OMG! The Stars of Jessie Definitely Want Revenge on Their Directors
As an actor on a HI-larious Disney Channel show, you basically sign yourself up for doing ridiculous things. It’s all for us fans, right? Well, a bunch of your faves from Jessie, who can now be seen on Disney Channel’s newest original series, Bunk’d, decided that it was time for some sweet payback. According to 16-year-old Karan Brar, for every crazy gag scene that the gang has do it, they make their directors do it, too. Talk about wearing the pants in the relationship!
Obviously it’s all in good spirit, and is actually one of Karan’s favorite on-set traditions. We caught up with the Disney Channel star to get our fill of Jessie nostalgia (because we are STILL not over it, FYI) and find out all the ins and outs of Bunk’d. Let’s just say, there’s a lot of surprises coming our way. Find it all out from our interview with Karan below.
We loved watching Ravi grow up and on Jessie and were so sad watching the last episode! What was it like filming that?
“It was so emotional; it didn’t hit us until the last minute. It doesn’t feel real. For the last episode, it was like, ‘Oh my God, we made it to 100!’ We didn’t think about it or focus on it because we were just trying to focus on our time together. They scheduled the very last scene of that last episode where we are crying over Debby (Ryan) at the last minute. We were all like, ‘We’re not going to cry.’ Then, they called ‘Cut’ and we just burst into tears, and I do not cry! It was really heavy.”
Did it make it easier knowing that some of you guys would still be working together on Bunk’d?
“We didn’t know that at the time. It was very speculated, so it was like, if this happens… We love working with our executive producer, Pam (Eells). She’s always been watching out for us, which is fantastic. We were like, ‘Whatever you do, we got your back; whatever show you decide, and if you need us, we’ll be there for you.’ Bunk’d came on the table, and we gladly took it. Thankfully, Cam (Boyce) took Gamer’s Guide, so he’s on the same lot and right next door. He’s like my brother, so it’s nice to have him right next door.”
Did you take anything from set?
“Unfortunately, I didn’t. I wanted to, but they kind of just packed up everything, because it’s all rented, which people don’t really know. You can rent everything. I pretty much just took a few posters. I really wanted to take the chairs in the screening room, though. We actually had cameramen who would sleep in them (laughs).”
Did Debby give you guys any advice before leaving?
“She’s always guided us and has helped me through everything between girl advice and being an actor in the industry. She reassured us and told us that we were going to do great. She told us how much she loved us and is watching over us. I’m definitely going to miss her a lot.”
Have you seen or talked to her since wrapping Jessie?
“Yeah, we’ve talk. It was really cool because we all took a break; I starred on Invisible Sister, Cam went and set up Gamer’s Guide and was getting ready for Descendants, so we were all all over the place. I saw her at The Thirst Gala, which was great. We gave each other a bear hug, which probably wasn’t great considering she was in a flowy gown and I was in a skin-tight suit (laughs). It was really great to catch up, though.”
You mentioned that Debby gave you advice on everything, including girl advice. Is there one time you remember going to her because you really didn’t know what to do?
“There would be a lot of times when Cameron and I would go up to her and ask for dating advice, since she’s been though he whole ‘sha-bang.’ I’ve gone up to her and been like, ‘I really like this girl, but my friends don’t like her…’ She’s always told me to trust my gut and focus on making myself happy. She always told me to follow whatever made me happy, and that’s something that always stuck.”
We’re so happy that we have Bunk’d now! We’ve been hooked since the first episode. What else can we expect to see through the remainder of the season?
“A lot of craziness, which I know is such a cliché to say because you hear that all the time. It’s really all over the place, even though it’s a camp in Maine and normally you couldn’t really take that many places. We built an indoor lake, we have some explosions, there are some fan-favorite guest stars that may be coming back, there are some relationships, which we’re really excited about… So, it’s really, really all over the place. I’m really looking forward to seeing the audience take in our new characters. We have some amazing cast members — Kevin (Quinn), Miranda (May), Nathan (Arenas) and Nina (Lu) are hilarious. I hope they love them and accept them into the family just as much as they did when we first joined on the channel.”
You mentioned cameos so we can’t let you off the hook that easy. What else can you spill?!
