Fans got a little taste of Aly & AJ’s new sound (repackaged as the new pop duo 78Violet) when they released new music in July, but AJ Michalka told me that there’s more where that came from! I had a chat with AJ who told me first about her brand new inspiring film, Grace Unplugged, and how it mirrors her own life as an aspiring singer growing up in church, and then we talked about exactly when she and her sister Aly are releasing new 78Violet music. Read on to see what the girls’ plans are (a tour was definitely hinted at!), plus find out which hot actor AJ is dying to work with in her next film. It’s all below:
OK!: Tell me a little bit about your character and the movie and what interested you in the role.
AJ Michalka: It kind of centers on a father daughter relationship and the bond between the family. My character grew up in the church and her father is a worship leader so she’s always kind of learned from him how to play guitar and piano. And then she realized that she doesn’t necessarily want to sing in the church anymore and with her father anymore. She moves to LA, goes on tour and she struggles with the music industry and kind of starts realizing “Omg, this isn’t for me, why am I doing this” and realizes that at the end of the day, family always comes first.
OK!: I feel like that is relatable to a lot of people in the industry, but do you see the Miley/Billy Ray Cyrus relationship in that at all?
AM: Yeah, I totally get that. It was definitely not written about real people but I can see why you see the similarities for sure.
OK!: Does your character’s big break resemble yours at all?
AM: Not really. It’s definitely a different career. Grace just kind of jumps into it. For my sister and I, it’s been more of as low build of building credits and working with great directors and producers and making multiple records and touring. I like where our career has gone and where it’s going because we haven’t changed who we are to make it further in the business.
OK!: This is your first major leading role. If your next movie is a romantic comedy, who would you want as your leading man?
AM: Uh wow, that’s really hard. It wouldn’t be in a relationship way because he’s so much older, but I would love to work with Michael Fassbender. He’s an incredible actor. I’m too old to play his daughter I think but I feel like to do a movie with him, to work with him would be absolutely incredible. I think he’s so talented. I don’t look at actors and go, ‘Oh he’s so dreamy, I want to work with him.’ It’s more like ‘Wow, that guy puts so much into his work.’
OK!: So no celebrity crushes?
AM: (Laughs). I don’t think I have any celeb crushes! Hmm. I mean, my crush is my boyfriend (laughs) which sounds so lame but so true. There’s people I respect and I guess that can be a crush. I think someone like Eddie Redmayne, he’s incredibly talented and he’s realistic to say like, oh yeah that can be a crush because he’s not like, fifty years old (laughs). He seems like a really sweet person. But there’s not really like a boy band or anything that I’m obsessed with.
OK!: Fair enough! The fans want to know—what’s up next for 78Violet?
AM: Oh gosh, writing recording. That’s everyone’s answer but we’re going to be releasing an EP in the next few months so were honing in on what were putting out. It’s been a long wait but we’re a new band now so I don’t feel like it’s been a long wait because in a way it’s just a new introduction. We released a song on our own in July called “Hothouse” and it was just a cool way to introduce our new sound and something that our fans deserved. So we’ll release more this year and will be playing live shows later this year.
OK!: Does the EP have a release date?
AM: It’s up in the air. We’ll have a release date in the next month, but it’s up in the air until we lock it down.
OK!: Who’s your dream collaboration for this EP or just any music moving forward?
AM: There’s so many people. I think a dream for ours, which sounds so far-fetched but why not dream big, is probably doing a collaboration with Bono and The Edge. That would be unreal. We love U2, adore their music, just blown away by who they are as artists. They just seem like really good people. That would be an incredible collaboration in the future if that was ever even close to possible.
Check out AJ in Grace Unplugged now on Video on Demand, or pick up a copy of the DVD starting February 11! Are you excited for more music from 78Violet? Tweet us @OKMagazine.