–SO-M, along with some other online bloggers, recently had the chance to visit the set of ABC Family’s new comedy, “Ruby & The Rockits.” Check out some highlights from the onset interview with Austin Butler. Austin plays “Jordan Gallagher” in the show. You can also catch Austin in the movie Aliens in the Attic opening in July.
What was the audition process like for the show? When I saw the audition, when my manager told me about it, I didn’t want to go in because I didn’t sing, and they wanted me to sing. And so I was like, “Let’s see how this is going to go.” My manager convinced me to go, and I went, and —they thought I was all right. So we went through all the auditions. And I didn’t really know Shaun or David by just looking at them, and my mom of course went crazy when she heard that I was going to be there.
And so I went in there, and I did the thing, and I remember seeing David and Shaun. And I kind of knew Shaun because I had looked on YouTube videos, trying to see him, and I saw him performing at the Grammies in tight, white pants and stuff. And then David, I remember him laughing at my song because I picked this really emo song on purpose, because that’s kind of how my character is. So I picked this Death Cab for Cutie song that was really emotional. It was fun.
Do you play guitar? I do. I’ve been playing for about four, five years.
Do you have any youtube videos? I think I might. I think I made one as a joke. I don’t do it as much as I would like. I’d like to be one of those people who has a lot of funny YouTube videos. I have a friend, Robert Hoffman, who has—he was in Step Up 2: The Streets, and he’s like the main guy in that, and he does all these YouTube videos that are very viral. He does this one where he dresses up as a ninja and jumps out at people and runs through the streets. It’s really funny. It’s called “Urban Ninja.” Yeah, it’s really good.
Girls are starting to follow you around, like when you went to Disneyland recently. Are you getting used to being a teen idol? I’m not used to it, for sure. And it’s not as bad as I think—I mean, not that it’s a bad thing, at all. It’s a great thing. But it’s not as excessive as Shaun’s and stuff was. Yeah, it was really a surreal experience because when you go out like that and you’re actually filming in a public place, then it brings a lot of attention to you and then people started going, “Oh.” Because normally they would just kind of go, “Oh, I don’t know who he is, really,” just by looking at me. But then they’ll say, “Oh yeah, now I know who that is.” And so it kind of brings their—it brings you into their mind.
And then once one person starts, then it grows into this crazy thing. And so it was really a surreal experience to have all these people wanting—like, groups of people there. It was just insane.
Have Shaun or David [Cassidy] given you any advice on how to deal with the screaming girls? They’re really wanting to give me a lot of advice, and Shaun says to take his advice and David says to take his advice. But supposedly David was the crazier of the two. So Shaun I guess is more mature in that aspect. He handled himself better. Patrick says the same. But they’ve kind of warned me that if it gets too crazy that I should definitely ask them for their advice.
Do you do any live singing for the audience of the show, or is it all pre-recorded? In the pilot, we had pre-recorded all the songs, and then on the day we decided, “Let’s do it. Let’s sing it live.” And I was really nervous, and we ended up doing it. And it makes it sound more raw and not so polished, and they liked that. But it’s hard, because in the studio you can do the same line over and over until you get it perfect, and then do another line. But this way it was kind of like, “Oh, this is nerve-wracking.” So Alexa and I were out in the back lot, singing really loudly. People were walking by us thinking, “Are you crazy.”
Do you have any plans to make an album? I would like to. I’ve been writing music, and I love it. I play piano and guitar and sing. I love it so much. But lyrics are really hard to write for me, so I’m working on that. And then hopefully I can record something.
Who is your favorite Cassidy brother? They’ve all got their things that I love about them. Patrick and I, we’ll work out together and we’ve been bonding, because he’s like a workout fanatic, and he’s in amazing shape. And so we’ll work out together. And then David will show me things on the guitar. And it’s so cool. It’s crazy. Now that I know who he is and stuff, it’s so crazy to play guitar with him. And then Shaun gives the best advice and he’s so like—and he’s funny. They’re all so great. And then Ryan, he’s like the nicest guy in the world.
Is this your first time filming in front of a live audience? Yeah. I’d done a lot of single-camera stuff. I did this small part in Hannah Montana, and that was live audience, and that was my first experience. And it was really exhilarating. It’s so cool to be here because there I had, like, four lines. It was a really small part. So here when I actually get to be in it more and then have the audience here, and they’re so pumped up and it’s such an exhilarating experience.
What’s it like working with Kurt [Doss] (who plays the little brother)? Kurt lately has gotten into the mood of wanting to prank me like crazy. It’s all he wants to do. And so he’s warning me constantly, “I’m going to get you. I’m going to get you.” And I was like—I did nothing to provoke it, and I’ve been so nice. The first thing that, Alexa gave him the idea, was to put salt in my cereal on set. So they put—did he tell you about this?
Oh, yeah, the bra. Alexa’s bra. Yeah. So I was having to eat Cap’n Crunch in the scene, and I left for a second, and they filled it with salt. I didn’t want to eat it because it’s soggy and I don’t like soggy cereal, and then they were like, “Oh, no, it’s really good. Cap’n Crunch is really good soggy.” So I was like, “Okay, I’ll try it.” And so not only was it soggy, it was salty like crazy. So it was terrible.
Last Friday, while we were doing the show, the audience was here, we had one scene in between our scenes that we were going to be in, and I saw him walking with this group of keys. And he had been warning me all day that he was going to get me. And I was like, “Oh, this can’t be good.” So I went to my room, and I hid in my bathroom. And sure enough, five minutes later him and four guys came in there, and Kurt’s like, “Oh, here’s the plan. We’re going to put all his furniture in the middle of the room.” And then they had this huge thing of Saran Wrap, and I came out and I screamed at him. And he’s like, “Oh. You got me.” So yeah. He was going to Saran Wrap all my furniture together.
Do you hang out with Alexa Vega? Alexa, she’s just wonderful. I mean, she’s so cool to hang out with. She introduced me to sushi—but now I can’t order for myself. She has to order for me, because she knows exactly what to order. So yeah, she’s great. She’s great to hang out with.
Are you still going to school? I’m 17…18 in a month. I tested out when I was 15½, actually, so I haven’t been going to school. I’ve been doing it, but it’s kind of my own thing. I don’t worry about certain subjects. It was CHSPE. It’s the proficiency exam. So I have a diploma and everything, and now I’ll focus more on reading and I still do some math and stuff, but just not quite as excessive.
Any plans for college? I would like to go to college. I’m not in any rush right now, but I would like to go eventually so I could say that I did. Yeah.
Are you on twitter? Yep. @austin_butler.
Be sure to watch “Ruby & the Rockits” on ABC Family Tuesday nights at 8:30pm EST. Check back for more interviews with the cast.