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'Faking It' Star Michael Willett: 'I'm Totally Down for Uncomfortable Situations'

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When 25 year old Michael Willett (who first appeared on our TV screens as the eccentric and abrasive Lionel in Showtime's United States of Tara) won over our hearts as Tanner in the widely popular independent film G.B.F., we knew that big things were in store for him. Now, not only does he star in the hit MTV teen dramedy Faking It as the incredibly fun and fabulous Shane, he just finished filming his new movie with Spy Kid's Alexa PenaVega and MTV Awkward's Beau Mirchoff. We got to chat with Michael a little this week about his upcoming movie, his music and his thoughts on Shane.

CAMBIO COL[LAB]: You came out with your first single earlier this year that we absolutely love called "Started Over." What inspired you to write the song?


MICHAEL WILLETT: I was inspired by my constant desire [at the time] to start over. That's literally what the song is about. I feel like as humans we're constantly in a state of failing and starting over again...and that's just a part of the learning process; that's something everyone can relate to.

You've done some amazing song covers on YouTube (Natasha Bedingfeld's "Strip Me" being one of my personal favorites). Will we be hearing more music from you soon?

Absolutely! I've been really busy, but things are slowing down a little bit for me now, so I've been having a lot more time to focus on music. I'm always in the recording studio, and I'm always writing. I'm a perfectionist though, so it takes me some time getting it out to the public (laughs).
michael willett

Is that something you can see yourself doing in the future (going into music full-time)?

Absolutely. I never want to stop creating. If I'm not doing one [acting], I'm doing another [singing]. I will always be creating something, always coming out with new art because that's just...that's who I am [an artist].

Going back to acting, you've done so many fun and witty roles like Lionel from United States of Tara, Tanner from G.B.F., and of course, now, Shane from MTV's Faking It. What's your favorite role and why?

Oh wow. Well, it's funny because every role I've done has let me express a different side of myself. With Shane, I get to be more confident than I ever was in high school. With Tanner, I got to be closest to how I actually was in high school. And...I probably wouldn't have even been friends with Lionel, but I liked playing the part of someone who I wouldn't have liked. I have a soft spot for each of them, but Tanner is probably closest to who I was, so I'd probably pick him.

Let's talk about Shane from Faking It. What do you think it is about him that people love so much?

I think it's his never-ending confidence. You can put him in any situation, and he would stay afloat...and probably thrive! He would take it, decorate it and make it even better than you thought. He's also the person who will tell you what you really need to hear in a way that won't hurt too much (laughs). I think that's what everyone secretly wants.

Faking It has officially been renewed for a third season. What would you like to see happen for Shane in the upcoming season?

I don't know. I mean, as much as I like all of the drama and romance stuff, I really like when [Shane and his friends] get into trouble and go on fun little adventures. Like, I love when Amy and Shane go off and have their own little adventure, so I hope that there's more of that...that's my favorite stuff.

What about you? Have you ever had a crazy fan encounter? I'm sure you get stopped on the street all of the time.

(Laughs) Nothing too crazy that I can think of. I mostly get a lot of people coming up to me and saying that they think they know me, but they don't know where...then I have to tell them who I am, and that's always uncomfortable.

Do you sometimes play it off? Like, "Oh, yeah, I get that a lot. I do kind of look like him..."

Well, yeah, just because sometimes I don't want to have to recite my resume. I feel like that's more uncomfortable and embarrassing at times. It's a difficult situation to navigate, but I'm ultimately totally down for uncomfortable situations.

That's awesome. Now, last question, you are coming out with a new movie called Tell Tale Lies with Alexa PenaVega from Spy Kids. How was it working on your new movie and working with her?

I loved it, and I love her. She's such a sweetheart. She and I had some awesome times talking and hanging out [on set]...I liked the script [for the movie] a lot. It's based on Edgar Allen Poe's Tell Tale Heart. I grew up a big Edgar Allen Poe fan, so I definitely wanted to do this. I play a spoiled, rich senator's son who's also [part of a] homicide. Me and my friends [in the movie] accidentally kill this girl, and her friend has pictures of us doing it, and so we have to take her out, too. It's like a Cruel Intentions meets Heathers story. It's going to be cool.

Look out for Michael in Tell Tale Lies due to come out Aug. 26 and see him as Shane in the rest of the sophomore season of MTV's Faking It premiering Monday, Aug. 31 at 9:30 p.m.
(Cambio Col[lab] is a lab for young creators to showcase their passion and develop their voice. Like what you're seeing? Share it to support their effort!)

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