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Jessica Rothe and Josh Whitehouse Star in Valley Girl! | Exclusive

Exclusive Interview with the stars of the modern musical re-make.

May 05, 2020

What is it like to date someone from a totally different clique? Will your crew dis you for falling for someone they don’t approve of? Will the relationship work? These are key questions posed in Valley Girl, the upcoming musical re-make film to be released digitally for you to watch at home May 8th.

VALLEY GIRL Clip: "Mall"



The original 1980’s version of the movie launched a huge fashion and language revolution. Hey, dress like ‘80’s Madonna and talk like a totally rad high schooler from L.A.’s San Fernando Valley! If this happened today we would say the whole thing “went viral”. This new film version takes some of the soundtrack songs from that movie and adds singing and dancing to rock your stay at home world.

Julie (Jessica) and her crew are true Valley GirlsJulie (Jessica) and her crew are true Valley Girls

Storywise, Valley Girl is about Julie, an upper middle class teen growing up in well…the Valley. She dates the top high school jock and is totally popular but really has dreams of being more independent and pursuing a fashion design career. When she meets Randy, a punk rocker from over-the-hill Hollywood, her world is turned upside down. Can this odd couple have a successful relationship or will their differences and diverse friends make it just too hard?

Starring as Julie and Randy are Jessica Rothe (from the Happy Death Day and La La Land films) and Josh Whitehouse (a cool Brit singer/songwriter/actor who played a heartthrob in TV's "Poldark" and had his Amazon film project in L.A. Daisy Jones & the Six derailed by the Coronavirus shut down).

Josh Whitehouse in PoldarkJosh in Poldark

Kidzworld had a long chat with the duo about their experiences making Valley Girl. We got their very interesting dating advice, favorite songs and scenes and learned why they both wouldn’t mind living in a simpler time like the 1980’s.

Jessica Rothe in Happy Death Day 2UJessica Rothe in Happy Death Day 2U

Kidzworld: Jess, how did you like the ‘80’s costumes and did you keep anything? And Josh, did you keep anything from the shoot?

  • Jessica: I wish I had gotten to keep things. The amazing, amazing but tragic thing about the costumes for me was that a lot of them were pulled from movie warehouse stock. As a result, they are authentic and one of a kind. And, we were dancing in the (San Fernando) Valley in the summer in polyester (sooo very warm). Maya Lieberman, our costume designer, did the most amazing job creating this vibrant Technicolor world and the different kinds of fashion between the Valley and punk rock looks.
  • I love that Julie’s story is reflected so much in her wardrobe and what she is wearing. It’s such a cool visual device to watch her transform from pure Valley to this kind of cool Punk/Valley hybrid and finally finding her own unique style.
  • Josh: No. I didn’t get to keep anything either. I wasn’t too worried about keeping my costumes because they were pretty standard, raggedy punk clothes. There was nothing in there where I was like ‘Oh, I wish I had this in real life’. It was nice that at the end of the shoot they gave us all these very cool “Valley Girl 2020” t-shirts. They had myself and Mae (Whitman who plays Jack) and Mario (Revolori who plays Sticky) my band members on the back with like a tour date of everywhere we shot the movie.

Kidzworld: So cool! Josh tell us about your own music and songwriting. What is your sound most like?

  • Josh: I have a band called More Like Trees. We are a three piece acoustic band but we try to emulate the energy of electronic music such as drum and bass songs but I play a sort of Flamenco style on my guitar. So we kind of make a fusion of acoustic and electronic music. (Check out their song “Skies” on YouTube).
  • Jessica: Josh is an amazing guitar player in real life as well as in the movie. He is truly remarkable.
  • Josh: (he says thanks) I’ve been practicing a lot more since we are all staying home.

Kidzworld: Both of you…. fave song in the movie to perform?

  • Jessica: They were all so much fun and challenging in different ways. “Melt with You” it is at the end but it’s sort of the main love theme of the movie. I love that song so much. It was premiered in the first Valley Girl movie and that was how everybody got to know about it and I loved to pay homage to that but I loved that moment as Josh is singing. When I was 13, I would watch movies like this and watch the girl turn around to see the boy of her dreams singing to her and wish, I want to be that girl and now I am that girl in this movie and it’s such an incredible, beautiful experience.

Julie (Jessica) and Randy (Josh) fall in loveJulie (Jessica) and Randy (Josh) fall in love

Kidzworld: Awww, that is so sweet. Josh, better not say you didn’t like that song. (Jessica laughs).

  • Josh: I liked doing all of them to be honest but “Melt with You” we kind of did as a live performance. It was like playing with the band on stage and minding the guitar so it felt a little different to the other musical numbers in the movie but I guess my favorite musical experience was maybe “You Might Think” by the Cars. There was so much action in that musical sequence. I got to slide down a roof on a wooden board and that was terrifying but a really challenging, memorable fun experience. We had that whole scene sort of dancing across the cars. There was quite a lot going on in that one. Pretty unforgettable.

Kidzworld: The ‘80’s was an era without cellphones or internet. Do both of you think you would be able to cope in that world? What would you miss most? Would it even be refreshing to not have people on their phones all the time?

