By: Alexandria McLean | @itbalexandria
What lengths would you go to prove a point? After being embarrassed by Nevah (Ashley Argota) – the most popular girl in school – about not having a homecoming date, Mae Hartley (Kelli Berglund) creates a robotic boyfriend with the help of her friend Gabby Harrison (China Anne McClain). Using Mae’s father’s “video game software” the duo create Albert, the perfect boy for Mae. When Albert shows up at school the next day, Mae could not be more pleased. Albert is perfect; he sings, he’s well liked and kind, and he is even really great at sports. With a perfect boy on her arm, Albert brings Mae popularity but this new found status starts to create a divide between Mae and Gabby. Things worsen when Gabby finds out that Albert wasn’t actually created using video game software, but instead government defense programming!
If you enjoyed Zapped, which premiered earlier in the summer, you are sure to love How To Build A Better Boy!
The Magazine got the chance to talk with Lab Rats star Kelli Berglund who told us all about the film and what it was like being on set!
Kelli: I like to think of her as this geeky-chic kind of girl. She is very intelligent, and she is very tech-savvy. She does have this kind of insecure side to her. She doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence and it kind of isolates her from the rest of the world, but she does have her best friend Gabby. Both of them are also very stylish in their own way. They have a cute little vintage style about them. She is a girl that is just really trying to find happiness. Even though she loves school and that’s her strong suite, she wants to find something else that brings her happiness. She thinks that by creating this perfect boyfriend and eventually kind of having this perfect life of popularity but that actually ends up making her a little bit unhappy because what truly brings her happiness is her friendship with Gabby. A barrier between them is created once this new boy steps in. It’s kind of a learning lesson for her throughout the movie, she kind of realizes that what is true and what is real, and where she can find happiness is within her friendship and within the true things in life. She is a girl who is just kind of learning these lessons throughout the movie and finding out who she truly is.
The Mag: What makes How To Build A Better Boy different from other Disney Channel movies?
Kelli: All Disney Channel movies have a great message that they send at the end of the movie and in How To Build A Better Boy that’s exactly that. What’s a little different is that each character is so important in their own way. They each have their own little quirk about them. It’s not just a typical nerd, it’s not just a typical quarterback of a football team and it’s not just a typical mean girl at school. Everyone has their own insecurities about them that eventually show throughout the movie. It’s a little bit deeper than just that and what their character may seem. My character is not just a typical nerd. She has these hopes and dreams that finally kind of come to her and it usually doesn’t happen like that. Everyone kind of experiences their own thing throughout the movie, and I think because of that everyone who is watching the movie can relate to it in their own way, boys and girls, it doesn’t matter who. I think that is what makes this movie a little bit different.
The Mag: A lot of Disney stars were featured in the film. What was it like working with the cast?
Kelli: It was so great! I can honestly not even tell you enough how awesome everyone was. There was not one person who didn’t fit in with all of us. We all got along so well and we all actually hung out off set as well as on set, just because we all just really loved spending time together. Everyone is just so awesome in their own way and just such great people. To be able to film with such a great cast just adds to the real chemistry. If you have to fake chemistry with the people you’re supposed to be working with that play you play best friends with, it’s kind of weird. It was actually true chemistry. Everything that you see in the movie, and the way China [Anne McClain] and I interact, and the way me and Matt [Shively] interact is just so real which is awesome.
The Mag: In the film Mae’s father is a computer genius that creates the technology to create a person. If you had the ability to create any piece of technology what would it be?
Kelli: The first thing that comes to my mind is a time machine. If I could create that…first of all that would be awesome and I would tell everyone about it, “Guess what I made! I made a time machine guys!” I would probably use it to…actually I don’t know if I would want to go to into the future because I kind of want that to be a surprise but I would want to travel back to either the fifties or the eighties. Just to see what life was like back then. I would bring maybe three of my friends with me and just spend a couple days in that era and just see what happens. I think that would be so cool.
The Mag: Matt Shively tweeted “A year ago I was filming How To Build A Better Boy with an amazing cast. It premiers in 5 days!” Is there one moment on set that still stands out in your mind even after a year?
Kelli: There is one memory that kind of sticks out in my brain every time I think of when we were filming. It was actually outside of the sound stages because it was supposed to look like we were on the football field because the camera was placed in the middle of us in the middle of a football huddle where we would all come in and say our side of the story. Instead of filming it on a football field, we were actually up on this platform literally on the outskirts of this soundstage and it looked like it was nighttime and we were on a football field. In between filming that, a majority of us were pretty musical people on set so Marshall [Williams] who plays Albert in the movie, the robot, he was actually on Canadian Idol which I had no idea! He is an awesome singer and he plays guitar and Noah [Centineo] who plays Jayden in the movie also plays guitar and me, Ashley [Argota] and China are all singers. So they literally just started breaking out the guitars and we all just started singing along and it was just so much fun and we would just go from one song to the next and it was just a really fun moment. I have it on video and it was just really fun and a cool bonding experience between all of us I guess.
Thanks Kelli! We cannot wait to watch the premiere of How To Build A Better Boy.
Make sure to catch the premiere August 15th at 8:00PM on Family Channel.