In Elite Daily’s I Can Explain… series, we’re asking celebrities to revisit their most memorable photos and tell us what really went down behind the scenes. In this piece, we chat with Laura Marano about growing up in showbiz, working on Netflix’s The Royal Treatment, and three of her favorite Instagrams.
Laura Marano wears a lot of hats. Most fans probably recognize the actor from her starring role on the Disney Channel original series Austin & Ally, or from Netflix’s 2019 movie The Perfect Date, or from another of her many performances in her decades-long career. But Marano’s talents extend far beyond her acting skills. She’s also a producer and a singer, and she showcases all three of her major talents in her new Netflix movie, The Royal Treatment.
The Royal Treatment is a sort of Cinderella story about Marano’s character, Izzy, a New York hairdresser who gets a gig that sends her straight into the arms of a handsome prince. Not only does Marano star in the movie, but she also has two songs on its soundtrack, “Dance With You” and “Worst Kind of Hurt.” *Plus,* she produced the film alongside her mom, Ellen Marano, and sister, Vanessa Marano.
Below, Marano discusses her experiences behind the scenes of The Royal Treatment, as well as some of her other favorite memories in the showbiz world.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Multitasking On Set
Elite Daily: The Instagram caption for this photo says, “Honestly a lot going on at the moment,” so what was going on?
Laura Marano: We were in the middle of our producers’ editing part of [The Royal Treatment] and I was finalizing “Dance With You” and also simultaneously we were trying to figure out [“Worst Kind of Hurt”], so I was so in the trenches of producing and editing with the film and trying to make the song at that point. On top of that, I had just released my deluxe version of my You EP. And personally, I was in the second month of a breakup I was going through. So there was just a lot of things piled on, one on top of the other — some really exciting things, some really hard things. It was very much a lot.
I love this photo. I just felt like the photo very much captured me in a nutshell, especially that specific moment of me being behind camera and in front of it. I actually had a conference call with Netflix about the movie and the photoshoot [I was dressed for] was going late, so I had to do the call while I was changing a look for the photoshoot, so that was just a bananas day. But I felt like it really captured the headspace I was in at that moment.
[The caption] was also a little bit of a reference to Taylor Swift, because any time she has that “[not] a lot going on at the moment” caption, she always, like, drops an incredible album, so I was alluding to that too.
ED: Speaking of this look, it’s gorgeous. Can you tell me a little bit about it?
LM: The dress itself was actually, if I remember correctly, it was a two-piece kind of moment. Like, it wasn’t actually a dress; it was this incredible skirt and then the stylist added the top to make it this fairy princess, woodsy moment, which I was very obsessed with. I just felt like a beautiful flower fairy.
The Perfect Date Throwback
ED: This looks like it’s a still from The Perfect Date. Can you tell me a little bit about the experience of working on that movie?
LM: I’m so thankful for that movie. I really loved the script and I loved Celia, the character. It was a movie that I think has really changed my life in so many ways. Obviously I had such incredible success and I’m so grateful for doing Austin and Ally, but The Perfect Date was this other, next kind of step in my career that was separated from Disney, that did find pretty massive success, and really connected me with Netflix. Like, I don’t know if there would be a Royal Treatment without me doing The Perfect Date. So it was a really important experience for me.
ED: Your hair looks so different here. Can you tell me about this look?
LM: I had a completely different look that people really weren’t used to. After I did Austin and Ally, I was like, “I really want to change things up,” so I cut my hair and went really dark for a little bit, and then I added some blonde highlights. I remember that the producers and the director really loved that look for Celia and wanted me to actually add more blonde. I think I posted this with the thought of like, “I’m growing out my hair and I love my hair long but like I kind of miss this look, I’m not gonna lie.”
ED: Do you think you’ll ever go back to that look at some point?
LM: I think maybe. I’m definitely open to it. To be honest, it’s a dangerous point to be like, “I’m kind of bored with my hair, so what do I do with it?” So I don’t know, I’m definitely getting inspired by changing my look up a little bit. But I have no idea what that is and I don’t think I’m going to do anything until I know what that is.
ED: What was it like working with Noah Centineo on this movie?
LM: Oh, he’s awesome. I’ve known him for years [from working on Austin and Ally] and he’s just such a sweetheart and a really, really good guy. This was actually before To All The Boys had come out — it wouldn’t come out for quite a few more months when we were filming The Perfect Date, so it was also before quite a lot of craziness, I think, for him. I remember seeing him after [TATB came out] when we were doing press for The Perfect Date, and he still was the loveliest, sweetest guy.
A True Behind-The-Scenes Moment
ED: Can you share a little bit of what’s going on in this picture?
LM: This was while I was filming The Royal Treatment when we were in New Zealand. I was just finishing a part of hair and makeup and I was trying to quickly eat breakfast, but I didn’t want to mess up my hair and obviously I was wearing wardrobe. So I had this coat on me to make sure I didn’t spill anything because I only had a limited amount of time to eat. I think this is also very deep into the shoot, so I was just a little overwhelmed, I’m not sure if you can tell. And my assistant for the film — Kristy was one of my favorite people ever — she took the photo because she was like, “You look crazy and I think you will appreciate me documenting this.” And I did. I was like, “This is who I am, folks. This is who I am right now in this moment.”
ED: Keeping it real.
LM: Keeping it real. The combination of the bread so close to the tissue in my hair is fantastic, I think. This photo is a personal favorite.
Of course, I love posting photos where I look absolutely fantastic. But I also love posting photos that I think show where I’m at headspace-wise, where I’m actually at in all senses of the word: physically, emotionally, psychologically. I have a pretty amazing, close relationship with my fans and I think they respond way more to my photos of being candid. Sometimes they actually tease me. Sometimes they are a little bit like, “Can you post nicer photos?” but I think also sometimes it brings me closer to them, because this photo of me, that is as much me as any of these other photos that we’ve talked about. So I love having authentic and genuine moments of my life for people to see.
ED: Do you have any other favorite ways to keep busy during downtime on set?
LM: For this film there wasn’t much downtime, because I was really trying to still keep the ball rolling for my music career [while filming]; I was working on my deluxe EP and that was very intense. I was very busy during this film.
Typically with downtime, I love reading. I’m a big reader. And I also just love hanging out on set. My favorite part of filming is getting close to the crew, getting close to the cast. You form a little family while you’re there. I’ve been doing it for a ridiculous amount of time. I’ve been acting for 21 years, which is bananas because I’m in my 20s, so that feels weird to say. But that part of filming, that building of your new family for the next few weeks or months, that’s never gotten old to me. That’s still something that’s so special and gets me so, so happy. And I know sometimes people can feel a little jaded and a little tired, and I totally get that. But I think that’s the part that keeps me not jaded — meeting all the amazing people that I’m working with and seeing everyone working as hard as I am.
The Royal Treatment is streaming on Netflix now.