In the Spotlight: Aly Michalka

It’s a new year, and it’s time for Hollywood’s new superstar. It’s too soon to tell who it will be, but Aly Michalka isn’t resting on her laurels this year. Starting with a new movie, hit TV show, and working on her music career, Michalka is the one to watch in 2011. Michalka started acting at the age of five—and hasn’t stopped since. She started in stage productions by churches her family attended outside Seattle, Washington and in Thousand Oaks, California. She was featured in numerous musicals, including “Jailhouse Rock” and “A Time to Remember”.

Michalka then made a jump from church productions to the Disney Channel. She played Keely Teslow on Phil of the Future and Taylor Callum in the Disney Channel original movie Cow Belles. A few years later, she matured and now stars on the popular CW show Hellcats.

Michalka plays the lead, Marti, on Hellcats. The show is based on the book “Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders”, by journalist Kate Torgovnick. The series focuses in the lives of college cheerleaders - many may not know Michalka’s mother was a cheerleader for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, making the role of Marti a natural fit for Michalka.

Hellcats premiered September 2010, and it is already getting critical acclaim, and was nominated for the People’s Choice Awards for Favorite New TV Drama earlier this year. Michalka and cast are ramping up for a great season in 2011.

“There’s some really cool story lines with Marti trying to find out who her dad is. She has no idea who her father is. She thinks that he’s not alive anymore. So she goes searching for answers. She actually is the one who seeks out what his life was like and the fact that he was a musician. She’s trying to find something to hang onto, something to give her hope that maybe he’s alive or maybe there’s something out there that she can relate to.”

“And a cool connection with that is she finds a bunch of guitar picks from a certain music store. She goes in, asks them, “Is there any way you know Rex Perkins? Has he played around here?” And the girl who happens to work at the guitar shop is my sister in real life, AJ. So she’s going to come on the show in late January, and she’s going to be a really cool character, very different and opposite from Marti, which I think will be great, and cause a lot of problems in her relationship with Savannah - it will cause her to be a little territorial.

“That will be the catalyst of her really reaching out to find more about her dad because Dierdre, which is AJ’s name — I’m still getting used to that — Dierdre ends up giving her some information that’s really helpful for Marti,” says Michalka.

Read more in the March issue of Zooey Magazine

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Photography: Sean Armenta