More Shake It Up Scoop with Caroline Sunshine!
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Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
Caroline: We’ve been incredibly busy this year! It’s been a really good year so far. We started production on season three of “Shake It Up,” which was pretty cool! It begins this weekend and we’ve been filming it for the last several months. It’s actually really exciting because we just finished filming our Made In Japan episode, which was a really big deal for our show. It was like this mini movie and it had never been done on the Disney Channel before. So, it’s really nice to have season three premiere kind of right up after Made In Japan. I’m really excited about season three, which is surreal to say! It’s such a big thank you to our fans for letting us have another season. Also, we’ve been busy doing some recording work for “Shake It Up” and outside of the show. The Disney holiday album just came out in October, which is awesome for everyone who likes to listen to Christmas music in October. We did a song on there is called “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which is a Mariah Carey cover. It’s my song on the album and I’m really proud of it. Growing up, that was always a Christmas song that I really liked. So, it was pretty exciting to get to cover that! Roshon [Fegan] and alsoI just collaborated on a song for “Shake It Up,” which has to do with a kind of a fun storyline in season three. We had a lot of fun in the studio and I can’t wait for that one to come out, too!
Q) What is new this season on “Shake It Up” and with your character Tinka?
Caroline: New is a really good word to describe season three of “Shake It Up!” There are new characters, new storylines, new dances, new friendships, new clothes – everything about our show in season three is new! It’s still your favorite characters and, of course, your favorite show “Shake It UpChicago.” A big change that’s really new for my character is that she is on her own in Chicago. Tinka is still in Chicago pursuing her dream of being a professional dancer. It’s been really cool as an actress to get to play that because Tinka is having to form new friendships and she’s having to explore what it is like to be alone. She’s in that situation where you have to make new friends and go outside of your comfort zone. Tinka does a lot of that this season! She develops a lot of new friendships with other characters like Dina, Deuce’s girlfriend. In fact, there is a twist in a storyline where Ty really comes through for Tinka and shows he’s a good friend to her. Of course, there is her friendship with Rocky (Zendaya) and CeCe (Bella Thorne). She’s a frenemy and I think in the first two seasons you kind of saw that enemy side. In season three, you’ll see the softer side of Tinka. Rocky kind of becomes a friend to her and you see a little bit more of a friend to her, but she’s still Tinka! She’s still sassy and says what’s on her mind. I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon!
Q) Where did the idea for Tinka’s accent come from?
Caroline: That’s such a great question! The question about my accent is probably the number one question I get. The accent is interesting because it’s supposed to be unable to place. She’s not from Russia, Germany or Ukraine. She’s from a mysterious European country. When I created it, to do that, I wanted to keep her mysterious. The accent is the one thing about her that we don’t really know. We don’t really know where she comes from. We don’t know what her country is like. We can kind of guesses and can imagine what it is like, but we actually don’t know. That keeps Tinka very mysterious. The accent was a lot of fun to create because they were kind of like, “Do whatever you want!”
Q) There is such great chemistry between the cast. How does the cast continue to maintain it?
Caroline: I’d love to be able to say, “That’s something that we work at every day!” It’s really something that just comes naturally to our cast. It’s something that just happens and you can’t fake that type of chemistry. The first season of “Shake It Up” was new to us. For a lot of the cast, it was their first TV show. The third season of “Shake It Up” just feels like a great group of friends, more than ever! It feels like your Sophomore or Junior year of high school where you found that really good group of people that you love and hang out with and you don’t feel like that Freshman anymore. You can step out and you really feel secure. Our chemistry off screen is almost better than it is on screen! We like to skateboard and pull pranks on each other! We love going out to shoot hoops and have lunch outside. Bella and I had a day with a run-through so we helped each other curl our hair and put our makeup on. It’s just a good feeling!
Q) What continues to challenge you about being Tinka?
Caroline: So much! I love playing Tinka because I feel like it’s really limitless. I’ve never felt that I am going to outgrow Tinka one day or one day she’s not going to be fun for me to play anymore. She’s a character that is so limitless and it challenges me because I want to continually bring something new to the character while keeping her true to herself. There is so much that I love about Tinka! I love her sense of humor. I love the way she dresses! I love the way she’s not afraid to speak her mind, how sassy she is and how sometimes says things that you really shouldn’t say to people. It makes her so different and so unique, but at the same time I try to challenge myself to kind of help her grow while staying the same. It’s an interesting concept, but I always try to challenge myself with the character.
Q) Are there any guest stars you can tease about?
Caroline: We have some really good guest stars this season. I’m not allowed to say anything, though. But I think we have a really good variety of guest stars. We don’t have just two major guest stars. We have like five major guest stars! I’m really excited about them. All of these people are someone you know and when you see them you’re going to freak out and say, “Oh my gosh! I love them!” It’s such a good addition to our show. It’s really going to be good!
Q) Who are some of your dream guest stars?
