Hey TWIST readers,
We recently chatted with one of the stars of the super cool new Disney XD show Lab Rats, Billy Unger! Billy plays Chase, a superhuman teenager with awesome bionic powers! We talked about the show, what he likes to do during his time off and more! Click "Read more" for our EXCLUSIVE interview with Billy, and don't miss the series premiere of Lab Rats on Monday, Feb. 27 on Disney XD at 8:30 p.m.!
TWIST: What can you tell me about Lab Rats? Billy: The premise of the show is about my character - his name is Chase - and his two other siblings, and the twist is that we are superhumans. Think of the movie Iron Man. Basically, Tony Stark, who is played by Robert Downey Jr., gets paid millions and millions of dollars to make these hi-tech inventions, and there's a very similar character in our show, Lab Rats. Basically, our fatherish figure, the guy who raised us, is a Tony Stark sort of being. He makes hundreds of millions of dollars by making these inventions, and we are his latest and greatest invention. We are children, actual children, but we were cloned and have bionic abilities. We have these superpowers. Our creator gets married, and his new wife has a son and the son moves in with him in this huge mansion and discovers us in this underground laboratory. We become best friends with this little boy, and then we start going to high school. We sneak out of this lab that we've never left before, and we're just trying to survive through high school without letting anyone know that we're super humans, because really, deep down, we just want to be normal kids.
TWIST: That sounds awesome! Very different. Billy: Yeah, it's new. It's something that Disney's never really done before.
TWIST: Can you tell me a little about your character Chase and how you're like him or how you're different? Billy: My character Chase's superpower is super intelligence. He's super intelligent and he has super bionic senses, which means that he can hear conversations from across the room, he can see things from a mile away. If you were to amplify all of the human abilities, that's what it is. He can jump higher, he can run faster. He's just the really athletic, really swift martial artist one. He's like the ninja of the group. I think that I'm like him in a lot of ways. I'd like to think I am pretty smart. Obviously nowhere near as smart as the character is, because he's super smart. The original character's name was Brad, and when we changed the name to Chase, we changed the name of the show to Lab Rats as opposed to its earlier name, which actually was Billion Dollar Freshman, we made a few changes to the character, and we added that element in, the martial artist element. I do four different kinds of martial arts, so I was very excited to hear that they were adding that element in because it gave me a chance to showcase my talent.
TWIST: It's perfect for you then! So what's the vibe like on set? Do you and the rest of the cast hang out? Billy: Yeah, actually! We hang out in between shots and we hang out during lunch. It's like a family, really. We're nine episodes in right now, but it feels like we just started last week.
TWIST: So what's your favorite way to pass the time between scenes? Billy: If there's a scene that I'm not in and I get to hang out in my dressing room for a while, I like to play guitar. That's one of my hobbies that I take very seriously, and it's a passion of mine. I really kind of just got started with guitar. I've had an interest in it for a while, but just recently did I start taking it seriously and buckle down and start to learn all the stuff that I'd been wanting to learn for such a long time. I spend a lot of time doing that when I'm on break.
TWIST: When did you decide that you wanted to become an actor? Billy: I decided that I wanted to become an actor when I was 10 years old. People always ask me how and why and what made me decide that I wanted to become an actor, and I think it just kind of hit me that maybe that would be something fun. I started doing local work in Florida, because that's where I'm from.
TWIST: Who are some of your biggest inspirations? Billy: Definitely Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm a huge fan of his. I study his work. Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, all of those really talented guys whose fans kind of grew up with them. Tom Cruise started out with Risky Business and he was only in his twenties, but all of his fans who were also in their twenties kind of grew up with him. I'm just a huge fan of those big, heavy hitter actors. That's what I aspire to be some day.
TWIST: If you could co-star with any actor or actress, who would it be? Billy: It would probably be one of those guys. I would think that it would probably be Brad Pitt. It's like everything he touches turns to gold. You know, to play his son or to play alongside of him would be an honor and very exciting for me because of me being such a fan.
TWIST: Why should TWIST readers check out Lab Rats when it premieres? Billy: Because I think that there's a lot that viewers can relate to. We don't really fit in, but that's all we really want. The truth is, we're smarter, we're faster, we're stronger, but at the same time, all we want to do it just be normal kids, and I think that's something a lot of people could relate to. We don't fit in because we don't know how. We've never left this laboratory that we've been in since we were created, so for the first time, we're experiencing these new things. We're experiencing dates, gym class, all of these new things that were foreign to us. We had no clue what they were, and it just kind of hit us!
Photo: Courtesy of Disney XD