For all the fans of “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli, you can see your favorite characters come from the pages of the book to you TV when “Stargirl” premieres on Disney+ on March 13.
Last year I got the chance to visit the set of “Stargirl and it was so much fun. We did interviews, explored the set and had the best time. I love getting the chance to do set visits. It is really special to be able to see the hard work, dedication, and passion that goes into the creation of movies, shows, etc. The “Stargirl” set was filled with people truly loving their job of bringing this story to life.
The book tells the story of Stargirl, a new transfer student in MICA high school, and Leo, a teenage boy, who is struggling for his love for her.
In fact, Stargirl isn’t a normal girl – not by any standards. She walks to the beat of her own drum, in this case, her own ukulele. She is a breath of fresh air for the other high schoolers who are both fascinated and repulsed by her. She stands out, and she doesn’t feel the need to change. And that’s a problem for Leo. He likes her. He really does. However, he is struggling to have both the girl and the approval of society. But, Stargirl isn’t one to go with the flow. Leo needs to decide what’s more important for him: her or conformity.
If you have never read the book or you read it years ago and want to brush off the plot a little bit, you can buy the book here.
Now, let’s dive into Stargirl and her story through my on set interview with Grace VanderWaal.
Who is Stargirl?
She is the person that we always dream to be – true to ourselves!
“Stargirl is really quirky – just different. And I don’t know; she’s just like what someone would be if they lived without judgment or norms, I feel like. So, it’s really cool that you could see how someone could be if they were genuinely a hundred percent themselves.”
Relating to Teenage Girls
Stargirl is an important character for adolescent girls who conform to not be left out. She shows to be yourself even when facing adversities.
“What I like about the Stargirl film is that there are so many be yourself sort of films and books and everything out there. And if it were really that easy to just say just be yourself, everyone would never have a problem with it. And I think what’s cool about this film is it shows that like because Stargirl is so strong and she’s so incredibly sure of who she is. But it shows that when you start caring about someone and loving someone how you would sacrifice your happiness for theirs.”
She goes on to describe how she personally relates to Stargirl, as well. “I definitely relate to Stargirl. I’m not as cool as her, but I definitely feel like I never fit in when I went to public school. I’m not in public school anymore, thank God. But yeah, when I was there, I definitely related to her, but I never had the confidence that she did in the book. And I was never as sure of myself as she was.”
Grace VanderWaal On Her First Starring Movie Role
Grace VanderWaal actually started out as a singer and won America’s Got Talent back in 2016, when she was only 12 years old.
“So I actually wanted to be an actress when I was a toddler and it was a problem. Like but I thought that- what I thought acting was was I was inspired by Gabriella from High school Musical. And I would watch her but I didn’t understand that that was Vanessa Hudgens, I thought Gabriella was Gabriella, like that was her. So I thought if you were an actress, it would mean that like you would get a life with a dream life. So I wanted to be an actress really bad, I guess, not really.”
Working With Director Julia Hart
When we were on the set it was obvious that this cast and crew worked really well together. Grace had nothing, but amazing things to say about director, Julia Hart. “Julia is the best honestly like especially because it was like so new for me, everything in the movie. And she would just make me feel really-really comfortable with all the scenes or lines or anything. And she let me have a lot of flexibility with it, so I would be like I just don’t feel like Stargirl would say that or I feel uncomfortable saying that, she would literally be like okay let’s change it to what you think it could be, that was like super cool.”
Stargirl Ultimate Message
Grace, left us with a big message she hopes people take away from the movie and I think we can all agree there is nothing more powerful than being yourself. She explained to use what she hopes people get from the movie and her character, “And I hope that the message that comes out of this is beyond being yourself but understand that your happiness is most important and your self-care is most important.”
“Stargirl” comes to Disney+ on March 13th
Stargirl” from Disney+ is a tender and offbeat coming-of-age story based on the critically-acclaimed, New York Times’ best-selling young adult novel about an unassuming high schooler who finds himself inexplicably drawn to the free-spirited new girl, whose unconventional ways change how they see themselves…and their world.
Leo Borlock (Graham Verchere) is an average student at Mica High School. He gets decent grades, is a member of the school’s marching band and has always been content flying under the radar. But all that changes when he meets Stargirl Caraway (Grace VanderWaal), a confident and colorful new student with a penchant for the ukulele, who stands out in a crowd. She is kind, finds magic in the mundane and touches the lives of others with the simplest of gestures. Her eccentricities and infectious personality charm Leo and the student body, and she quickly goes from being ignored and ridiculed to accepted and praised, then back again, sending Leo on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. A celebration of individuality, kindness and the power of the human spirit, “Stargirl” is directed by Julia Hart from a screenplay by Kristin Hahn and Julia Hart & Jordan Horowitz based on the novel by Jerry Spinelli. The film stars singer/songwriter Grace VanderWaal in her film debut, Graham Verchere, Karan Brar, Maximiliano Hernandez, Darby Stanchfield and Giancarlo Esposito. “Stargirl” is produced by Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, p.g.a., Lee Stollman, p.g.a., and Kristin Hahn, p.g.a., with Jordan Horowitz, Jim Powers, Jerry Spinelli, Eddie Gamarra, Catherine Hardwicke and Jonathan Levin as executive producers.
Follow Stargirl on Social:
- Twitter: @Stargirl
- Instagram: @Stargirl
- Facebook: facebook.com/disneyplus
- Hashtags: #StargirlMovie #DisneyPlus
Watch the trailer: