×

‘Teen Beach 2’ Team Talks Success, Expectations & Another Sequel at Premiere Party

“Teen Beach 2” stars and fans kicked off the week with some fun in the sun for the TV movie’s premiere party and screening at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif. on Monday evening.

Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell, Garrett Clayton, Grace Phipps (pictured) and the entire cast of the hotly-anticipated “Teen Beach Movie” sequel sat in the audience among a room full of lucky kiddos who screened the Disney Channel Original Movie, days before Friday night’s television debut.

Director and choreographer Jeffrey Hornaday, who returned in his original roles for the follow-up flick, reminded attendees that the first film ranked as the No. 2 television cable movie of all time, only behind Disney’s own “High School Musical.”

“It was beyond our wildest expectations,” Hornaday said, sharing that Mouse House insiders have been rumbling about the sequel being even better than the original, which debuted to 13.5 million viewers in 2013.

As for “High School Musical” comparisons, Clayton, who plays Tanner, one of the lead four characters, told Variety, “Besides being on Disney Channel and being a musical, I think we’re vastly different.” If anything, the success is a point of similarity, though Clayton said the cast is managing their expectations even though the pressure is on. “It was kind of scary the first time around. We just went into it like, whatever happens, happens. We put our best into it so good luck to us all — and that’s kind of how I feel this time.”

Diving into a second movie brought along challenges and changes, but Clayton promises viewers can expect more of what they loved two summers ago, just bigger and better. “The one thing I always recognize in sequels is that it seems like the second one, nine times out of 10, they change everything,” he said. “I think a lot of it was trying to find the balance of giving everyone what they loved with the first, but then giving them a bunch of fresh ideas and things they never thought about these people. I just focused on giving people what they loved and then adding to it.”

Besides changes on-screen, the cast also experienced major transitions off-screen, as “Teen Beach Movie” made stars out of the actors. WME-repped Mitchell leads ABC Family’s drama “The Fosters,” now in its third season. The newly-signed UTA client Lynch recently wrapped the fourth and final season of his Disney Channel hit “Austin & Ally,” and is the lead singer of mega-successful band R5. The group performed at Monday’s screening afterparty (pictured below).

“Now, we’re actually famous,” Clayton joked when reminiscing of the last “Teen Beach” premiere. “People will be like, ‘Are you famous? Can I take a picture?’ And I’m like, ‘You don’t even know who I am!'”

This time around, however, fans were waiting to take selfies with the actor, who was able to sneak away for this brief interview. With a laugh, he adds, “Now, Christmas shopping is a whole new venture.”

While partygoers enjoyed arts and crafts, of-age beverages and a snack-filled buffet at the outdoor fest where Disney Channel’s head of casting Judy Taylor was schmoozing with the cast, Clayton surmised the idea of a “Teen Beach 3,” much like “High School Musical,” which moved from the small screen to the silver screen for the third go. While a third sequel is not in the works, Clayton said he and his pals would be open to jumping back on the surfboard.

“I always say it depends on the script and the story you’re going to tell. I think we’ve all kind of said if it’s a good script, why wouldn’t we want to make it?” He continued, “I have my own personal ideas of what it should be, but that’s just me.”

If another movie was greenlit, Clayton would also like to see the project head into theaters. “I feel like we would have established a solid enough fanbase at that point that the audience is there for it so they would want to see it because they’d want to see how the story ends — especially if they’ve committed to being obsessed with two films.”

(Pictured above: “Teen Beach 2” cast at Walt Disney Studios)

More Scene

  • Oscar Menu to Be Almost All

    Oscar Menu to Be Almost All Plant-Based

    The Oscars are getting greener. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Monday that it will be offering entirely plant-based menus at today’s Oscar Nominees Luncheon and then in the Dolby Theatre lobbies prior to the 92nd Academy Awards on Feb. 9. The post-ceremony Governors Ball will be 70% plant-based, and 30% [...]

  • 'Little America' Team on Creating Immigration

    'Little America' Team on Creating the Immigration Anthology Series for Apple TV Plus

    Respect and authenticity were the key words at the screening of the new Apple TV Plus series “Little America” on Thursday in Los Angeles. Produced by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon and inspired by true stories featured in Epic Magazine, “Little America” is an anthology series focused on immigration. For executive producer Sian Heder, [...]

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival - Egyptian

    Sundance 2020: The Ultimate Party Guide

    Heading to Park City? From intimate dinners and cocktail parties to late night bashes (that end just in time to head to brunch), there’s plenty to keep this year’s film festival attendees out of the cold between screenings. Here is Variety’s ultimate party guide for Sundance 2020:  Thursday, Jan. 23 “Summertime” Premiere Party Lyft Lounge, 8-11 [...]

  • BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 21:

    Jenna Andrews Hosts Zhavia Ward, Lennon Stella at Jed Foundation Fundraiser

    Jenna Andrews, the Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer and executive, hosted a pre-Grammy event in partnership with The Jed Foundation at Alice and Olivia in West Hollywood on Tuesday.  The non-profit Jed is dedicated to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide. The foundation has partnered with high schools and colleges in order to “strengthen mental health, [...]

  • Coldplay - Chris Martin

    Grammys 2020: The Ultimate Party Guide

    Let the music play, indeed. The Grammys are just days away and dozens of parties are happening every night this week leading up to the big day, Sunday, Jan. 26. And the partying continues with several bashes following the ceremony. (All events listed are by invitation only unless marked otherwise; this list is being updated [...]

  • Jared Harris arrives at the 26th

    No, Jared Harris is Not Playing Doctor Octopus in Marvel's 'Morbius'

    The first-ever trailer for Marvel and Sony’s next Spider-man spinoff “Morbius” left comic book fans reeling with theories. While the plight of the main character, Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) – a scientist dying of a rare blood disease who accidentally turns himself into a vampire – seemed ripped right out of the comics, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content