The two actors star as superheroes in “Secret Society of Second-Born Royals,” which premieres on Sept. 25.

Sep 24, 2020 Ali No Comment Career

Back in April it was revealed that Disney is working on a live-action Hercules remake with the Russo Brothers producing through their AGBO banner. Soon after the news broke, our very own Gregory Lawrence shared his dream cast for the film with Vincent Rodriguez III from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in the title role. Funny thing is, someone else who appeared on that show immediately made a play for the role himself, Skylar Astin.

The day the news was announced, Astin shared a video on his Twitter account of himself singing the movie’s Best Original Song nominee, “Go the Distance,” and then followed that up with a tweet that said, “I’m also available for the soundtrack. Thank you @DisneyStudios for your consideration during this casting process.” How seriously was Astin expressing interest in the role with that video? He addressed the matter during our chat for his new movie, Secret Society of Second-Born Royals. Here’s what he said:

“You know what? That wasn’t as planned as it seems. I actually, during the beginning of quarantine especially, was playing so much piano, my childhood piano that I got shipped out to LA, and I was just going through all the catalogs. And I was laying down a lot and posting a lot, and also not posting a lot, so that was something that I actually just had on my camera roll that I only sent to my family, because my mom loves when I just sing in the rafters. And then so when I saw that, I was like, ‘Oh, I actually could be like this,’ and so people are like, ‘Skylar Astin auditions for Hercules!’ The thing is, if I was auditioning for the role of Hercules, I would act it more, I probably wouldn’t be playing my own piano, and I probably wouldn’t choose the Michael Bolton key, which is literally in the sky. I think in the key that Roger Bart sings it in the movie, it’s a lot lower, more manageable and a little bit more of an ‘I want’ song.”

So does that mean Astin isn’t interested in the role after all? Not so fast! Here’s what he said next:

“So when the time comes, if the time comes, I’m ready to train, I’m ready to prepare and I’m ready to give everything I can to Hercules, if possible.”

If you’ve seen even a fraction of Astin’s work, you don’t need me to tell you that he’s an immensely talented individual who would, in fact, probably make a fantastic Hercules. While we wait for more updates on this Hercules remake, you can catch Astin in Secret Society of Second-Born Royals on Disney+ on September 25th.


Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is getting back to work tomorrow – the day after the Emmys.

The NBC musical drama, which is a co-production between Lionsgate TV and Universal TV, is heading back into production in Vancouver on September 21.

The news was revealed by Ted Danson, husband of star Mary Steenburgen, during E! Entertainment’s virtual ‘Red Carpet’ coverage.

Deadline revealed earlier this month that a number of U.S. shows were returning to production in Vancouver including ABC/Sony Pictures Television’s The Good Doctor, Disney+/ABC Signature’s The Mighty Ducks, ABC/A+E Studios’s Big Sky and ABC/Kapital/ABC Signature’s A Million Little Things.

This now includes Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist after Danson joked that Steenburgen required an early night ahead of the shoot.

Created and executive produced by Jake in Progress creator Austin Winsberg, who serves as showrunner, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist stars Jane Levy as Zoey Clarke, a whip-smart computer coder forging her way in San Francisco. After an unusual event, Zoey, who always preferred podcasts over pop songs, suddenly starts to hear the innermost wants, thoughts and desires of the people around her – her family, co-workers and complete strangers – through popular songs. At first, she questions her own sanity, but after getting some guidance from her musically adept neighbor, Mo (Alex Newell), and making a breakthrough with her ailing father (Peter Gallagher), Zoey soon realizes this unwanted curse might just be an incredibly wonderful gift as she connects with the world like never before.


Skylar Astin stands up for what he feels is right! When the news broke in July that he was dating Lisa Stelly, the actor was quick to correct a headline that identified her as “Jack Osbourne’s ex-wife.”

At the time, he wrote, “Correction: I am dating FOUNDER, ENTREPRENEUR, MOTHER, CCO, etc, Lisa Stelly. Treat your ladies better, media!”

“I just think that oftentimes, especially with women, it’s like they are labeled, especially in these headlines, as somebody’s ex-wife and you really don’t see that as much in the reverse,” Astin tells ET’s Deidre Behar via Zoom. “I’ve noticed it was a double standard and then when it was involved in my story, I wanted to course correct. Lisa Stelly is a mother of three, a business owner, a creative, a CCO, I mean, the list goes on and on. And one of the many things, yes, of course, she’s been married before, as I have, but I wouldn’t know that if you had to boil it down to a sentence or two that that would really be her identity.”