“Absolutely nothing (laughs)! Here’s the thing, I feel like I’ll be hunted down by the Secret Service if I reveal too much (laughs).”
Has anyone from the old cast or crew visited set?
“Yeah, all the time. We’re very much an open stage and Cameron is technically two blocks away, so he visits all the time. Paris Berelc, who I just finished Invisible Sister with, is right next door to me, so I see her all the time.”
Do you think Cameron’s character will ever be re-casted?
“No, Cameron has made Luke such a specific character and has worked really hard for that. He put a lot of effort into making Luke who he is and you can’t just re-cast him in a day. Luke will always be a specific character and I think any character we add is never to make up for old ones.”
How has Ravi changed since Jessie?
“He’s very mature. Ravi always tries to be the very mature one, but he gets too hyped up on things. I think we’re trying to make him a little more mature and provide him a space to grow in. I don’t think we’ll lose the original character we had when we started Jessie, but it’s interesting to see where he’s going to go. It’s not just Ravi, we’re doing that with Emma and Zuri, too. You won’t see simple clichés of these characters for like, seven seasons. You’ll get to see these characters grow and it’s life just as any other teenager would go through it.”
The Bunk’d set has lakes, lizards and lots of outdoorsy things. There have got to be some funny set stories, right?
“One of the recurring themes is that if our directors or producers write in a gag of some sorts, we have them do the gag with us. If it’s like a slime gag, the writers have to go back and do it themselves. One of my favorite ones was when we had this massive lake, which was actually just a massive pool. We had our director jump in at the last minute. It was hilarious because he was in jeans and stuff, so we just pushed him in. It’s fun and we all laugh over it.”
Is there another Disney Channel series that you would love to do a cross-over with?
“I feel like Jessie was really notorious for having a lot of crossovers. It’s cool and really fun to do. What I don’t think a lot of people realize is, we’re all busy working. Like Austin & Ally, Ross (Lynch) was constantly getting ready for rehearsals and singing. We’re all good friends, but we never get to see each other. Crossovers are a fun time to all hang out and really get to know each other. I kind of want to do it with Paris’ new show, Lab Rats: Elite Force. I like my fair share of stunts, and Paris would always brag to me and show me all her stunts and I would be so jealous.”
Can we talk about Invisible Sister for a little bit because it was awesome! How as it filming with such a great cast like, Rowan (Blanchard) and Paris?
“Terrible, the girls were very abusive (laughs). I’m kidding! They were the sweetest girls to work with. I had such an amazing time working with them because they were super kind and genuinely like my sisters. It was a nice movie, because it was a change of pace from the normal DCOMs that we do. I feel like Disney is broadening their horizons by adding more dramatic and current themes into their films. For example, sisterhood and insecurities were huge themes. It was amazing because they listed every single DCOM that Disney Channel has ever made and Invisible Sister was closer to the front page of the more recent DCOMs, and I was looking at it like, I’m a part of the line of DCOMs.”
What’s your favorite DCOM?
“High School Musical is my ISH! I thought Zac Efron was the coolest guy in the world and I did the dance-along and Corbin Bleu, who was my homie! I had the biggest crush on Vanessa Hudgens.”
You’re obviously really busy, but when you do have some downtime, you’re a celebrity ambassador for generationOn. Could you tell our readers more about this organization?
“I think genrationOn is a fantastic organization that keeps kids active on giving back to their community and making their community a better place. It gives kids the materials that they need to do what they want to make their change in the world. I think a lot of kids feel restricted and like they can’t really do anything because they’re too young; I think generationOn defies the rules a little bit because it tells them that regardless of their age, they are capable of making great strides around the world. We help them not be restricted by their age, which I think is fantastic.”
What’s one thing you want fans to know about what’s coming up?
“Please stay tuned! I know Bunk’d has been weird because we started up with a few episodes over the summer and then we did a sneak peak and disappeared for a little bit. I feel like we have a lot of cool story-lines and fans always Tweet us about story-lines that they want to see, and we do listen to them. The writers really take into consideration what the fans want to hear, and we’re discovering a lot of new story-lines you normally wouldn’t expect. Hopefully you guys love the show as much as Jessie!