Hanging out with Laura Marano in the HuffPost New York City offices on Monday felt more like spending time with an awesome girlfriend than interviewing one of the stars of Disney's "Austin & Ally." Laura was super chatty, bubbly and like her character Ally, wise beyond her years.
In fact, Laura said that Ally is so similar to her real-life self that she has a secret theory the writers bug their dressing rooms and use that as material for the show! She was also quick to spill that her co-star Ross Lynch is one of the biggest romantics she's ever met. Aww.
What qualities do you have in common with your character, Ally, on "Austin & Ally?"
Ally and I are really, really similar -- aside from her having stage fright and being shy -- we're both goody two-shoes, we're both really awkward, we both love school and we're both songwriters.
Is it hard for you to break out of character when the cameras aren't rolling?
No, I still have my differences from Ally. I am the biggest klutz on set. I honestly don't think I have ever been as klutzy as when I'm on set. People call me "Grace" ironically because I'm not graceful. It's ridiculous.
What's your favorite part of filming "Austin & Ally?"
There are so many awesome things, but the best thing is that you're working with family. Everyone is just so awesome and so hard-working, which is nice because we have fun but we work really hard. It's really nice to see everyone's working equally hard as everyone else. We just spend so much time together and we all get along, the cast, the crew, people from Disney...
Is that rare?
I've worked on shows before that I've really enjoyed, and there have been similar atmospheres, but from the moment we walked on set on the pilot of "Austin & Ally" we all just clicked.
What do you know about Ross from working with him that you don't think anyone else does? I asked him this same question earlier so this is your chance to level out the playing field.
He is obsessed with "Downton Abbey." He is the biggest romantic I think I've ever met in my entire life. He loves "Moulin Rouge" and he's obsessed with the 1968 version of "Romeo and Juliet." I'll be saying something on set to Raini [Rodriguez] and we'll be talking about some romantic chick-flick movie, and he'll be like, "I love that movie!"
Your older sister Vanessa is also an actress, currently on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth." Do you ever go to her for advice when it comes to your career?
All the time. We vent to each other all the time and have advice sessions. I'll just be like, "Vanessa, I need to talk" and she'll be like, "I'm here for you, kid." It's great because it's hard sometimes to find someone who's going through exactly the same things you're going through. If I say I had a really bad audition or I had a bad day on set, she's like, "I've been there," and vice versa. So it's really nice.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice when you first started the show, what would you say?
I would go back and say don't be afraid to make mistakes. Don't be afraid to go back and make wrong choices and have wrong things happen. Fall down -- that happens a lot on set, I mentioned before -- because you're only a 17-year-old girl, Laura. I think everyone makes mistakes, and you shouldn't be afraid to.
From our Twitter follower @LauraMaranoCAN: Do you interact with a lot of fans on Twitter? Do you love it?
I can't help it, it's ridiculous. I feel like that's the whole point of Twitter. There is self-promotion, but the whole point for me is to talk to my fans. I think that's awesome.
What's the funniest or craziest question you've ever been asked on Twitter?
The questions I get asked are sometimes about other people in the cast. It's hilarious and it makes me super happy. They also know I'm a big "Harry Potter" fan, so someone came up with a Twitter name for me called "Laura Puffs." The first thought I had was "The Powerpuff Girls," but then they explained they meant Hufflepuff from Hogwarts.
How do you de-stress when you feel overwhelmed and stressed out?
I know if I ever have a lot of homework or things to do I just take a breath, play some music and do what I need to do.
Follow Krystie Yandoli on Twitter: www.twitter.com/KrystieLYandoli