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MICHAEL BISHOP | ON AUSTRALIAN INFLUENCES & DIVING INTO HIS ROLE AS DJ MAX IN DISNEY’S “SPIN”

September 21, 2021

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

You may recognize Michael Bishop from his breakout lead role in the new Disney Channel movie Spin, playing the character of DJ Max, but he’s far more than meets the eye. Hailing all the way from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, the actor and overall lover of life has been enamored with acting since he can remember, playing Tweedledee in Alice In Wonderland at the young age of 8 years old.

Spin was recently cited as the first DCOM with an Indian-American female lead, highlighting Indian culture in the most positive light on the small screen. Bishop’s role as the lead love interest to Rhea Kumar (Avantika) speaks volume in itself, as the lovebirds fall in love while producing and mixing beats together.

But this certainly isn’t Bishop’s first rodeo, his all-star resume of credits include Australian TV Series Grace Beside Me, a supporting role in the feature film Swinging Safari, lead roles in short films Shelter, Skin Like Bark, Detention, Pet Rock, Hunter and Gatherer, and Indiana.

Beyond his endeavors in film and television, Bishop describes himself as “fun, adventurous, and creative, with a pretty good heart.” When he’s not writing, reading, or spending time with his friends and family, Michael likes to use his platform for the greater good, supporting causes such as Breast Cancer Awareness, children in performing arts, and the LGBTQ+ community.

Flaunt caught up with Michael via Zoom, who was posted overseas in Australia. Read below as we discuss his roots in Australia, biggest influences, love for acting, how he landed his role as DJ Max on Spin, memories on set, his favorite food, goals, and more!

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What was a young Michael like growing up in Queensland, Australia?

I was a normal kid living in Queensland. I love sports, I’ve always loved acting. I grew up around a really big family. We have a lot of local theater where I’m from, it’s a huge part of a lot of children’s lives. I got into my local theater group when I was 8 years old, and now look where we are. [laughs] We did a little production of Alice in Wonderland at 8 years old, I played Tweedledee. I remember even then, I took my job so seriously. The boy who played Tweedledum, we were kids so what can you expect? But he forgot to say his lines. In the middle of a live audience, I said “Come on, get an idea.” I took my job so seriously, even at 8 years old.

Biggest influences coming up?

My pa, so my grandpa. He’s definitely one of my biggest influences. Hugh Jackman is an Australian icon, so is Heath Ledger. Obviously, my mom would kill me if I didn’t mention her. [chuckles]

What do you feel when you act?

I feel like I’m doing the thing that I’m meant to be doing. It feels right. It feels new and different, a bit of an escape. I’ve definitely heard that before, but it really is a good way to throw yourself into something because you’re completely portraying somebody else.

What was your first big break? 

It’s definitely this, as DJ Max in Spin. That was my first international break. Working with Disney is so huge, to be able to do that was so fun and such an exciting step.

How did you land that role? 

As you know, video submissions are huge. This was one of those where I self-taped in. I went back-and-forth with the casting team, did several auditions and callbacks until eventually they decided that I was the one.

What does this role as DJ Max mean to you?

DJ Max is so fun. I was so lucky that my character allowed for me to really play and sit in that fun type of character I find myself gravitating towards quite a lot. I probably pushed that a bit too far. [chuckles] I’d try and have a lot of fun with the character. He’s a good performer so when I got to DJ and I got to carry a crowd, that was so much fun.

How does it feel to debut yourself in the States?

It’s a pretty cool way to go out. To be doing it with Disney, the same makers of movies that we grew up with like High School Musical and Teenage Baby, it’s so iconic. It’s a very cool way to get a start with the American audience.

Fondest memories from recording on set?

I wish I could say that everyone was terrible to work with because it makes for a more interesting story, but everyone was so good. Everyone was so easy to work with, and so fun. I loved showing up to set, I loved going off set and hanging out with everyone. That’s my favorite memory in general. The whole experience felt like a blip, but it was such a good blip because everyone was so incredible to work with—and incredible to not work with and mess around with as well.

How does your character relate to your own life?

He has a bit of an obsession with his art. He’s so obsessed with performing that it almost consumes him, and I do find that for myself sometimes. I really get lost in what I’m doing. Both DJ Max and I absorb ourselves in our art so I definitely can relate to that for sure. He’s also a big dork and I’m a big dork, so I guess it works.

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What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to attempt to surf. Because I’m from Australia, everyone thinks I’m this pro surfer. I really am not, but I do love surfing. It’s really fun. I love writing. I’ll write films and scripts. Hanging out with cool people, doing cool things, trying new stuff. Eating food, that’s pretty common but food’s great. [laughs]

 What’s your favorite food? 

Mangos. Mangos are my overall favorite food. That’s a difficult question because some days you’ll be feeling a burrito, then the next day you’ll be feeling a smoothie. It’s dependent on the mood, weather, everything.

Mangoes aren’t always in season, right?

Yeah, exactly. If I could have the perfect mango every time, I don’t think I’d ever say no to it. Even if I was full.

You support breast cancer awareness and are a strong ally of the LGBTQ community. What makes you want to use your platform in this way?

About two years ago, my mom battled breast cancer. She went through the whole stage of chemo and radiation, everything like that. Seeing her go through that was really tough. Living through that even though I haven’t been through it myself, it makes me want to help in any way that I can. As for the LGBTQ+ community, I want to be open that I support that. It’s important to be an ally.

How would you describe your fashion sense?

On a typical day, I go into my cupboard and see what’s clean and what I haven’t worn recently. [laughs] But no, I like to think that my fashion is slowly evolving, as I attempt to be more cool than I actually am. I try and have fun with it, try new things. I’m really excited by the fashion world. I only recently got involved with it, with all this press and doing shoots and stuff. I didn’t think I’d be so into it, but it’s really cool.

One thing you want people to take away from Spin?

Spin has been sending a really good message that everyone has a voice and everyone deserves to be heard. We see that through Rhea as she evolves to find her own sound and learns to use her voice in the way she wants to use it. Everyone can use that lesson: to use your own voice and to let yourself be heard, because everyone deserves to be.

Goals for yourself at this point of your career?

I have too many goals. I want to make sure I’m always doing stuff that makes me happy, that I stay on my path of doing this because I love doing this. As actors, we get to wake up and go on set every day and pretend to be someone else. It’s fun. I think a lot of actors forget that, but it is fun and it started from a fun place. I want to always remember that.

What’re you most excited for next? 

In the creative world, I’ve been writing. I’m really excited for what hopefully will come from that. The process of writing is so fun and so difficult, nothing I’ve ever done before. To be able to write my own content in the future and to produce that, that’s really exciting to me. That sounds really exciting.

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