This week, we caught up Jennifer Stone, who plays Harper on the wildly popular Wizards of Waverly Place and will be guest-starring in a special two-part episode of the Disney Channel animated series Phineas and Ferb this season.
Well, first of all, I have a question from (Wizards of Waverly Place executive producer) Peter Murrieta. He wanted me to ask you why he's always telling you not to screw up on set?
You know, you'll have to ask him that, I have still not figured it out. We're on the third season and he still always tells me, "Don't screw it up, Stone!" and I'm always like, "Peter! God!" It makes me so mad!
So you're doing a voice on the Season 2 premiere of Phineas and Ferb, is that correct?
Yeah! I filmed it awhile back and I felt like it was never going to come out, because animation takes such a long time to get together and polish. I'm just really excited it's going to come out soon.
Tell me a little bit about the character you're playing.
Well, I play Candace's daughter in the show and it's really funny, because Moises Arias (Hannah Montana) plays my little brother. I've worked with him before, so he is like my little brother. It's kind of life imitating art. But my character is pretty much just a carbon copy of Candace so I get to do my best Ashley Tisdale impression. I was on YouTube trying to watch old episodes of Phineas and Ferb to see how she did it, and [the character] is kind of very snooty and doesn't like it when her brother gets ahead of her and that kind of thing.
Do you have siblings? Did you relate to that at all in your real life?
I do have an older brother! But you know, he and I have always gotten along. We've always had different aspirations. I think we might have had a little competition when we both did theater, but now we've gone down different paths in our lives and we're competition-free.
What's it like doing voiceover work? How does being in the booth compare to doing television?
I enjoy it a lot! This is going to sound cheesy, but with acting there are so many tools. When you're on camera, you're using all of it. You're using the voice, you're using your body, you're using wardrobe, all of it, but it's funny, once you take all of those things away you realize how much you rely on the physicality. It was really fun just working on acting vocally and I found that really fun and challenging.
I spoke with (Phineas and Ferb co-star) Moises Arias earlier and he was telling me that he really admires the work of the guys on South Park and Family Guy. Who do you look up to?
I also look up to Seth Macfarlane and a lot of the people who can do a ton of different types of voices. I look at some of the old villains in the Disney movies. If you really listen, you can hear some of the villains or some of the supporting characters, they use the voices over and over because they were so versatile in the way that they performed on voiceovers. Basically, that's everything I know about vocal acting, all the classic Disney movies.
Is this a potential career path for you or more like a one time thing?
I love any kind of acting, so if I could focus on becoming the best actor I can strictly on my voice, I would love that. I mean, it was really challenging for me and I love a good challenge so I would always be more than happy to do more voiceovers.
So, the other show you work on, Wizards of Waverly Place, just won an Emmy. How do you react to something like that?
It's the best feeling ever. It took me 20 minutes that night to realize what was going on, I was just a pure ball of excited energy. It's just amazing, I feel so blessed to be a part of something that can collect an accolade like that.
And Phineas and Ferb was also nominated for an Emmy. What do you think makes these two shows stand out from the pack?
Having worked with both of them, there are creative forces behind them that are very, very unique. It's amazing because they keep making remakes in this business and all that, but when you have somebody that's really creative and really out there and willing to take chances, I think it really garners success. Both shows have those people that are not afraid to take a risk and not afraid to fail and I think that really pays off.
You just turned 16 years old, but I read an interview with you in which you said you were already looking at colleges, specifically Northwestern. Any other schools your looking and what do you think you'll study?
I'm starting early with the whole college thing. I still have high school to finish and a few more years to do the whole acting thing, and then I'll come back to it after college. I'm looking at Columbia, Barnard, Brown, and a few other schools. I would really like to be on the East Coast. I want to major in psychology and minor in anthropology. I really want to be an actor for the rest of my life, but I also really want the college experience, so I really think that when I'm done with college and I come back to LA to start working as an adult, it would help me to know about the human condition. Much more of a real approach than a method.
That's incredibly intelligent. Now, let's dumb it up a bit. I started following you on Twitter this morning. Are you a big Twitter-user?
I am! I'm kind of addicted! It's a problem! I feel so bad because well, I was at lunch the other day with my friends and we all pulled out our phones simultaneously and it took me a second to realize "Oh my God, we're all Twittering that we're at lunch with each other!" I said, "This is really sad that this is what we've come to!" We're not talking at lunch, we're just telling other people that we're at lunch with each other! So yeah, like I said, it's an issue.
So I have to admit, I was creeping on you on the Internet. I looked at your YouTube page too and I saw you had all kinds of fun vlogs up with your friends and by yourself, and I know that a lot of young Disney stars like Miley Cyrus and Demi and Selena all have YouTube accounts where they do the same thing. Is that something that Disney encourages you to do and if not, have you ever gotten in trouble for it?
Oh, no. We're all teenage girls -- I think that people forget that because of the business that we're in -- but all three of us or any girl who's in the public eye that vlogs like that, it's just because we're young and that's what young kids do. We're all interested in being heard and just kind of being goobers. So no, we're definitely not encouraged to do it and we all do it on our own time.
Well, I think that's pretty much it on my end, but for any of our TV.com readers who may not have checked out Phineas and Ferb tell us why they should tune in!
I think it's just a really smart show. I'm a classicist, so if you look back on some of the classic animated shows, some of the characteristics that they have that have disappeared in newer animated shows, it's subtlety in Phineas and Ferb. It's just a really great show. It's smart, animated comedy and it's a lot of fun.
To catch Jennifer Stone (and Hannah Montana star Moises Arias) on Phineas and Ferb, tune in to the Season 2 premiere, “Phineas and Ferb’s Quantum Boogaloo,” on September 21 at 8 pm on the Disney Channel.