then come back. I got a script off the book called Shrinking Violet and the script was really rough, it was almost like a trilogy with a bunch of different stories. I gave my notes on it and they told me they thought I could do this.

They know I love discovering music and producing it so they thought it was a perfect fit. We went to Vancouver and we did it. I had the most amazing time! I shot a bunch of behind the scenes stuff with the production company that I did it with, and I hung out with some amazing people and I covered a song. I worked 12 hour days, and had so much fun! I really like the story, it feels very Breakfast Club and fun. What I like about the story is that it is a voice of a generation story, it’s very much 2012 with the podcasts, but it’s also kind of timeless. It feels like it could happen at any time, in any town and in any decade.

Radio is one of those things that is never going to go out of fashion, so I like to be able to bring a voice to it. There haven’t been many radio stories especially for my generation. It was fun and it was awesome, and I covered a Go Go’s song for it which was so cool. My production company produced a music video for the song and its just been a really cool growing experience.

(Click inside for the rest of our interview with Debby Ryan…)

JJJ: You mention you have been working back to back where is time for a little vacation?
DR: Here is the thing, I’m not like a construction worker to where it takes a toll on my body. Yes, it’s exhausting flying places and working 14 hour days, but I do what I love. I have sacrificed so much and have worked so hard since I was 12 in ways that people will never know and in ways that people will never see, so that I can do what I do now. I’m totally OK with it, I like working long days and going home at the end of the day and literally having a good 5 minutes to get ready for bed before I collapse. I go to sleep and then wake up and do it all over again. I still hang out with my friends and we bake and play tons of music. I have the most amazing set ever, all the people we hired are so great. The kids [from Jessie] are so rad, and it’s literally like hanging out with family all day. We just happen to be doing hilarious things.

JJJ: Radio Rebel is based on “Shrinking Violet.” Have you read the actual book?
: I have! I read the script first and then I read the book. Combined with both of those I went to Disney with some of the things I liked about the book and some of the things I liked about the script. The person who revised the script, Katie Wech, worked in television for a long time and did the movie Prom so I really dug her vibe. I actually just hung out with her the other day. I also met the author of the book, and I met her and her kids and really saw her story. She used to be a DJ at school and talked with her about everything. I liked the book, I’m a huge reader so I liked the idea.

There is nothing quite as cool as reading a book and seeing it in your mind, and then watching the movie. Of course it’s never going to be what you saw in your mind because everyone saw a million different things. Bringing a life to that story, is different enough from the book, that I feel that we left things from the book completely untouched. There are some movies where you have to read the book before you watch the movie, but I don’t think that’s the case for this film. You can watch it first then watch the movie if you want, the book is a little more adult content. If you read the book after you watch the movie I would love to hear what you think. Tweet me and let me know what the differences are! [JJJ BOOK CLUB MEMBERS, TAKE NOTE!]

JJJ: What are you most excited for fans to see with this movie?
: What I’m most excited for the fans to see about the movie is, are the fact that the people that I have hung out with in this process have become some of my best friends. That month we filmed was after I had began starring in my own sitcom and before it was on TV, when I had started producing things. It was like summer camp, it was a month with kids my age and them showing me around the town. I would go to record stores and different places around town. Now some of those friends are coming down to LA for pilot season, so I’m showing them around town and hanging out with them. It’s really cool that were still absolutely friends. I’m excited for people to see that chemistry. They are all people that you might not have seen before, but they are all hilarious.

Some of the characters were in the books, and some of them were very different in the books, the characters you see are really fun. All of them are likable but a but human, I feel like I went to school with a lot of kids like this and some of them I wish I had gone to school with kids like them. Some of them just make you smile every time they are on screen, some of them you hate. I feel like it’s a really cool ensemble piece, it’s a cool group. I’m excited for everyone to see it!


Psst, stick around JJJ, we’ll be revealing a little known fact about Debby tomorrow!

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Photos: Francis Bertrand for JJJ
Posted to: Debby Ryan, Exclusive, JJJ Portrait Session
  • marissa

    hi my name is marissa and i hope to one day be like Adam DiMarco
    he my is my hero and he inspires me and he really heped me to open up more i used to be this shy little thing and liked to simile alot and talk alot less and now im not as shy people and look up to me and im talking more than i ever have before sooo thanks alot foreverything u have done always rember you are the #1 :) and i will never forget you always make my day funn u hope u readd this message once againg THANKS!! you are always there for everone!!!!!!!!!!