  • Jessica: I actually think I would like it a lot. I continually have phones and computers and things break. I am not technologically advanced. I think I would really miss being in contact with people especially now with everything that’s going on. I feel fortunate that we live in the time of Facetime and Skype and Zoom and phone calls. My family lives in Colorado and it’s been so wonderful to feel so connected to them. But, I do think that taking away the pressure of being instantly accessible all of the time would be very nice. I think that can be really intense.
  • Josh: I agree with all that. I think it has its positives and negatives like Jess was saying. I’m in Los Angeles at the moment and I’m able to keep in touch with my parents back in London and my friends so I’m still managing to stay in touch with a lot of people. Seeing people’s faces is nice but, at the same time, I almost think social media to some extent has gone too far with the control it seems to have over the world.

Randy (Josh) and his band play at the promRandy (Josh) and his band play at the prom

Kidzworld: Yeah, it can get out of hand.

  • Josh: I was even thinking about starting a petition to say that we shouldn’t be able to see how many followers people have on Instagram because why do we need to know that? It comes out with some people brandishing the power. There is a big part of me that thinks I would kind of prefer to be in a slightly simpler age where all of that sort of stuff didn’t run everything. But it has huge benefits in the world as well. I certainly like living in an age where I can build my own home studio and create my own music at home is something I’m hugely grateful for.

Can Randy and Julie's love last?Can Randy and Julie's love last?

Q: Yep, pros and cons. Jess, we know you have dancing experience (La La Land) but how about you Josh?

  • Josh: The very first film I ever did was called Northern Soul and for that we had to learn a very specific and difficult kind of dancing which I actually spent two years training for. I hadn’t had any dancing experience up until then but I always liked to dance, I like ta move mah body (we laugh).
  • Jess: This was a totally different beast (than La La Land) but choreographer Mandy Moore was so incredible at helping each individual performer find the way of movement that fits best in their body. So, because it is the ‘80’s and there are specific moves like The Pony or The Egyptian, we would play around with a lot of those moves but she would say things like ‘Figure out how that feels best in your body and your character’s body’. Julie’s Pony is going to be really different than Karen’s Pony. Because it’s a musical and about these characters expressing themselves, the movement is also going to be different. So, for Mandy, it’s not about everyone joining into a lock step to look exactly the same, it’s about dance performance expression.

Julia's school boyfriend MickeyJulia's school boyfriend Mickey

Q: I liked that. Did either of you two ever date someone that you had nothing in common with from another clique (like Julie and Randy in the movie)? Did it go well or badly?

  • Jess: I definitely did. When I was living in New York, I dated someone who was definitely a little on the fringe and on the edge and it was a kind of daring feeling and it was fun because I got to have a lot of different experiences with that person than other people I had dated but, at the end of the day, we were not right for each other but that’s why it’s good to date more and try dating different people because you learn what you like and don’t like. Josh: Yeah, I’ve dated people from a slightly different world than my own in the past but I’ve never felt unaccepted by anybody and I think there is something beautiful about meeting people and not having those constraints which is highly illustrated in the film. Love can be born out of any two people really. It’s about how those two people make one another feel. I can’t say that I ever had a situation like that where everybody was against me.

Julia's parents want her to stick with MickeyJulia's parents want her to stick with Mickey

Q: Could either of you roller skate before this? Were there falls or injuries on that scene?

  • Jessica: We were very fortunate that we had incredible roller skating stunt instructors and people to help us. I had extensive roller skating training so I could do all the lifts and the tricks. I even learned some that didn’t end up making it into the movie because they were a little too dangerous to do with the other actors. But it was so much fun learning how to do a completely new skill. That’s one of my favorite parts of this job.
  • Josh: I hadn’t roller skated before but fortunately my character only needed to do very minimal roller skating and didn’t spend much time on skates. He didn’t have to even pretend he was any good but I still got the benefit of taking lessons with the rest of the guys and found it a lot of fun.

Grown up Julie (Alicia Silverstone) tells her story to her daughterGrown up Julie (Alicia Silverstone) tells her story to her daughter

Q: Why should the whole family enjoy watching this new 2020 Valley Girl?

  • Jess: I think it is a film that is timeless and for all ages. There is this beautiful love story. There are some really fun, amazing songs. It’s funny. It’s uplifting. There are some really good messages across the board for people and it’s really a story about discovering who you are and embracing your identity and friendship and true love. I think there are so many different things in it for so many different kinds of people.
  • Josh: It’s a very relatable story for all ages. I think it’s about the troubles that we face growing up and different societies and people from all different parts of the world coming together and falling in love against the odds. That is a valuable lesson to learn when you’re young. Also, every single person that entered this film and went on that set was giving their absolute best, giving all their passion to it and really trying their very best to bring energy and charm and charisma to the screen. I think that is really going to come through on the screen. It’s made it a really enjoyable watching experience. And it’s a funny film with a lot of charm and exciting moments and the fact that it’s a musical with color and dancing and joy, it feels like something that the world needs right now.
  • Jess: Yeah. You will walk away from this movie with a smile on your face and feeling just a little brighter about the world.

Will You Groove to the Beat of Valley Girl?

Are you looking forward to a new singing/dancing love story to uplift your spirits? Did you ever see the original 1980’s film? Who would you identify with; the Valley Girls and guys or the Punk Rockers or…..neither? Talk it up here or on your Kidzworld profile page.


By: Lynn Barker