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September 2, 2014

Aly Michalka of 'Hellcats' Talks Love Triangles, 'Bring It On' Comparisons and Singing on the Show

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 22nd 2010 4:35PM
Aly MichalkaWhen you're one half of a Platinum-selling band (with your little sister, no less), the hilarious sidekick in the box office's hottest new comedy ('Easy A'), and star of a TV series that requires you to learn complex cheerleading routines every single week, there's not very much down time.

Yet for 'Hellcats' star Aly Michalka, it's all worth it. "It's pretty crazy, but I'm hanging in there," the star said of her hectic schedule. Michalka plays rebellious pre-law student-turned-college cheerleader Marti on The CW's new Wednesday night drama, and spoke with TV Squad earlier this week about her character's relationship woes, being compared to 'Bring It On,' and juggling her music, movie and TV careers. Read on for more.

Is your schedule really crazy with having to learn all those cheerleading routines?
Oh yeah. For sure. I mean, we all are working our butts off but having fun at the same time. That's what it's all about. We want to be a part of the show, we want to stay committed, and it's been a really fantastic experience for myself and I think everybody else.

Did you have any cheerleading or gymnastics experience before you signed on for 'Hellcats'?
Not at all, which is kind of insane. I had a background in dance, in hip hop, so that was something I was very comfortable with when it came to Marti's character since she is the one that kind of brings that style to the squad. But it was totally new to me with the cheerleading so that was really awesome to be able to tap into.

Has it been hard for you to learn?
I've been able to pick it up pretty easily. I studied a lot of videos and stayed in tune with my stunt double and talked to her a lot about things, so we were able to really connect pretty quickly when it came to those things.

There have been a lot of comparisons to 'Bring It On.'
I would say that our show definitely delves into the cheerleading world more than 'Bring It On' ever did, I think. It's really a show that taps into that in a very realistic way. It's obviously a fun show and it's funny, but at the same time it's looking at the serious injuries that happen, the commitment that you need for the squad, the dangerous stunts, and just how intense the sport really is.

Were you looking to join a TV series?
I decided this year that I wanted to get into the TV world. I hadn't really planned on coming back to TV necessarily, but I was so impressed with the script and I was excited to start working again and I just said "You know what, if I'm a part of a killer script that I'm passionate about, why leave out TV?" So I ended up going out for 'Hellcats' and immediately just connecting to the script and the storyline and everything about it, and I'm so happy that I did.

'Hellcats' Tell me a little about Marti.
Marti is really the hero of our story. She's the girl that comes in unexpectedly and turns the squad into something completely new. I love that she's one of those girls who you would never expect to be part of a cheerleading squad and be committed to it, but at the end of the day she's somebody that you can count on. She knows what it takes to make the squad better and different, and I love that about her.

What's coming up next for her?

You're definitely going to see Marti involved in a lot of issues when it comes to relationships. You're going to see her be confused and torn apart when it comes to her friendship with Dan and the feelings she's starting to have for him, as well as feelings for Lewis. You're going to see her connection with Savannah become stronger, and you're also going to really see a change in her when it comes to having to juggle her studies with the cheerleading squad. And that's going to be a big thing when it comes to her commitment.

I like her relationship with Savannah -- it's very layered and they really try to understand each other instead of just act like bitches.
Yeah. I love that there is a sense of humor to their relationship and kind of an awkwardness, but they can find a common ground with each other because there is this respect that they both have for one another. So it's kind of an unlikely relationship. I always like when something isn't quite on the nose when it comes to TV relationships, when it's not something you're going to assume. "Oh, of course they're going to hate each other." But no, they actually don't. They actually dig each other and can appreciate each other for what they bring to the squad.

So we're going to see that dynamic stay the same?

Yeah. You're going to see it with some ups and downs -- we can't keep it all the same. There's going to be some issues they both go through, but at the end of the day they definitely are friends who care about each other.

Do you relate to Marti or Savannah more?

I definitely can relate to Marti more. I definitely have her spunk and her sense of humor. I also can really relate to the way that she feels about her friends. I feel like her style, even the way that she dresses, is very similar to mine. So I love that there's a similarity there that I can really tap into when it comes to playing her.

Are any of your castmates really like their characters too?
I definitely can see pieces of Ashley in Savannah for sure, and I can see pieces of Dan in Matt, his charm and his likability. It's funny. I think we were all really cast well for our roles. It's pretty insane. And I love the fact that we are all close as a cast. That's something that's so rare and so special, and I love that about us.

Do you guys hang out together off set?

Oh yeah, totally. We have dinner together -- me and Ashley just had dinner the other night. We are all definitely close. I love that we can trust in each other and be there when we've had a rough day or whatever.

Who would you choose for Marti, Dan or Lewis?

I actually love her with both. It's really funny. I understand that people are going to root for one or the other, but they both bring such great things to Marti. When I think about Marti with Lewis or with Dan, I really see that, okay, Dan is her best friend, of course they're going to have this great banter and this great relationship, but Lewis is this new guy that is her base on the team and gives her a lot of support. So you kind of root for them all.

'Hellcats'Are we going to hear you sing on the show at all?

In episode four there is a really cool storyline with Marti in a very organic setting where there is music that's brought into the show that I was really excited about and very open-minded to, so that's a cool new thing that people will be able to look forward to.

With the success of 'Easy A' and the buzz from 'The Roommate' trailer, are you going to switch your focus next on movies?
I think for my off time, when I'm on hiatus, I'm definitely going to want to do a film. I'm so ready for that, but it's all about juggling my music career, which is extremely important with my sister, as well as the show and making features. So I think it's all about just making sure that I continue to do projects that I'm passionate about and I'm excited about at the end of the day.

Do you have anything else you want the viewers to know?
Just continue to check out the show! It's going to get better and better. The writers are really great when it comes to twists on this show and making it fresh and new each week. I'm really excited to see what the fans have to say week after week because if I'm thrilled and I'm excited about the show and I've done these takes 20, 30 times, I think that says something.

Can you tease any of the new twists?
There's going to be a really great twist when it comes to Marti and her law studies. She's going to start getting involved in a court case that's going to take her time away from the squad, and she's going to really have to balance her time between the two things.

'Hellcats' airs Wednesdays at 9PM on The CW.

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