AMANDA BYNES: from sweet girl, to mean girl

Making high school life hell for good girl Olive (Emma Stone) in Columbia Pictures' new teenage comedy “Easy A” are talented young actresses Amanda Bynes (“Hairspray,” “What a Girl Wants”) and Aly Michalka (TV's “Hellcats”) who are going to surprise audiences because they’re playing characters very different from what people are accustomed to.

Michalka and Bynes, who play Rhiannon and Marianne, respectively, readily admit that the differences between their characters in “Easy A” and their past work are a big part of what drew them to their roles.

“Rhiannon is crazy,” says Aly Michalka of the character she portrays. “She’s a girl who is very aggressive and passionate about whatever she believes in, or whatever her opinion is. She is definitely very foulmouthed and will say anything that’s on her mind, which can sometimes be either offensive or abrasive, but she always means well. She just doesn’t really have any sort of a filter. But she loves her best friend Olive, and like best friends sometimes do, she loves to give her a hard time and push her buttons.”

Known primarily to younger audiences for her work on the Disney Channel sitcom Phil of the Future, Michalka enjoyed pushing the envelope with Rhiannon. “I love that she’s a strong character. She’s similar to me in that she’s a great friend, and very loyal, but we’re definitely very different in the way we speak and handle ourselves. Rhiannon also dresses a lot more provocatively than I do. She wants to get attention from people and wishes she was twenty-five, even though she’s still a teen.”

When it came to the tightly wound, evangelical Marianne, Amanda Bynes found inspiration in a character very different than the kind of young woman she typically plays. “I’m used to playing the goofy, funny girl,” says the actress, “and Marianne is the very religious, uptight girl who thinks she rules the school. A lot of her actions come across as kind of mean, evil and totally judgmental, but she thinks she’s coming from a good place, because she claims to be doing the work of God.”

Bynes says that although Marianne’s actions are kind of questionable, there was still something likeable and relatable about her. “Everybody has met that girl who is a ‘type A’ personality, and just wants to be right, be better than everyone and always wants to one-up everyone,” says Bynes. “She’s a fun character to play.”

In directing the actresses, Will Gluck found it easy to forget his talented cast weren’t simply wonderful actors, but stars to the world outside a film set. “We got a good reminder when we were shooting on the street and there over 100 kids mobbing Emma, Aly and Amanda, trying to take their pictures and get autographs,” recalls Gluck. “They’ve established themselves so well in their characters that you sometimes forget they have such a big following.”

Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 10, “Easy A” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join our fan contests.

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