Astin was previously married to his Pitch Perfect co-star, Anna Camp. They split in April 2019. Stelly and Osbourne called it quits in 2018 and share three children together — Pearl, 8 Andy, 5, and Minnie, 2.

Astin is all about supporting his real-life leading lady, adding, “We like to be each other’s hype man and hype woman because we’re proud. I know she’s proud of the work that I do, and I have such respect for the work that she does and I’m always so proud of her when she drops a new line.”

When asked what he adores about his ladylove the most, the actor lit up with a big smile and gushed, “Well, it’s a million things,” before adding, “Obviously there’s attraction, there’s love, but there’s something to having someone in your corner… It’s nice to have someone, especially while I’m up here filming, to know that I have a confidant and someone I could call and vent to or just talk to about anything, because outside of being a girlfriend, they should also, you know, be your best friend.”

The 32-year-old actor has had a standout year in his own career with a lead role on the hit musical show Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, and now a starring part in the Disney+ movie Secret Society of Second-Born Royals.

“First of all, filming a Disney film where I get to play Disney prince and then it’s a Disney superhero at the same time was thrilling, and it’s clearly a wild ride of the wonderful original tale, but something that I really loved was at the heart of it,” he says. “[It’s] a beautiful story about teamwork and inclusivity and fighting against a common enemy, and I think that really hits home right now.”

Though Astin is used to singing and dancing, the veteran performer had to work on a different type of choreography for his new role.

“What was actually interesting was to be able to pick up on the fight sequences that is kind of like learning choreography in and of itself,” he explains. “I do have some stage combat experience, so that was really fun to kind of use that ability to pick up on movement and use that to my advantage during filming.”

The film follows second-born heirs in various royal families who have superpowers to help protect their kingdoms. So could a famous redheaded British prince make a future cameo?

“I could see Prince Harry and James Morrow getting along and having some really great banter,” Astin says of his character in the film, adding that he would be “the first” to approach the son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana to make a cameo.

But will there even be a sequel for Harry to cameo in?

“I’d be lying if I said we wouldn’t kind of talk about that on set,” Astin admits. “And I think with any origin story, you want to see now with this story put to work in the world and the universe that has been created. So it would be weird to set up this entire world and then not continue the story, so yeah, my hopes are high.”

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals starts streaming Sept. 25 on Disney+.

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Aug 14, 2020 Ali No Comment Events shares that Skylar will be participating in this benefit concert!

A dazzling roster of stars is set for Broadway for Racial Justice’s Amplified virtual concert, which will take place on August 21 at 8PM ET on YouTube. The event will raise funds for BFRJ’s Emergency Assistance Fund, which will launch on September 1.

The evening’s lineup will include Hailey Kilgore, Andre Malcolm, Arianne Meneses, Jessie Mueller, Solea Pfeiffer, Joey Rosario, Kalen Allen, Skylar Astin, Shoshana Bean, Brittany Campbell, Kayla Davion, Deon’te Goodman, Sapphire Hart, Morgan James and Empty Royalty.

“This concert has been a labor of love and would not be a thing if it weren’t for the help of the entire BFRJ board of directors, especially Sharrod Williams, who specifically has been assisting with this project,” said the organization’s Executive Director Brandon Michael Nase in a statement. “We were very fortunate to have Douglas Peck and Skylar Astin on the producing team for this event as well. Their allyship in the planning of this concert has been so appreciated and I can’t thank them both enough for their help and support. Andrew Barth Feldman and Alex Boniello are helping to run all the technical aspects of the show. The planning of this concert has been a great illustration as to how allyship in this time should function.”

Here is the full clip of the Paley Front Row that took place last Friday.

Stars of NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (Jane Levy, Skylar Astin, Alex Newell, John Clarence Stewart, Mary Steenburgen, Lauren Graham, and Peter Gallagher), along with creator Austin Winsberg and choreographer Mandy Moore, gather at Paley Front Row 2020 to celebrate their show. Topics include: the show’s “mission statement” of empathy; Levy’s “genuinely moved” reactions to watching her castmates perform; Graham’s depiction of Joan as more than a “tough boss lady”; Astin and Stewart’s praise for their vulnerable, flawed characters; Newell’s thoughts on Mo’s outward confidence and inner fears; crafting authentic stories with elements from the actors’ real lives; inspiration from Winsberg’s father, who had PSP, and from Gallagher’s mother’s Alzheimer’s disease; working with the Deaf West Theatre; the audacious “American Pie” number in the season finale; and finding Mitch’s physical limitations as well as his pre-disease persona. has this fun article about Skylar and his work on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