Caroline: I would really love for George Lopez to guest star on our show. I think he’s such a great comedian and I used to love watching “The George Lopez Show.” He was actually in the first film that did as the animated voice of Marmaduke. I think it’d be really fun for him to come to “Shake It Up.” I always say that someone like Beyonce to come on our show because she’s such a great performer.
Q) Is there a chance that Tinka might find love this season?
Caroline: That’s a really great question! The majority of tweets that I get from my fans are about Tynka, which I guess is the name they have chosen for Ty and Tinka. Roshon and I just crack up at that because we’re such good friends. In season three, our characters definitely become good friends on the show. Ty helps Tinka with something that really helps her out. I think they already have a pretty good friendship going and there might be a chance that some romance is in Tinka’s future.
Q) What have been some of your favorite moments from filming this season of “Shake It Up?”
Caroline: Another reason I love playing Tinka is because I get to do really crazy things like showing up at work and being told I’m going to be wearing a dress that weighs thirty pounds and has sixteen layers on it! They could say, “Today we want you to wear an egg on top of your head” or “How do you feel about shooting a BB gun that shoots out sparkles?” They always have some fun, crazy task for me, which I love because it’s fresh! Who gets to wake up at seven in the morning and have a frosting fight? Tinka does! One of my favorite scenes this coming season involves Tinka getting to decorate and destroy this cake. It was a real cake so I got to get all up in the sprinkles, the frosting and the cake! The whole cast got to join in at the end, too, which was pretty cool!
Q) Is there any cast member you wish you had more scenes with?
Caroline: I think the cool thing about season three is that Tinka pretty much has scenes with everyone in the cast. You see her relationship with Flynn grow and her relationship with Rocky and CeCe grow. Across the board, we kind of open the door for that and I hope we get to see a lot more of that in season three.
Q) What do you think it is about “Shake It Up” that makes it such a fan favorite show?
Caroline: I think it’s our fans, actually! I think it really is the fans! I know a lot of shows says, “We have the best fans ever!” But I really believe that “Shake It Up” has the best fans. I think what keeps the show special and inspires us are our fans. It inspires us and makes us better actors, dancers and performers. That makes our show better! I read all the letters and tweets that fans send in. I love that after a new episode airs they already send me their tweets quoting the episode or sharing their favorite scenes. Seeing that makes me want to work harder for them. When I’m in the scene or doing a dance in dance rehearsal I think, “I really want this take to be good because I want it to be good for the fans!” I think that’s an attitude that carries over to everyone in the cast, our writers and our crew. We get inspired by the fans and we want to make the show special and exciting for them. So far, we’ve been able to do it for three seasons, which is just incredible!
Q) You are very active on Twitter. Is there any chance you will be live tweeting during the premiere?
Caroline: Definitely! If I have the chance I will be live tweeting during the premiere because I love the idea of being able to sit down and watch the premiere with the fans. I might have to sit down and watch the Season Three premiere with everyone.
Q) What else can you tease about for the coming season of “Shake It Up?”
Caroline: Get ready for some really exciting dances! As you guys will see in the season premiere,”Shake It Up Chicago” goes through some major changes, which will be really exciting. It’s going to open the doors for some new dances and sets. Get ready to see “Shake It Up Chicago” get a makeover and to see some really exciting dances from the characters. We’re going to have some dance crews and some guest stars from the dance world, but I think you guys are going to be really excited to get to see the characters dance. Rocky, CeCe and Tinka have some really memorable dance numbers this season and I really hope you guys like them.
Q) Is there any chance for a Caroline Sunshine solo album in the future?
Caroline: I have always said that I want to be open with my fans and I want them to get to know me. I think they’ve gotten to know Caroline, the actress, who loves playing Tinka. If they want to see Caroline, the singer, then I would be happy to do so for them! I love making music and dancing. I love singing! So, if the fans want a solo album and they want cameras and music then I would have to do so!
Q) Where can people go online to learn more about you?
Caroline: I would say that my Twitter account is the best place to go. I’m on Twitter at @4CastisSunshine. Whenever I have a random thought or I’m on set or traveling, I always like to keep it updated. Twitter is like my online journal in 140 characters. I would say the same about my Instagram. I’m obsessed with Instagram – I think everyone is on “Shake It Up!” Everyone in the cast has an Instagram account and we love it! So, I try to post fun, silly photos. I post a lot about my dog, fashion or grilled cheese. It’s really just silly stuff!
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
Caroline: I would really just like to say thank you! Thank you for being excited! Thank for supporting me! Thank you for the little stuff that you do that maybe you think I don’t see, but I do! I try to respond to as many tweets and as many letters as possible. Even if I don’t get to respond to all of them I see them all and read them all! It’s awesome! Thank you to my fans for for being there during my really good moments when the song on the album comes out or when “Shake It Up” premieres! Thank you for being excited! It’s also something I rely on when I’m having a bad day. When I’m having a bad day, of course I read through their tweets and they are always there to inspire me and keep me motivated. I love you guys so much!
Credit: Starry Constellation Magazine / Jamie Steinberg