Lance Lim is partly responsible for the success of Nickelodeon’s rockin’ musical series “School of Rock.” The show, based off the hit 2003 movie starring Jack Black of the same name, is currently in its second season, and Lim has big dreams for the Emmy-nominated program.
When he’s not playing his character Zack, Lim enjoys making music for his YouTube channel and dreaming about his future (albeit dark) roles in Hollywood. Find out what Lim, 15, had to say about diversity in entertainment, his solo music and stars he’d like to cameo next on “School of Rock.”
International Business Times: Were you a fan of the “School of Rock” movie before signing onto the TV show?
Lance Lim: I didn’t hear of it until I got the audition, but I am a huge fan now!
IBT: You seem to have made your character Zack your own, but did you get any inspiration from Joey Gaydos Jr.’s rendition [from “School of Rock” film]?
LL: Oh yes, of course, I studied Joey’s “Zack” as much as I could before the audition just to get the general grasp of the character, but Joey is a fantastic actor and I love what he did with “Zack” as well!
IBT: In what ways do you relate to your character Zack and in what ways are you different?
LL: The only thing Zack and I really have in common is our love for guitar, other than that not much at all! But that’s what makes Zack so fun as a character, is the challenging factor of him being so different from me.
IBT: What message do you think “School of Rock” sends?
LL: One of the things that I love that “School of Rock” represents, other than the music factor of it, is it tells kids that it’s ok to be yourself and that embracing makes the best possible version of yourself, as you can see within most of our characters who battle in our show.
IBT: You’ve had some pretty big cameos on “School of Rock.” Who would you like to see guest star next?
LL: We’ve had some rocking guest stars so far. I would personally love to have John Mayer on our show, just because I love him so much.
IBT: Your cast does amazing covers on “School of Rock.” Which songs would you like to cover in future episodes?
LL: I would love to cover one of Ed Sheeran’s or John Mayer’s!
IBT: Tell me about your musical background. How did you first get into guitar?
LL: I actually started my musical career before acting, back when I was 8 and I’ve been singing since then. I picked up playing the guitar around the age of 13 but had no interest in it at the time, until I got an audition for “School of Rock,” which put me in a position to pick it up again. Ever since then I’ve fallen in love with playing and I can’t seem to keep my hands off it.
IBT: Do you have any plans to release a single or album?
LL: I would love to sometime in the future, no plans as of right now though, since I haven’t written anything yet… but I’m sure sometime in the future.
IBT: If you had to describe your personal sound, what artists/groups would you compare it to?
LL: Lately, I’ve been comparing myself to Shawn Mendes a bit. His voice matches mine a lot, which is why it’s so fun to cover his songs.
IBT: Your Jason Mraz cover on YouTube is definitely noteworthy. Do you have any plans to expand your channel?
LL: Yes, I do! I’m so sorry to all my fans, I haven’t been active on it at all, but I am planning some videos to post; more covers and possibly other things, so keep an eye out!
IBT: You’ve guest starred on some pretty big shows in recent years. What show would you like to tackle next?
LL: I would love to have a guest star role on “Stranger Things” because I mean c’mon, it’s STRANGER THINGS.
IBT: What’s your dream role (on the small or big screen)?
LL: This may sound a bit dark haha, but I would love to play a serial killer or some kind of mythical creature of some sort, it just seems like so much fun.
IBT: Hollywood’s diversity issue is currently at the front of center of a lot of conversations. Your home network, Nickelodeon, is known for helping the cause. Do you feel the situation is improving?
LL: You know, diversity has been a problem for a while and thankfully networks like ABC and Nickelodeon help a bit. I also feel like the tables are slightly turning; other ethnicities like Latinos, Asians, and African Americans, are going to have a bit more of spotlight for these next couple of years in Hollywood.
IBT: What advice would you give to young, aspiring performers?
LL: ... I always say, “Fame is a by-product.” Appreciate the art, learn from it, enjoy it, and fame will come by itself.
Tune in to “School of Rock” Saturdays at 9 p.m. EDT on Nickelodeon.