Fans of the MTV show “Faking It” know Rita Volk as Amy, a high schooler dealing with her sexuality. The show has come to an end and now the cast, including Rita, are working on new projects. Rita Volk’s newest project is an independent film called, “Almost Friends.” The movie starts Freddie Highmore as 20-year -old Charlie, and Rita as his friend, Heather. Young Entertainment Mag spoke with Rita about the new film, what she misses about “Faking It,” and what she was like when she was 20.
Young Entertainment Mag: Tell us about your character, Heather.
Rita Volk: Heather is Charlie’s best friend. She always encourages him to go out there and go for things. She pushes him to get out of his funk. Unlike Charlie, she is more aware of who she is and likes to have fun and always encourages him to loosen up.
YEM: What was it like working with Freddie Highmore?
RV: It was really great, he’s a breath of fresh air. It’s really rare to meet people as intelligent as he is, I think the guy speaks like two languages and education and knowledge and just being curious about the world is really important to him. We’ve had some really great conversations on set. He’s all around just a really great guy, incredibly humble and for someone who has been acting since he was young, he’s just incredibly well rounded and grounded. And of course, a really really talented actor.
YEM: The main character, Charlie, is 20 and is finding himself. What were you like when you were 20? Can you relate to what the characters in the movie are going through?
RV: I think I was exactly like that, just finding myself as well. I was at a crossroads at that point, I was in college but really wanted to act, so around that time I was making that decision to just move out to LA and pursue that. I definitely hit a bit of a funk like Charlie, but then you grow and you grow out of it with time. But I was also really optimistic and hopeful about the future, which is something Charlie is initially not.
YEM: How is filming this movie different from working on a hit MTV show like Faking It?
RV: Being on a show and doing a movie in general are very different things. On a show you grow with the character, there’s a lot of time for the story and the characters to develop. A movie moves faster, you don’t live with the character as long. Both have their benefits and their drawbacks, so it just depends on the story you are telling and how much you love the character you are playing. I loved playing Amy. I know that it’s going to be one of the most satisfying things I will ever do in my career, so I’m really grateful I got to live with that character for as long as I was able to do.
YEM: Is your new character, Heather, at all like Amy from Faking It?
RV: Heather is older and more aware of who is she. Amy was my baby, she needed time to grow and obviously figure out who she was. Heather is the pusher, whereas Amy needed to be pushed. But they’re both very loyal friends and will be there for you.
YEM: Would Amy and Heather get along?
RV: I think so! Heather would invite Amy to a party, Amy would probably say no, but then Heather would win and get her out and they’ll have a good time together.
YEM: Do you relate more to Heather or to Amy?
RV: I relate to both in many ways. People have all sorts of sides to them, so both characters just show a different side of who I am.
YEM: Do you still keep in touch with the cast of Faking It?
RV: Yes, absolutely. Everyone is busy and doing their own thing, but I just recently had lunch with Katie and see Carter and Jamie Travis when we’re all in the same place. And even people from hair and makeup and crew, we still stay in touch. That show was very dear to all of us. Katie and I like to reminisce about that day we met each other for the first time going out for the same part. And we’ve both grown so much since then but will always have this beautiful shared experience. I know these people are going to be in my life forever, so whenever we have the time it’s always nice to get together and catch up.
YEM: Do fans still talk to you about Faking It?
RV: Yeah they do, I still have people come up to me and tell me how much they loved the show and the characters. I hope that never stops.
Young Entertainment interviews the cast of MTV’s Faking It.
YEM: Where would Amy be in her 20s? What do you think Amy would do when she finishes high school?
RV: I think she’ll be doing something really unique and artsy in college. Maybe she’ll be a director. I like the idea of her being behind the camera and expressing herself.
YEM: Finally, what advice would you give to teenagers that feel “stuck,” like the characters in this movie?
RV: So much of the things we go through at that age, in retrospect, become so insignificant as we get older. I know it’s hard to see that in the moment, but when you grow up you look back on certain things and just think wow, I can’t believe I obsessed over that. You sort of see what’s really important as time goes by- what deserves your energy and what doesn’t. So just remember that there isn’t one person in your class or school or camp or whatever that doesn’t feel stuck at some point. You’re not alone, and you’ll probably come to find that after a while, those things are just a small part of your evolution. When you take that pressure off yourself, it’s so much easier to just move forward and do what feels right for you. Everyone questions themselves, and no one lives a highlight reel.
Rita’s new film Almost Friends is now in theaters, On Demand, and on iTunes.