When actress/singer Chloe Bridges went in to audition for a role in the Disney Channel TV movie “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam,” she actually had no idea what she was auditioning for. With the original “Camp Rock” movie becoming such a phenomenon in 2008, scripts were not provided for anyone auditioning for the second movie.
“They told me I was auditioning for a movie called ‘Coin Flip,’” Bridges told me during a phone interview. “I thought it was some little movie about flipping coins, which didn’t sound particularly fascinating to me. After about five or six hours of auditioning, I finally found out it was for ‘Camp Rock 2.'”
It was a case of déjà vu for Bridges who had auditioned for the lead role in the original movie. The role came down to Bridges and actress Demi Lovato, who was ultimately cast as Mitchie Torres, an aspiring singer who goes to music camp to pursue her dreams.
“What’s cool about Disney is they really want to put you in the right role,” said Bridges, who is Honduran on her mother’s side. “It’s cool that I can come back and still be a part of ‘Camp Rock’ a couple years later as a character more fitting for myself.”
In “Camp Rock 2,” Bridges plays Dana, a musician from a rival camp who becomes the love interest of Nate (Nick Jonas) but is forbidden to speak to him by her father because of the competition between both camps.
In its debut last week, “Camp Rock 2” became the most watched TV movie of the year with eight million viewers and the seventh highest-rated original Disney Channel movie premiere of all time. “Camp Rock 2” was just released on DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 7.
How satisfying was it to earn a role where you could feature your musical talents?
I have been playing classical piano since I was seven years old. That’s something that’s a big part of my life and something that comes naturally to me. I never imagined I would be able to incorporate my background in piano into my acting career. This was a fantastic opportunity for me.
I heard Dana was originally written as a violinist.
Yeah it was, but I had never touched a violin so I brought my keyboard into the audition. It was so much better to do that than to have to fake play the violin. I think that’s what is great about the “Camp Rock” movies – everyone in the cast is genuinely talented. I got to do what I’m good at and what I’ve been training years for.
How do you go into an audition where you know nothing about the movie?
That’s just something you face sometimes especially with big projects where they don’t release the script. It’s not always like that, but when it is you just have to trust it’s going to be good. Obviously at the end you have the choice to say no, but I definitely didn’t want to say no to this one.
What was it about the role of Dana that you liked?
She’s real and honest and uninhibited. She is an empowered female character. She’s Nate’s love interest and the first one that flirts in their relationship. She approaches him, which I think is really cool. It’s really nice to play a confident female.
Is it still hard for you to accept when you’re passed up on projects or have you realized it is all part of the acting process?
It’s all part of the process. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and I couldn’t tell you how many times that has happened where you almost get the role but you don’t. You have to try your best but at the same time you can’t have expectations.
Early in your career you went by the name Chloe Suazo. Was part of the reason to change to Bridges because it was hard to get auditions with a Latina-sounding last name?
That was definitely part of it. I don’t particular look Latina, but I was having a hard time getting auditions for white girls just because of my name. It was illogical to me. I wanted to be able to audition for Latina roles as well as other ethnicities. But that’s prevalent in Hollywood. This industry is discriminatory by nature and it’s not just by race.