Season 2 of Faking It continues on MTV August 31, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for the members of our favorite teen drama. Personally, I’m eager to find out what Shane Harvey, aka the hungry gossiper of Hester High is up to. When we last left him, he outed his MMA fighter/trainer boyfriend Duke (Skyler Maxon)… tisk tisk. The stakes are higher and all of the characters have a lot to gain… but also a lot to lose.
Shane, who is played by Michael J. Willett, is that out, proud and popular person you wish you were friends with when you went to high school. We’ve got to admit, Willett has been on a roll lately (we told you last time he was one to watch, didn’t we?), and has not only been busy filming more Faking It, but he recently released his single “Started Over” along with his music video for the song. Described as a modern day Ferris Bueller, Willett hasn’t dropped off of our radar, not even for a second. He recently wrapped an indie film called Tell Tale Lies, which was actually shot in my home state of Connecticut. Talk about wild!
Willett was kind enough to break from his hectic schedule to chat with me about the second half of season 2 and there will be drama! We’re even going to see more of Shane’s family– from special guest stars to an excruciating but rewarding second half of the season ahead of us, I am pumped for this show to return!
MCKENZIE MORRELL: Let’s start with your music first, you recently released your single “Started Over” along with the music video. Can you tell us what was the inspiration behind this song?
MICHAEL J. WILLETT: The song itself was inspired by my constant — or humans constant failures and then triumphs and that in order to begin you need to fail. I feel like life is full of new beginnings and starting over and I think it’s something that happened a lot in my life and it’s a very relatable thing and the music video is sort of an abstract representation of that. I scale a mountain in the video and it’s obviously a metaphor for something larger.
MM: I think it’s a great song and everyone’s taken to it. Can we expect more music from you this year? I know you’ve been working hard on many projects but the fans are eager for more.
MW: As am I. Music is my first love and I’ve been working non stop to write and record and because I”m a perfectionist, it’s taking some time. I would rather come out with something that I’m really proud of, that I really like instead of coming out with a bunch of stuff that’s mediocre.
MM: There’s no need to rush. You want the quality to be great. So sky’s the limit, if you could collaborate with any other artist who would it be and what type of song do you think you two would sing together?
MW: That’s such a great question. I think about that a lot actually. There are so many artists that I respect and would love to collaborate with. My all time favorite artist is probably Gwen Stefani. I’ve always wanted to write with her, for her. I’d love to sing a duet with her. She’s my girl.
MM: That would be amazing. Do you have a favorite song from her?
MW: The one that gets me the most — I remember being at her concert and feeling like she was singing for me — was “Cool.” I love that song. It’s also one I like to cover live.
MM: Faking It returns August 31st. We can’t wait to see what happens. What can fans expect from the show for the second half of the season?
MW: Well I definitely feel like this set of episodes as more drama than ever. The stakes are so much higher. Everyone is dealing with a very difficult relationship with each other and Shane and Liam’s relationship is struggling. It’s more intense than ever.
MM: Lindsey Shaw is guest starring as Shane’s sister and Carter [Covington] mentioned that we’ll be meeting Shane’s mom as well. Is it safe to see we’re going to see a different side to the character when it comes to his home life?
MW: Absolutely. Just thinking about it makes me laugh. You’ll realize that Shane is the calm one in his family. He’s the one that’s probably the most anchored in reality, oddly enough considering he’s somebody who is addicted to drama and loves to be in the middle of things. His family life, they’re so lovable and they’re hilarious. I think that everyone’s going to enjoy that.
MM: When we last saw Shane, he went against his word and covertly outed Duke. Shane is kind of making this a habit. With Duke admitting that he’s gay and professing his love for Shane publicly, will they live happily ever after or is what he did going to come back and bite him?
MW: Well we’ll have to see but the guilt is definitely unbearable for Shane and I think that, like all secrets, things eventually come out whether you’d like them to or not.
MM: Pretend you were an outsider looking in. Who would you like to be friends with in the show? Which character?
