Photo by: Eduardo Araquel/Paramount+
The 1978 musical Grease starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John is a beloved tale of what happens when a good girl falls in love with a greaser and if their summer romance can survive a school year at Rydell High. The Paramount+ Original Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies is a prequel series that shows what happens when four outcasts change the dynamics of the social groups at Rydell.

Jason Schmidt plays Buddy in Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies and shared which artist he channeled for his audition. “The audition process was intense but of course totally worth it in the end. The first song for the first audition we submit the tapes, and the song I decided to sing was “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel,” Schmidt, who’s also a singer-songwriter, shared with Popternative. “He’s one of my favorite artists. I thought…I was thinking like doo-woppy, 50s, so I did that and clearly it went over pretty decently.”

Schmidt then told Popternative host Petey Beats that with his second song, he really had to act/perform it.

“Further down the process, we were tasked with singing a Justin Tranter song. Obviously Justin Tranter wrote the iconic music for this, so I sang “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, that was something that Justin wrote on so that was a funny one, and with that one they were like really act it, we really want you to dig into the acting of “Sorry.” And that was kind of a funny experience, but you’d be surprised, other people had “Cake by the Ocean” and things like that. We got to see some tapes, [and] people did some great acting performances in these songs.”

Watch the full interview with Jason Schmidt below.

New episodes of Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies drop Thursdays on Paramount+

Amber Dover is a multimedia journalist with over a decade writing about pop culture. Cat mom with a deep love of horror, you can follow Amber at @Glambergirlblog on Instagram and Twitter.

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