Aimee Teegarden just can’t get out of celluloid high school. First, was her excellent role as Julie Taylor on the critically acclaimed Friday Night Lights, and now the 21-year-old actress is playing high school senior Nova Prescott in Prom.
With her long, blonde hair and petite figure, Teegarden is a natural to play the most popular girl in school and in Prom, she plays a straight A student, who is also head of the Prom Committee and makes juggling it all look easy.
“Nova’s whole life she has been focusing on bigger and better from middle school to high school to college and so forth,” Teegarden says of the character, “but as far similarities, Nova and myself always give 110 percent for everything we do and have a lot of ambition in life. We both want to go out there and do great things.”
Prom is a slice-of-life high school movie that follows the lives of several students at one school. It focuses on the passage the teens make from high school to graduation and beyond. For Nova, it is learning to deal with a guy (Thomas McDonell), who gets in the way of her perfect prom.
Doing the movie caused Teegarden to reflect on her own prom experience. She says, “At the time, I felt I was a little too cool for school. Actually, after doing this movie, I regret not being more involved in my own prom, taking that moment in, being more involved and enjoying that moment of success. You are a couple a weeks away from the end of high school and it actually may be the last time you see some of your friends.”
Where Nova may just be discovering who she wants to be, Teegarden knew from a young age that she wanted to be an actress and, since she grew up in Southern California, it was a dream she could pursue – but not until her parents felt she was old enough to handle all the pressures.
“They had heard a lot of bad rumblings about things that happen in Hollywood,” she says. “They wanted to protect me from that, so I was involved in basketball, baseball, singing, Girl Scouts and so many other activities.”
Finally, when she was 10, Teegarden convinced her parents to let her take an acting class and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I ended up finding an agent and doing commercials,” she recalls. “My parents were always supportive of what I wanted to do, but they were trying to keep me away from the dangers of Hollywood. My parents are really awesome and really influential in the person I am today.”
Prom opens in theaters on Friday, April 29.