We talked to Disney’s “Bunk’d” stars Peyton List, who stars as Emma Ross and Kevin Quinn, who stars as Xander.
What happened to [Disney’s show,] “Jessie”?
Peyton: Basically we did 101 episodes of “Jessie.” We did four seasons. Usually Disney doesn’t really do over four or five seasons. We did that and then they loved it so much they decided to do a spinoff, so now Zuri, Ravi and Emma are off to summer camp, which is where we meet Xander and Lou.
What is your greatest acting achievement?
Peyton: Oh my gosh, I feel like I’m still so young that there is so much more to achieve. Working on the show and doing what I love, this has been my dream ever since I was younger than you guys. So the fact that I get to live my dream and act is such a cool thing.
Kevin: I think going to work every day is something that a lot of us take for granted. But it’s a great privilege. You have a job and it’s a fun job. We love it so much and we . . . really developed a family dynamic. So we all get along really well. It’s just been a really cool experience.
What are your hobbies?
Peyton: We play basketball on set. I’m always traveling, too, and I love to see the world and travel to new places. So whenever I get the chance, I’m on a plane going somewhere.
Kevin: Personally, I love reading the news and I don’t know why. I’m always on CNN.com. Like, if I have a spare moment I always go on my phone just to check CNN and to see what’s going on. It’s kind of a cool hobby to have, just to see what’s going on in the world.
When you’re filming, what do you do about school?
Kevin: I graduated high school.
Peyton: I still go to school. We have to do at least three hours a day of school work. So Monday through Friday we’re with our set teachers and all the kids on the “Bunk’d” set, so we have a pretty big classroom and we have to do it wherever we go, whether we’re traveling, like today, or on set.
Is your character like you in real life?
Kevin: I think Xander and Kevin are different people, but we also have similarities. I think Xander and Kevin have a similar sense of humor.
Peyton: You know what I notice? Kevin has this inner compass. He’s great with directions and your character Xander is terrible at directions.
Kevin: Yeah, that’s so true. I never use a GPS when I’m out and about in the city. I always just rely on, like, different streets that I know, but Xander, he’s so bad with directions and that’s kind of like one of those things that is different.
Peyton, what did you enjoy filming more, “Jessie” or “Bunk’d”?
Peyton: I love them both so much and “Jessie,” we were such a family and I feel like on “Bunk’d,” we are, too. We’re more like best friends though. I would say we’re all just so tight and we got to know each other so well, especially [the show] just being a season. It’s crazy.
Kevin: And it’s cool because as the new kid as part of this spinoff show, everyone has been so welcoming, so it never really felt like we were at school or anything like that. We just felt like part of the family and we were brought in very graciously. That was something the four new kids, we always talked about. We were very appreciative of that in the beginning.
Is your set a real camp or is it a stage?
Peyton: It’s a sound stage. It’s actually the stage that we filmed “Jessie” on and before that, it was “Wizards of Waverly Place.” I wish it were a real summer camp, but they make it as real as possible. Do you remember the lake episode? They built that on another sound stage and they built like a huge pool and trucked in all this water and they made it look pretty good.
Do you guys like the clothes that you wear on the TV show?
Peyton: You don’t like the clothes?
Kevin: No. I like the clothes in character but I could never wear those. I have a very different sense of style than Xander does. And I think Xander is the kind of guy who wears sports shorts and necklaces. I’ve gotten away with wearing sports shorts. I don’t really wear them anymore.
Peyton: I love them on “Jessie” and I felt all the outfits I had such a big input on, which is so fun for me. I would go in on Monday and see all the clothes lined up and I would have brought some of the things that Emma had in her closet over the weekend. So we had a very similar sense of style, but now on “Bunk’d” I feel like our style has changed a lot. I feel I’m a little bit more fashionable than she is now, but at summer camp everything has to be practical and you have to be able to run around in it, climb trees and scale things in it. It’s a little bit different than the “Jessie” wardrobe was.
Did you get the parts that you wanted?
Kevin: Yeah. I think Xander was a great part for me and I was really happy to get it and I think one of the great things about it was, like I said, he is similar to Kevin, but he’s also different. That’s something I got to experiment with.
Peyton: When I first got the role of Emma, she was so different from what you see on “Jessie” and on “Bunk’d.” She was really negative. She was really into school and she didn’t know how to dress at all. She hated fashion. She and Luke fought all the time. I went in and for two weeks we were rehearsing . . . and then they called me on the phone and . . . they told me that they wanted to change the character completely. They wanted to make her like a fashionista. [They said] ‘Come back tomorrow we’re going to have a whole new script for you.’ I was like ‘Oh my gosh I’m going to lose my job.’ Like, I didn’t think I was going to be on the show anymore. So I came in the next day and I just worked really hard at it and I memorized all the new lines and suddenly they had a whole new fitting for me, I tried on the new clothes that were really cute and I went in and luckily it worked. So the Emma that you see is definitely not the original one.
How does it feel to be teen idols?
Peyton: It’s so crazy. I really think no matter how long I am on a show and I do acting, I don’t really think it sinks in. I think it’s really a humbling feeling. It’s really cool to meet people who watch the show.
Kevin: Yeah, it’s humbling but at the end of the day we’re just, we’re actors and doing a job and we’re having fun with it. A lot of people may classify us as idols, but we’re just having fun.
If you weren’t acting what would you do?
Kevin: I would love to go to school. I really want to go to school and study something with politics or like national affairs, urban policy. Stuff like that. There’s this one school in Los Angeles that I really like called Occidental College and I applied there a while back but I didn’t go because of the show. But they have a great politics program and I think all actors make good politicians; I think it would be a really cool thing to do.
Peyton: I love writing, whether it’s writing for magazines or beauty articles or working somehow in fashion. That would be my dream.