Skylar Astin on the Emotional Last Day on Set of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Season 1
In our Q&A series Last Call, we get down to the bottom of every last thing with some of our favorite celebs — from the last thing they texted to the last thing they binge-watched. This week, actor and singer Skylar Astin takes our call.
If you follow Skylar Astin, then you know that he's passionate about three things: music, his "pet" squirrel Maxine, and his cat Annabelle. Before heading back to Vancouver, Canada, to start filming Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist season two, the actor and singer has teamed up with Hill's Pet Nutrition to support NBC's annual Clear the Shelters pet adoption campaign. Read ahead as he chats about everything from the last thing he did with Annabelle (hint: it involves the actual musical Cats) to the new original music he's currently working on.
POPSUGAR: What is the last thing you did with your cat, Annabelle?
[It] was actually a little dance party to the Cats soundtrack. And I know that sounds very on the nose, but it is something that we do. I play it over the big speakers and she rolls over on her back and I start doing the Mr. Mistoffelees dance. So that, and she also puts her paws on my chest when I'm on laptop. It's like a little cat massage.
PS: What is the last thing you texted?
The last thing I texted was to my writing partner Danny Jolles. I posted something about the NBA playoff starting today and he said, "I'm genuinely giddy." So just kind of excitement about basketball. I think it's just fun to be a spectator right now and just watch a game. I think that they're doing a really good job in keeping it going safe. And it's easy to root for an organization that's being run well.
PS: What is the last thing you ordered online?
Probably food and probably Voodoo Doughnuts, which I'm staring at right now. I have so many leftover, but I ate so many donuts yesterday, because I ordered from them.
PS: What is the last photo on your camera roll?
Let me look. Last photo on my camera roll is actually my girlfriend [Lisa Stelly] with the donuts in bed. It was a photo opportunity, so I definitely snapped a picture.
PS: What is the last thing you do before going to bed?
It's so boring, it's brushing my teeth. I mean, I have a habit of passing out on my couch or not in my bed. So somewhere around my house, watching something. And there's always that like 2 am or 3 am [moment and I'm like], "Oh God, I got to get up and close all the lights and do the things that I really should do before bed." So a lot of times it's kind of that fast scramble to do everything while trying to maintain your sleep. I'm not admitting to myself that I'm awake, but I'm definitely walking around my house, shutting off all the lights. Does that make sense?
PS: What is the last gift you received?
[It was] from the LA Fire Department. They sent me this really nice shirt that I'm going to put on Instagram, because all the proceeds go to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Not only have they been overwhelmed with all the COVID responses, but they are approaching fire season. So I want to support them and it's a very comfortable shirt and it's cool looking, too, so that's what I received just yesterday in the mail.
PS: What was the last song you sang in the shower?
Probably my own. I have a water-resistant speaker and I have been bringing unfinished tracks in there and finishing them, which gets a little slippery. I sing a lot in the shower [and I do] really do deep thinking in the shower. So whether I'm writing anything, even if it's text or music, it's going to happen there. So I was probably singing something I was currently writing at the time.
PS: What was your last day on set of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist like?
Well, it was actually the day we filmed the "American Pie" sequence, which had everyone in the cast. And rarely on a last day does it ever feel like the last day of school or the last day of camp where everyone's there and all hugging, but it actually was. And they planned that on purpose, so we would really have like a group feeling of this is the end for season one. And there were some tears shed, and more smiles than ever.
PS: What is the last thing you took home from a set?
A chair back [from Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist], which is if people don't know, when they have those cool director chairs, and it has the project's name. And on the back, it might say your name on it. Oftentimes, the prop department will give that as a gift, just one piece of cloth. That's the chair back. So I have a collection of those and frame all of them and put them up, because I have them from almost every TV and movie I've ever done.
PS: What is the last thing you watched on Netflix?
I watched Indian Matchmaking last night, and I watched the whole thing. And it was beautiful and fascinating. And it was such a window into a world I didn't know.
PS: What was the last piece of advice you received that changed your life?
Wow. That's a big one. Like, "What are you binging right now? What changed your life?" My dad always used to say, "Let things roll off your shoulder." And I always used to think that, that was really easier said than done. But I think that picking the battles where you have to let your voice be heard and absolutely like bang the drums. But reserving your energy for those instances and letting the really small stuff, even inconsequential stuff, the stuff that you know ultimately doesn't matter, roll off your shoulder. There's so much out there that we can do that with and don't.
I mean, whether it's like a body image thing, or it's your own self-doubt, or even the internet saying a certain thing about you, that you disagree with or spelling your name wrong, or something like that, those are the small things. Those are the things that you know are not born out of anything, that you're not going to think about when all is said and done here.
And I know it might sound a little bit morose, but I have something I do, actually pre-COVID, which is weird, I've been saying it for the past two years, it's called a "deathbed sh*t," and it's like, what are you going to think about then? And I know that's all almost uncomfortably too relevant now, but it has been a good outlier of like what really is important? What will you take with you?
Will you take away this audition that you didn't get or this opportunity that just slipped by? Or will it be like that moment when your mom came to see you perform in front of all these people in that dinner afterwards? Those things, things that you would think would be big, these huge opportunistic moments you think you'll think about. But truthfully, it's those small moments, it's those things nobody ended up coming to see, or just four people, but like those four people you knew in that moment were like your homies for life. Those are the moments. Those are the things. That's when it's like everything else can be the small stuff, and you can let the other stuff roll off your shoulder. Because reserving your brain and your heart for the things that matter, I think are integral.
PS: What was your last workout?
Well, back before this pandemic, I used to be very in shape. My God, I really got to get started. It's embarrassing. I like SoulCycle. That's something I can't go to. I really do like community workouts. I like people. I don't like competing, but I do like keeping myself accountable in a room. Sometimes it's tough when you have the distractions at home or the bread basket next to you when you're doing burpees in your living room, it's kind of tough to focus. But I did pretty good with my diet for the most part. But no, it's time to get cracking. So good question. Ask me in a couple weeks.
PS: What is the last book you read?
The Incredible True Story of Blondy Baruti, who's a good friend of mine, who came over here from Congo. And I filmed something with him years ago, and he recently wrote a book, and it's his unlikely journey from the Congo to Hollywood. It's a really incredibly inspiring story. I actually have a very small segment in it. I didn't realize until I read it. I was like, "Oh, my God." I think that's probably why he sent it to me, but I was going to read it anyway, because it's really compelling.
PS: What is the last song or album you listened to?
I really liked Folklore by Taylor Swift. I think that that's an undeniably good album. And I've just been hitting that summer rewind on Spotify. I had a really great summer last year, and it helps me relive those moments. Let me look what I got over here. I have Lauv, the 1975, just like some good, happy dance music.
PS: What is the last thing you searched for on Google?
Ooh. My God, these are such good questions. Hold on, let me look at my history. Show full history. There we go, because everything is like Zoom meetings, Zoom meeting, Gmail, Gmail. How boring. What a Canadian transit code is, because I'm trying to pay my rent for Vancouver. How boring. I mean, at least I'm being honest. I'm trying to figure out how I can have a place to stay when I'm in Vancouver. Because when you're a series regular, you're a bit on your own, because you're going to relocate, which we are. So you are left to find a place on your own, so I have. I have a place. I've seen it on a virtual tour. And now I know what the transit code means, so I'm able to actually pay for that place. And now I will be safely in there when my quarantine is over.