CHELSEA STAUB on 'J.O.N.A.S!' Interview by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for Radio Free Entertainment
November 20, 2007
In the span of just a few years, actress Chelsea Staub has managed to score gigs on several Disney-related projects, including a guest spot on Wizards of Waverly Place, a starring role in the time traveling Disney Channel original movie Minutemen, and a lead in the upcoming teen spy series J.O.N.A.S! alongside the Jonas Brothers. Even her big screen undertaking, Bratz, was directed by Sean McNamara, who has produced and directed for shows like Even Stevens, That's So Raven, and Phil of the Future.
In the second half of our exclusive two-part interview with Chelsea, she talks about the relationship between the various roles and offers a brief preview of J.O.N.A.S!
RadioFree.com: Your work has included several Disney projects: Wizards of Waverly Place, Minutemen, and J.O.N.A.S! And Bratz was directed by Sean McNamara, who has a long history with Disney. Has one job directly led to the next, or is it largely coincidence?
CHELSEA: I think it's total coincidence. [laughs] It's really weird. I did the pilot of Wizards of Waverly Place, which was great because it just got me kind of in the Disney family, you know? And we had a great time. And then I auditioned for Bratz, and it just so happened that Sean has done a bunch of stuff with Disney. And then like two weeks after I wrapped Bratz, I auditioned for J.O.N.A.S!, which is the Jonas Brothers pilot, and booked that. I guess Bratz got into it in a sense where it was down to me and another girl for J.O.N.A.S! They were having trouble deciding, and it just kind of lucked out that it was about the time the Bratz preview was being released. And they had worked with Sean McNamara, so they trusted him, and if he hired me...You know, "she must be capable of doing something." [laughs] Because they trusted Sean with Even Stevens and That's So Raven and stuff like that. So it just kind of worked out that after Bratz, I sort of fell into the Disney family.
So Bratz was like a tie-breaker between you and the other girl?
I would say it really helped, you know? It helps to have work that's coming out all the time. [laughs]
Where did Minutemen fit into the whole work schedule?
I did the Jonas Brothers pilot, and while I was on set, Minutemen kind of was coming out and girls were auditioning, and I couldn't make it to the audition. I actually turned down the Minutemen audition three different times because I was either shooting J.O.N.A.S! or I had press for Bratz--I just wasn't able to make the audition. And they kept saying like, "Oh no, we'll find the time for you, we'll find the time for you!" So finally I was able to get in the door with Minutemen, and I guess it just worked. [laughs] And I got the part, which was exciting. So like the day after the Bratz premiere in Los Angeles, I flew out to Utah to start shooting Minutemen. I was in kind of a whirlwind couple of months.
Disney seems like a great organization to get into. They cross-promote their movies and shows well...
They do. They're wonderful. I feel really lucky to be involved with them.
Can you tell us about the general premise of J.O.N.A.S!, and your character?
Absolutely. It's a show about spies. J.O.N.A.S! stands for "Junior Operatives Networking as Spies." The Jonas Brothers are spies...The band is actually their cover--they play concerts to cover the fact that they're really saving the world, you know? They're really secret agents. Meanwhile, I'm this writer for a teen magazine who doesn't realize they're spies, but I go on dates with all three of them without them knowing that I'm dating the other brothers, and I write about it in my column. [laughs] And they have no idea where this information is coming from. So pretty much the entire show, it's all of us lying to each other, and kind of everything backfiring, and us getting caught in awkward situations. It's really funny. It's a little confusing, but... [laughs]
The Jonas Brothers have a lot of devoted fans, some of whom might be jealous of your character dating all of them. Are you prepared for the possible backlash from young girls?
I know, I'm a little nervous! The Jonas Brothers have some pretty crazy fans. They're great though. Their fans are so cool. They're so supportive of the boys, and the boys are just the nicest things you'll ever meet. They're so sweet. And I just hope the girls realize that I love the Jonas Brothers as much as they do. [laughs] And I'm a fan too, and I'm not out to "steal any of them" or something like that. I'm actually really excited to be in a show with guys that already have such a big fan base. It's like, "Wow, lucky me that I get to kind of fall into that."
Sounds like a fun premise that's like the opposite of Hannah Montana. When can we expect it to debut on the Disney Channel?
We're supposed to start shooting end of January. That's when the boys finish their Hannah Montana tour. And the show should be released in June.
Okay, time for our standard oddball question...What is your favorite black and white animal: panda, penguin, cow, or something else?
Ooo...That's good. Ummm...I would have to say a panda...Because they're so cute! You just want to cuddle up with them. I'm sure they don't like to cuddle, but... [laughs]
They probably look friendlier than they actually are...
Yeah. I would imagine. But we'll pretend. [laughs]
Chelsea, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us this morning...
Oh, thank you so much! It was great talking to you...Take care!