JS: Well, the script first and foremost. My agents sent me the script and I read it and I was like, “This is really, really funny.” So, I went and had an initial audition with David Holden, the creator and Ashley Tisdale was there, Caryn Lucas was there, and then the casting directors were there. Then, they called me back in to do a work session with Emily Osment, because she had already been cast and then I did a chemistry test with the network, and I got the call that night that I had gotten it.
MM: That’s great. What was the first thing that you did when you found out that you got the role?
JS: It was weird. It was really late at night and I was watching a band with my manager. It was really weird. It was like ten o’clock at night when I got the phone call- it was so after business hours. (laughs) Yeah, I don’t know if he had to send the tapes to New York, or something like that- I forget what happened. But, yeah, I got it late at night. Me and my manager went out for a drink. It was kind of fun.
MM: That’s a good way to celebrate, always. So now, how has it been working with Emily Osment and the rest of the Young & Hungry cast?
JS: Oh, it’s amazing! I mean, I hope this show runs for a hundred episodes! It’s so much fun. It’s kind of like the perfect storm. To get all the actors that we got on the show, and to have all the writing staff that we have on the show, and then to have producers like Ashley Tisdale on board, and a network like ABC Family. The thing I love about ABC Family, unlike other networks, is that ABC Family gives your show a chance to develop. So often, network television shows will get cancelled after three episodes, and it’s like, well how do you know what this show is if it gets cancelled after three episodes? ABC Family really gives a show the chance to get its legs. That being said, I think season two is going to be exponentially better than season one was. Because, you know, season one is all about exposition and letting the audience get to know these characters and getting the groundwork out of the way. In season two, you actually get to follow these characters on their journey now. You know the show, you know the characters, you know the settings, you know the story. Now the writers get to have fun and actually write for the show.
MM: Definitely. The network really backs their shows and I’m sure you guys will be on for a long time. We hope you guys will be! Random question. What’s your go-to movie when you’re home alone and you just want to be lazy?
JS: My go-to movie recently has been The Grand Budapest Hotel. I love it. I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it!
MM: Definitely! It’s one of those movies that you can kind of watch over and over and just appreciate it.
JS: It’s so good. Have you seen it?
MM: I have, yes.
JS: Yeah. I mean, I’m a big Wes Anderson fan. The Life Aquatic has always been my favorite movie. There will always be a special place in my heart for The Life Aquatic, but The Grand Budapest Hotel– I can watch that movie over and over and over again.
MM: That’s a great choice. Now, you said that the show is filmed in front of a live audience. What is that experience like?
JS: I love it. I think it’s great. It kind of brings me back to my theater roots. You know, with a live audience, there’s that instant gratification of when you do something funny, they laugh. When you’re in a dramatic moment, you can hear a pin drop. In those moments… It’s funny because our show is a comedy, but it’s those dramatic moments that let you know the audience is invested. Because, when you’re doing a scene and it’s kind of a more somber scene and you can hear a pin drop, you know that audience is right there with you along for the ride. It’s like they’re right there. So it’s cool to have that exchange of energy going on live.
MM: Yeah. That must be a great feeling to get that feedback and just know that hey, this is going well and we can keep doing what we’re doing.
JS: Yeah. I mean there’s people in the audience who come every week and are just diehard fans of the show. No joke. They have been to every one of the episodes, and it’s cool to see that you’re impacting people like that.
MM: Wow, that is awesome. That is huge. You know, you guys have a great roster of characters, but who would you like to see guest star on Young & Hungry.
JS: (laughs) It’s funny you say that, because I was actually talking about this recently with our showrunner, David Holden. I want Huey Lewis to play my dad so badly. I am a huge Huey Lewis fan, and I think he’s a great actor, as well. I always have this dream of doing a karaoke scene with Huey Lewis. I think that would be great!
MM: (laughs) That would be awesome. Well, maybe it will happen!
JS: (laughs) But I mean this season also we have awesome guest stars. Ashley Tisdale comes back. Jesse McCartney comes back. Kylie Minogue just did a couple episodes. We’re bringing some heavy hitters.
MM: You guys are just hitting the ground running! So now what are three random facts about yourself that the fans may not know about?
JS: Three random facts. I love burritos. I love burritos with all of my heart. They are my favorite food. I’m a magician. I’m a member of The Academy of Magical Arts at The Magic Castle in Hollywood. And what’s another fact? I started playing pipe organs when I was in second grade.
MM: You’ve got some interesting stuff going on over there. Now what can you tease that the fans can look forward to when the show returns on March 25?
JS: What can I tease, huh? (laughs) This is when I wish my publicist was sitting next to me, so I know how to answer this question.
MM: (laughs) Trying to be sneaky, but we understand you can’t give too much away.
JS: I can tease… some interesting moments between… some peculiar moments between Elliot (Rex Lee) and Yolanda. I can tease… I mean, maybe Josh and Gabi get together for the season. Who knows. Maybe they do.
MM: Maybe they do. Now are you on Team Josh and Gabi, are you still holding out.
JS: Well, I’m not on Team Cooper! (laughs) I’m Team Josh all the way.
MM: Duh! And finally, are you working on any other projects that the fans can look out for other than Young & Hungry?
JS: I can’t really work on anything acting wise with Young & Hungry since we’re shooting through May. It’s kind of a full schedule, but I am writing a bunch of stuff. I have a sitcom in development, and I have a feature film in development. It’s kind of weird, because they are complete opposites. I have a sitcom in development and a horror film in development. (laughs) Complete opposite ends of the spectrum.
MM: (laughs) Definitely, but that proves that you are well-rounded and you have multiple interests. We look forward to when those come out.
JS: Thank you so much!