It’s no secret that Skylar Astin is a polished performer. He’s got the voice of angel and the dance talent to match. But what happens when he has to rein in his professional skills to sing a little less perfectly? That’s exactly what he had to do in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

During the first season of NBC’s musical dramedy, Astin’s character, Max, performs the Shawn Mendes song “If I Can’t Have You” for his BFF Zoey (Jane Levy), declaring his feelings for her. At first, Zoey’s annoyed — she’s heard this all before, thanks to her superpower of tuning into people’s inner thoughts and desires through songs that only she witnesses. She’s seen Max declare his love for her through song multiple times now. But halfway through the performance, she realizes that Max is actually singing this song to her — in real life. He’s hired a flash mob to help him declare his love for her in a grand romantic gesture. She freaks out and runs off without responding, and Max is left hurt and confused.

The implications of this moment change everything for Max and Zoey’s friendship, but the scene itself was important for another reason. Because it’s the real Max singing and not the idealized Max in Zoey’s head, he couldn’t be a professional singer with the pipes of a Broadway star like Astin.

Below, Astin breaks down the challenges of filming that scene, his hopes for season 2, and more.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you find out you’d be doing this musical number not just in Zoey’s mind, but as Max in reality?

SKYLAR ASTIN: When we were filming episode 6, Austin [Winsberg, the showrunner] told me that the following episode I was going to be singing a Shawn Mendes song, and he gave me the whole “you’re welcome speech” because I have been mentioning how I wanted to do a Shawn Mendes song. And then when he told me the way I’d be singing it, I was like, “Wait, so you’re basically giving me exactly what I want, but I’m not allowed to execute it the way I want, really at all?” [Laughs] I was like, “You owe me another Shawn Mendes song, then!” It was interesting because I couldn’t bomb the performance, because if I sound off-key or something there’s no way Zoey would be able to sit through that for 90 seconds; she’d be like, “Something’s off here.” So it has to be convincing enough for her, but Max isn’t as good of a singer as I am.

How did that change your performance, both in how you sang it and how you danced?

Vocally I couldn’t do any embellishments or alternative melodies that somebody who has a lot more musicality than Max would do. And then as far as performance was concerned, Mandy [Moore, the choreographer] gave us very basic, fun flash mob choreography that most people could be able to pick up. But during the performance, I realized that filling it with the pure joy that I was feeling actually gave Max his performance voice. That’s who he was with his movements, he was just this fun jelly bean.

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‘Secret Society of Second Born Royals’ was pushed from it’s July 17 release to September and this is totally a bummer. The film that sees a new breed of superheroes follows a fiery and rebellious princess living in the shadow of her older sister ready to take the throne. The Disney film is directed by Anna Mastro (‘Pussycat Dolls Present’) and it features an ensemble cast and is based on an original story by Litvak, Green and Austin Winsberg.

Here’s what we know ahead of the film’s release.

Release date
‘Secret Society of Second-Born Royals’ will release on Disney+ on September 25, 2020.

According to Disney, the official logline reads: “‘Secret Society of Second-Born Royals’ follows Sam, a teenage royal rebel second in line to the throne of the kingdom of Illyria. Just as Sam’s disinterest in the royal way of life is at an all-time high, she discovers she has super-human abilities and is invited to join a secret society of similar extraordinary second-born royals charged with keeping the world safe. With guidance from their Secret Society instructor James, Sam and a new class of royal recruits must first learn to harness their new powers at a top-secret training camp before they can save the world.”


Jul 14, 2020 Ali No Comment Ghosts of War has an exclusive Ghosts of War clip for Vertical Entertainment’s upcoming WWII horror movie starring Brenton Thwaites (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Titans, The Giver). You can check out the clip in the player below!

Five battle-hardened American soldiers are assigned to hold a French Chateau near the end of World War II. Formerly occupied by the Nazi high command, this unexpected respite quickly descends into madness when they encounter a supernatural enemy far more terrifying than anything seen on the battlefield.

The movie also stars Alan Ritchson (Titans, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Blue Mountain State), Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, 21 & Over), Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy, Luke Cage, Lowriders), Kyle Gallner (American Sniper, The Finest Hours, Dear White People), Billy Zane (Titanic, The Phantom, Dead Calm), and Shaun Toub (Iron Man, Crash, Snowpiercer).

Ghosts of War is written and directed by Eric Bress (The Butterfly Effect, Final Destination 2, Kyle XY). The movie will be available on DirecTV on June 18, 2020, and will release via virtual cinema screenings, On Demand, and digitally on July 17, 2020.

To watch the clip visit