With School Of Rock having returned for its second season, fresh off the back of an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Program, PopWrapped once again caught up with Jade Pettyjohn, who plays Summer in the show to chat upcoming projects, dream roles and industry pressure.
PW: What can fans of the show expect from your character Summer in Season 2 and from the show as a whole?
Jade Pettyjohn: Summer goes through a lot of changes this season. She learns to take risks and learns to really express herself, which I think is so important. This particular season is not only funny but it has a lot of heart, which, as an actress, is really fun to play.
PW: The show's done amazingly well, racking up an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children's Program. Did you ever imagine it'd have the reaction it has?
JP: I love seeing the great feedback from the show! It's funny; I didn't really know what to expect. I was having such a good time working on this show that my attention wasn't on whether or not it would get nominated for something. But I can't tell you how happy I am to see that people have been enjoying it and that we were nominated for an Emmy!
PW: What can you tell me about your guest star role on the new CBS series Pure Genius?
JP: I play the upcoming character Maddie Sorensen on Pure Genius, and I'm so excited!! If you have watched the trailer for the series, you could get a pretty good idea of the style of the show. This character has a lot of layers, and she is completely different from the characters I've played in the past. I can't wait for you guys to see it.
PW: You're also filming a Nickelodeon TV movie. Any details you can tell us about?
JP: Yes! I will be starring alongside Jace Norman, Haley Tju, and Davis Cleveland in the film Rufus 2. I had such a blast filming this movie! You can expect lots of stunts, humor and cats!
PW: You're starring alongside Jeremy Sisto and Katee Sackhoff in the indie film Girl Flu. What drew you to the movie, and what would you say makes it stand out from other releases at the moment?
JP: This film has a topic that is almost never portrayed in film, or it’s dramatized in an unrealistic way. Girl Flu shows what it's like to become a woman -- realistically -- and all of the things we go through for the first time. I think that's what makes it stand out from other releases in a way. It's a coming of age film that shows all the beauty, chaos and messiness of becoming a woman.
PW: Who would you most like to work with in the industry and why?
JP: I would love to work with Meryl Streep! I mean come on, guys. It's Meryl freaking Streep!
PW: Finally then, do you feel any particular pressure being such young actress in an ever-competitive industry? What motivates you to keep pushing forward, even when things get tough?
JP: This industry can be very competitive and you have to deal with a lot of rejection. It's so incredibly important to love what you do and just trust yourself. It's all about loving what you do, staying grounded and working hard. The rest is just noise.