Since 2008, Megan Park has been charming viewers as the wholesome and perky Grace Bowman on The Secret Life of the American Teenager. But tonight, she'll be going over to the dark side as she plays
a villan in A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song, which features Pretty Little Liars' Lucy Hale as an aspiring recording artist whose dreams are crushed, no thanks to her cruel stepmother (Missi Pyle) and wicked stepsister Beverly, played by Park. In a recent Q & A session, Park talked about this modern twist on the classic tale, her upcoming project and teased what fans can expect from the new season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
On playing Cinderella's stepsister:
"I talked to the director about whether I should draw upon the original stepsister and how similar they wanted it to be to the original, and he really wanted me to like just take a fresh take on it. And I guess I could say that I probably drew on past people that I've met, personal experiences with, people that in real life, because I really wanted Bev to be as realistic as possible. And also in the original the wicked stepsisters are just purely, purely wicked, and Bev is not. She really does have a heart and she's insecure and she doesn't have a great relationship with her mother and so many different things. I wanted to add a lot of steps to her and make her not so completely one note. She's not purely, purely evil so I wanted that to show."
On the evolution of her character Grace on The Secret Life of the American Teenager:
"Grace has kind of changed really drastically. And to be honest, this season is probably one of the seasons where Grace changes the most out of any year. There's a lot of like new relationships and some really crazy self-awareness things that happen to her and some major lifestyle changes so it's exciting. And I don't really know--what happens with our characters and I never really know what to expect because I've been surprised before. But from the looks of it Grace is kind of becoming more independent and really, really going in a different direction than I thought she would ever sort of end up. So my guess is probably as good as yours. It's kind of a surprise to me as well."
On the difference between her Secret Life character and her Cinderella character:
"Playing Beverley and playing Grace are literally complete opposites. Grace is a very compassionate person and she really wants to please everyone, and Bev is pretty selfish and just kind of wants to get ahead. I mean they're both really good people at the heart of it but Beverley is not necessarily the nice girl. So they're pretty polar opposites, which was really fun to get to do something so different than Grace. It was kind of fun."
On her friendship with Cinderella co-star Lucy Hale:
"She's great. We met years before--we actually met in the audition room for Secret Life, which is so weird. And I guess you're supposed to be competitive, the people I auditioned with, but we just started chatting and became friends, and the she ended up doing Pretty Little Liars and I did Secret Life so it's kind of cool. And she's just really easy going and cool, and when I found out that she was doing the movie that was one of the main reasons I wanted to be part of it, was to get a chance to work with her."
On what fans can expect from her character in the new season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager:
"Grace changes as a person the most this season than any other season. She really starts questioning like a lot of major things in her life and really wants to make some serious changes. And she gets confused and she's not really sure where her life is headed. So it's like a really big personal discovery for Grace and new relationships, kind of shocking relationships. There's a lot of growth with Grace. She really grows up this year."
On her upcoming project:
"I do [have a future film coming with Miley Cyrus] called So Undercover.That was probably the most fun four months of my entire life. We had too much fun. I look back I'm like, did we make a movie? Oh, yeah. I forgot because we just had so much fun the whole time. It was great. We were in such a magical city and to be there for that long and working with Miley and Kelly Osborne and Eloise Mumford. It was basically just all girls all the time. There was an actor Josh Bowman who is in it but he only came at the end so basically it was just a bunch of girls by ourselves the whole time. We all were staying together and we went to sorority boot camp because we're in a sorority but the real sorority up in Baton Rouge, and we had so much fun. It did not seem like work, and by the time it was all over I couldn't believe that we made a movie because we had so much fun. But we did so hopefully, people like the movie too."
Catch Megan Park in A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song tonight at 8/7c on ABC Family and on fourth season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager beginning March 26.
(Image courtesy of ABC Family)