MW: I would say I would be friends with Amy. I feel like we would eat icecream together and watch Netflix. We’d have conversations about documentaries and she’s probably the one I would hang out with the most. It’s probably the most realistic relationship on the show, Shane and Amy.
MM: Speaking of ice cream, if Shane was a flavor of ice cream, what do you think he’d be?
MW: I’m going to say cookies and cream. Not only do I love cookies and cream, I feel like just what I said, he’s always in the middle of everything and he’s sort of… delicious.
MM: What about Shane and Lauren? Will we see more of that dynamic? I think their friendship or frenemy vibe is something that people are super responsive to.
MW: Shane doesn’t interact with her as much this season. She sort of have has her own storyline but you’ll still see their same dynamic of butting heads and getting along and then butting heads again. It’s a very tumultuous relationship and they’re always in a state of loving and hating each other.
MM: Season three was picked up. Are you guys happy to hear you get to continue the story?
MW: Are you kidding? I’m so happy. I feel like there’s so much more story to tell and these characters are really evolving and it’s always an honor just that I have a job and that I can continue to make art that I enjoy and enjoy working with these amazing people.
MM: It’s great to be able to go into work and actually enjoy it. We’re looking forward to more. Will you be live tweeting at all this season?
MW: Oh, I’m sure I will. I can’t say how much but I will be going to but I will definitely.
MM: Now, in addition to Faking It, you recently had a role in an indie film, Tell-Tale Lies. Can you talk about that role and when we can expect to see that?
MW: Absolutely. I can’t wait for everyone to see it. It’s based on Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell Tale Heart. I grew up a big Edgar Allen Poe fan and this is sort of a modern interpretation of that story where it’s almost like Cruel Intentions or Heathers where these rich white kids at a school accidently murder this girl and her friend witnesses it and has photos of us so then we have to take her out too. Eventually, the guilt overtakes each of us.
MM: This sounds amazing. Bailey De Young who costars in Faking It with you is also in the movie. Is that correct?
MW: Yeah, I was so happy when I found out we’d be doing this together. It was so cool because we shot in Connecticut and they flew her out and we just caught up and we hadn’t seen each other in a while so it was nice to have a familiar face. It’s a different genre for each of us and I think we both really like horror. It was a nice way to introduce ourselves into it.
MM: Definitely. It’s filming in a different capacity than Faking It so it must have been fun to step out of what you’re usually doing and do something different.
MW: Absolutely. We were in this big, abandoned mansion that had like twenty rooms on each floor or something crazy like that so it was definitely an experience I will never forget.
MM: We took some questions from twitter and a fan wants to know who your celebrity crush is?
MW: Oh man, I don’t even know. Oh yes I do, yes I do. Michael C. Hall. I first fell in love with him on Six Feet Under and then Dexter and then come to find out, he’s collaborating with David Bowie on a new show called Lazarus and Michael C. Hall is in it so I’m freaking out.
MM: How did you feel about that Dexter series finale. Were you for or against it?
MW: I was conflicted. My initial thought was I wanted Dexter to live on forever and sort of walking to the sunset. I wanted to imagine that he’s somewhere alive, still killing people.
MM: We’ll just pretend in our heads that’s what happened. You’re attending the Faking It convention in Paris this year. Is that still happening and are you looking forward to meeting all the fans?
MW: Absolutely. I’m trying to catch up on my French. I took two years of it in high school and some of it has left me but I’m trying to brush up before I go. But yes, I love Paris and I can’t wait to connect with our fans there and it’s going to be a blast.
MM: Lastly, why should people tune in to the Faking It premiere on August 31st. What are you going to say to reel them in to come back and watch?
MW: If you thought you knew us before, you had no idea. It’s definitely going to be, like I said, high stakes and there’s — it’s not going to be a comfortable ride but it’s going to be exciting.
MM: Just an extra bonus question, are you team Karmy or are you team somebody else?
MW: I’m team — what do I always say? I’m team Shamy. I always want to do my scenes with Amy (Rita Volk) and I always feel like those are the most — they’re just fun and we’re always getting into trouble or having cool conversations. I’m team Shamy.
MM: That’s awesome. We can get behind that.