"Bandslam" star Aly Michalka sees teen years fading

Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:44pm EDT
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By Cristy Lytal

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As she leaves her teenage years behind, Aly Michalka, the elder half of the pop duo formerly known as "Aly & AJ," finds herself on a new career track, unleashing her inner rock goddess.

Michalka, who gained fame as a child actor on the Disney Channel and turned 20 years-old in March, makes her feature film debut on Friday in "Bandslam," playing a girl in a rock 'n' roll band, and she has two more movies in the works.

She and her sister, Amanda "AJ" Michalka, 18, will soon see their new album drop under a new band name, writing about themes common to young adults -- heartbreak and individuality.

But first there is "Bandslam," also starring "High School Musical" sweetheart Vanessa Hudgens, which tells about a garage band in dire need of a musical makeover.

With a soundtrack track featuring David Bowie, the Velvet Underground, and unsigned indie bands from the edgy Austin music scene, the film and its music are new territory for Michalka, who started playing music and acting in church plays at age five.

"My three songs I had to rehearse were 'Amphetamine,' 'Someone to Fall Back On,' and 'I Want You to Want Me,'" says Michalka, "I think people are going to be really surprised."

In "Bandslam," Michalka plays Charlotte Banks, the lead singer of a rock group with little chance of winning a local battle of the bands until she gets the help of a new kid in town, Will (Gaelan Connell), and resident outcast Sam (Vanessa Hudgens), as well as a ragtag crew of misfits.

Will instructs Charlotte on how to improve her groove, while Charlotte teaches Will a memorable lesson in kissing.   Continued...

<p>Singer Aly of Aly &amp; AJ arrives at the Teen Choice 2009 Awards taping in Los Angeles, California in this August 9, 2009 file photograph. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files</p>