It’s Monday morning and Disney star-turned-pop singer Bridgit Mendler appears to be a little under the weather. She is nursing a cup of tea as she explains that having too much salmon so early in the day is probably what is making her feel queasy.
The star of Emmy-nominated sitcom Good Luck Charlie looks great despite her discomfort. Dressed in a chic black fitted top and a cute pair of black and white printed shorts, Mendler has nary a hair out of place.
Mendler was bitten by the acting bug at the age of eight and had been working steadily since she was 11, landing parts in General Hospital, The Clique, Wizards Of Waverly Place and Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. But her world really began to change when she landed the starring role on Good Luck Charlie.
“I was really excited to get the role of Teddy in Good Luck Charlie. It was something that I had dreamed of for so long and it was amazing to actually have that a reality,” Mendler reveals.
“I think that I didn’t want to let myself get too excited until I found out that the show was actually going to get picked up. Usually what they do is shoot one episode and they call that a pilot and they’ll wait a few months before letting you know if it’s actually going to turn into a real show and do a whole season of it.
“So I was really excited but at the same time felt the pressure of having to prove that the show was worth going on television. Once it got picked up, then I was freaking out.”
The 21-year-old actress admits that she and Teddy “care about the same things – school, family and friends”.
“She’s probably more organised than I am in real life,” she adds with a laugh. “But I think we’re both a little bit nerdy and goofy so that’s fun.”
When this writer points out that she looks very put together, she waves it off easily and says, “Oh, it’s all a front.”
In Good Luck Charlie, Teddy is the second oldest of the five Duncan children and things can get a little crazy on the family sitcom. Thankfully, her life is not quite like that off-screen.
“I have one younger brother so it doesn’t get quite as hectic as having five siblings but I think in any family, there’s just so much to do, especially when my parents both work and they take care of us so I think that they definitely have their hands full,” she clarifies. “We’ve had a few rushes to the airport like in the Good Luck Charlie movie where we’re about to miss the flight but you know, we make it work.”
The Disney comedy is ending its run after four seasons – the series finale is set to air in the United States this month – but production on the show wrapped in July last year.
“Yes, there were tears for a while,” Mendler confesses when asked if there were no dry eyes on the last day of shooting. “It’s been so great to work with the same people, not only the cast, but also the writers and producers and directors and all of the crew.”
But she also personally feels that the show has run its course.
“I think we just enjoy working together so much that we could have done that forever but in terms of the story of the Duncans, it was kind of always intended to go through four years and have Teddy graduate high school and go off to college at the end because that’s kind of the end of her video diaries and living with her family.
“So as much as we love each other and it’s been an amazing experience, it’s kinda nice to know that we’ve done 100 episodes and we can be proud of that,” she discloses.
Mendler could not resist taking with her a few mementos from the set after production completed.
“I got a lot of furniture to furnish my new home,” she divulges. “I have some stuff from the Duncan living room and Teddy’s room. (The furniture) will be a little reminder all the time.”
The young star fully intends to continue acting after this although she launched her singing career in 2012 with debut album, Hello My Name Is… and her radio-friendly singles Hurricane and Ready Or Not charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
In fact, she is recording new music for her sophomore effort presently.
“Music has always been a part of my life so I think you can say that to people as much as you want but until they hear it is really when they learn more about you,” she says.
She cites Bob Dylan and Adele as among her musical influences. She has not had the chance to meet either of them but she did attend one of Adele’s concerts and loved it.
“Adele did an amazing job,” she reports happily. “I actually learned a lot from how she put on her concert because she’s not a dancer and she really is just a vocalist/singer and storyteller. So, the experience of being at her concert was just so cool because she really made everybody feel like they were just hanging out in her living room with her.
“She’d tell her stories and interact with the crowd. She made it personal and that made it cool. It was one of the best concerts I’d ever been to.”
As if her plate is not full enough with music and acting projects, Mendler has enrolled at the University of Southern California and somehow, finds the time to indulge in another passion of hers – cooking.
“I love to cook so I always say that’s my back-up career,” the blonde-haired brown-eyed star reveals. “Being a chef, that’s my dream number two; some sort of televised chef maybe.”
Now that she has legally turned 21, she’s going to be taking her culinary flair to the next level: “Here’s what I’m going to do. Whenever I’m cooking and I need to have some sort of liqueur in there, like hazelnut liqueur or raspberry liqueur – I could never buy myself because it has alcohol. And so now, I’ll be able to do like a one-stop shop and don’t need to ask any favours. I can do it all myself.”
Good Luck Charlie (Season Three) airs every day at 4.30am on Disney Channel (Astro Ch 615).