Actress Amanda Schull has proven, with a lot of hard work and much determination, she has what it takes to become a star. She graced the big screen in Center Stage with her lead role as Jody, and she’s appeared on the small screen in popular shows like “One Tree Hill“ and “Pretty Little Liars.” The dazzling actress opens up to College Lifestyles’s about success, failure, and which celebrity she’s crushing on!
CL: Many of our readers are college-aged women. When you were in college, what were your interests? Did you expect to end up where you are today?
Amanda Schull: When I was in college, I was majoring in Ballet [with a double major in journalism]. Ballet was my focus at that time. I don’t know that I expected to be where I am, but I guess that I hoped I would. I never dreamt that I would star in a film [Center Stage] a few years afterward, which was sort of a fantasy of mine.
CL: Starting out in ballet opened the opportunity for you to move in to acting. Of the two, which would you say has been the most personally rewarding for you?
Schull: That’s a really hard question. They are both rewarding in different ways. They both take a lot of work behind the scenes, a lot of work that not everybody sees. Ballet is much more physical hard work. So, you go through all that extraneously, I guess. Acting is a lot of internal work. And, I don’t know how to answer that because every thing that I do is a culmination of all the work I’ve done up until that point. Getting into the company [San Francisco Ballet] was the most exciting thing I had done up until that point, and each role that I am rewarded with is the most exciting thing. But, I do have to say that there is nothing quite like the feeling of being on stage, and performing with the San Francisco Ballet.
CL: Considering everything you’ve achieved so far in terms of your career, what do you consider your biggest accomplishment?
Schull: I have no idea. Like I said, getting into the San Francisco Ballet was a big accomplishment at that time that I look back on. I knew that I had worked hard up until that point, but I had been told so many times in my life that I probably wouldn’t be a professional dancer. So, that was a very rewarding moment. And, any time I get a phone call from my representation saying I’ve gotten a job and I know that I’ve put a lot of energy into auditioning for that job, that’s rewarding, but also that’s an accomplishment.
CL: Along with moving up in any career, people are going to face their share of rejection. How have you handled not getting certain roles or jobs in the past?
Schull: It comes with the territory. I get rejected more often than I get accepted. And it sounds depressing, but it’s actually not. It makes the acceptance that much more rewarding and that much more exciting because I know how much energy and effort I put into these things. And yes, there are times when I don’t get the role. If I were to feel so sorry for myself every time I didn’t get a job, that’s no way to have a professional acting career. So, every once in awhile I’ll reward myself…and I move on to the next one.
CL: Acting is definitely a competitive career. So, for people trying to break into the business, what advice can you give?
Schull: It is competitive, and you can get rejected a lot. But you can’t allow yourself to get beaten down. If it’s something that you really feel passionately about and you’ve worked really, really hard at it, you’re going to have an opportunity. If you know your own strengths and you know your weaknesses and how to work with those weaknesses, you’re going to do well.
CL: What are your dreams and where would you love to see your career go?
Schull: Oh, I have so many dreams. I would love so many things for my career. I would love to do a role in a period piece. I’m really obsessed right now with Downtown Abbey, and I think that would be entirely too much fun to go to work and do that everyday. I think there’s something really nice when I get a response from people who’ve watched a film or television show that I’ve done that’s made them feel something. So, I love getting roles that are able to do that. What’s really rewarding is that a lot of guys came up to me after Center Stage and said that it gave them the courage to start dancing, and I think that’s so wonderful that I could have a reaction like that from somebody that made them do something or made them realize that they could change something in their life. That makes it so much more rewarding to me.
CL: If you weren’t an actress, what would be your ideal career?
Schull: Something creative probably. I love performing, but I also love the creative process. I also love to cook. My father is a lawyer, and I love law, and I love figuring that out. It’s sort of like acting, figuring out the person and why they behave the way they are behaving. So, maybe a cooking CSI detective lawyer.
CL: One Tree Hill is my favorite television show of all time. So, I have to ask an OTH question! What was it like playing the 2 different extremes of Sarah and Katie on the show?
Schull: Oh, it was so much fun! They originally cast me as Sarah. He [Mark Schwahn, the creator of the show] didn’t even want me to know when I went to shoot [the scenes] that the character was dead. Rob Buckley [the actor who plays Clay] totally let the cat out of the bag! He said something about being a “widower,” and I was like, “What? What do you mean you’re a widower?” Then he called Mark, and Mark called me and said, “Well, I guess Rob let the cat out of the bag.” We did those few episodes, and I went home and got a phone call from Mark, and he said, “We want you to come to the writer’s room and meet all the writers. We want you to play somebody else.” He showed me the story, and I said, “I love it!” I met all the writers of the show, and they had a general idea of what [Katie] would be like, but I got to talk to them and they got to know me and my personality a little bit more. I had never gotten to play somebody who was that naughty. I had never gotten to do my own stunts. That was so much fun!
CL: What would be the perfect first date?
Schull: I think your ideal first date is probably unexpected. If the guy can come up with something fun like a picnic after a hike, or something that incorporates an activity where you can get to know each other with the little element of surprise. What girl wouldn’t want that?
CL: Do you have a celebrity crush??
Schull: OH, NO!! I think it’s probably every other girls’ celebrity crush as well, Ryan Gosling. And Jake Gyllenhall, too. Those two would be a nice sandwich.