Kelly Blatz isn’t your typical Disney star. Yes, like other mouse-ear operators, he can sing and act. But he'd been playing with his band Capra for years before he entered the inner-sanctum of the Magic Kingdom, and didn’t know fame and success would so soon be on the horizon, nor that he’d be having so much fun doing it. As the star of Aaron Stone, Disney XD’s new series about life imitating
art video games, Blatz plays Charlie Landers—a teenager who's been hired by a billionaire to play his “Hero Rising” video game avatar in real life. But before he can fight actual forces of evil, he has to learn how to live up to his online gaming legend while still turning in his homework on time.
Blatz is also the star of Skyrunners—a Disney XD original movie premiering November 27—in which he plays a teenager who must do whatever it takes to rescue his brother from aliens who want to destroy us all. The movie also features his band’s latest single, “Low Day.”
TV.com caught up with the 22-year-old rocker-turned-action hero to find out how he does it all.
The trailer for Skyrunners is all-too-brief. What can we expect?
It’s a pretty epic adventure: Two brothers find a UFO and realize they now have their own personal space craft, but what they don’t know is the world is about to be taken over by aliens. It’s all this whole crazy wild adventure.
The movie was shot in New Zealand. What was that like?
Oh, you know horrible, the weather was bad … Ha, no. It was always a dream of mine to go there. The food is great, there’s the most beautiful landscapes, most beautiful beaches. Piha Beach was just ridiculous.
Did you try marmite?
What’s that like, vegemite?
Yes, but marmite is what they have in New Zealand. It’s very tangy.
I stuck to my peanut butter.
We like Capra’s new single for the movie, “Low Day.” How does it fit into the story?
Well, when we wrote the song, we didn’t know it would be in the movie. I’ve been in this band since I started studying acting four years ago, and I’ve been with them two years longer than I’ve been working with Disney.
What do you like about acting versus playing music?
I’ve always been into music and always worshiped music—that stems from my parents. My mom sings and my dad’s really into rock and roll. I’ve always been into movies … Spielberg movies. When I was a kid, I was just fascinated.
With acting, you’re allowed to do anything you want, stuff you can’t do in normal life. You can be anything: A jerk, a cowboy.
With music, you can take something out of nothing. You can be sitting in a room with your bandmate and have nothing. Then two hours later, you have “Low Day.” It’s really cool to have something people connect to it all over the world.
It’s becoming more common for today’s young actors to also have a musical career. Why do you think that is?
Sometimes kids get in their head that if they get a hit, they can get famous. For me it’s more of a passion. I stay up all night doing music. We [Capra] are inspired by people in the sixties and want to say something with our music. We didn’t expect to get signed, but we just played for four years and never expected to stop. And we played everywhere, birthday parties, small bars in the middle of the desert, House of Blues, the Viper Room. We started to get a following around town and our shows started selling out, but we enjoyed those shows in the middle of the desert.
Skyrunners and Aaron Stone give you an opportunity to play off your skills as a comedic actor and an action hero. In real life, which one are you more like: Funny guy or bad ass?
I love doing the action stuff. I grew up doing stuff like that, jumping off walls and climbing trees. If I had a horse, I’d be riding it.
I love doing the comedy when you can just let loose. I really don’t take anything too seriously. It’s not fun that way. But [on Aaron Stone], we try to play it very real, with dramatic situations and relationships. We try to get those down before we get too funny.
Give us an idea of where the first season of Aaron Stone is heading.
On Aaron Stone, right now Charlie’s really growing into his own skin. He’s still kept the whole thing a secret from his family and friends. In the meantime, a lot is coming together with the Omega Alliance. The second season is really going for it.
Aaron Stone airs Wednesday nights at 8 pm and Skyrunners debuts Friday, November 27 on Disney XD.