Living Life With Derek
LIO: How's the weather there? We heard you had some problems.
MICHAEL: Today and the last couple of days, the snow's been going away and we thought that spring was on its way, and then I was in a studio doing a recording for the show. I walked outside and it was a complete blizzard. I just kind of wandered outside for a couple of blocks. Everything was snowed in and I didn't know what to do, so eventually I found my way home.
LIO: The people in the show describe Derek as a slacker. How much of a Derek are you?
MICHAEL: The slacker side of him? I'm definitely not so much like Derek. I like getting things done and keeping myself busy. I organize pens on my table. Derek's a really confident guy whom I really respect. When he really wants something he goes after it, and we're both confident people and know how to have fun. I like having fun in general while Derek likes having fun at other people's expense.
MAITA: What's your favorite thing about Derek?
MICHAEL: His confidence and love for laughter. He's always laughing, having a good time. He's a pretty positive person, it's very hard to get Derek down. He's quite happy. Even in an argument he's still laughing.
MAITA: Would you be friends with Derek if he was a real person?
MICHAEL: I could see myself being friends with him, but I could also see us clashing. Like you know, I'm a bit of an indoor person and Derek's so not that kind of personality. We could very much easily be in the same group of friends, but one-on-one, we might not get along so well.
LIO: You have this onscreen rivalry going on with Ashley's character. Is that off the set too? Do you like to play tricks on each other?
MICHAEL: Well, we like to joke around and play tricks on each other and like it when one of us is calling each other and leaving each other messages. We like leaving funny, ridiculous messages for each other. It's not so, "Let's see how difficult I can make your life" as what it is with Derek and Casey. Me and Ashley, we get along like no other, she's one of my best friends. We just hang out and there! Good times.
LIO: So were you friends before the show? Or you just got to know each other through the show?
MICHAEL: Well, it's crazy! Me and Ash, we thought we never knew each other before, but once we started the show, Ashley's mother brought to our attention that we actually worked on another show a few years ago for just one day. So you meet someone like twice and then all of a sudden you're on the other side of the country, you're spending all day together and then you live down the hall from each other at the hotel for like three months, it's just crazy! And luckily, for myself and I hope for Ashley, we just got along so well and everything worked out so well, and we've been best buds ever since.
MAITA: So what do you two do in between takes or tapings for the show?
ASHLEY: Catnap. (laughs)
MICHAEL: Ashley's crazy on the catnaps. I walk into her room thinking that we could hang out, and there she is asleep and I go, "Hi Ashley!", and she's like, "Hi..." in a really sleepy voice.
ASHLEY: I could leave the set with like the highest energy ever, and three minutes later I'd be sound asleep in my bed.
MAITA: What's the biggest prank that you guys have done so far on and off screen?
ASHLEY: Water balloons!
MICHAEL: Yeah, that was pretty funny. There's a scene where Michael got hit by water balloons, and then there's a giant bucket of water balloons left. Ashley and I dragged it out and stashed them in my room and then we called the three youngest siblings from the hall, saying, "Come here guys, we have to show you something really cool." We bombarded them with water balloons, it was quite fantastic.
MAITA: Are there any other pranks or schemes that you guys would want to do in the series that you haven't done yet?
MICHAEL: I would like to do a mega-heist.
LIO: Michael, if there was a sitcom called Life with Ashley, how would it turn out?
MICHAEL: A Life with Ashley, how fun would that show be? (laughs) Me and Ash have a lot of fun, and we laugh a lot, and it would be a lot of me running into Ashley's apartment and me saying stuff like, "Ash, guess what? I just saw this thing, and it was really exciting!" And Ashley would be going like, "Yeah." That's it. And then we'd laugh some more, and then we'd put on some music and dance.
LIO: Now I'll turn the question around. Ashley, how would the sitcom Life with Michael be?
ASHLEY: I would pretty much just follow him around with a camera 24-7 and just watch the crazy things he does. You could put him in a room with nothing, like just a plain room, then lock him in there with a mirror and he'll come up with the craziest things you've ever seen.
MICHAEL: Is this room padded?
ASHLEY: You get to be in there with Furby, Mike!
MICHAEL: Oh, with your cat Furby, the mad scientist?
ASHLEY: Yeah! Whose hair is growing back by the way.
LIO: You shaved your cat?
ASHLEY: Well, it was kind of an incident that happened, a bit sad in fact. I got this really pretty Himalayan cat, I brushed him as much as I could, but I was on the set a lot. So the one time that I asked my mom to take care of the cat, she brings him back, he's got a pouf of hair on his head, fur on his tail and his legs and that was it.
MICHAEL: I'd call Ashley and I'd be like, "How are you?" And she'd be like, "Not good. I'm looking at Furby but he's totally hairless!"
ASHLEY: It's so disturbing to pet a cat with no hair. (laughs)
LIO: So, Ashley, how much are you like your character? Are you a grade grubber too?
ASHLEY: I'm not exactly too much like Casey. No, I'm not a grade grubber, I'm actually a little less organized than Casey. She's a bit high-strung, but we also have our similarities. In the first season she had to do a lot of clumsy things. In one of them I had crutches. I had to fall down off the crutches, around the corner and knock the garbage cans down. I did that probably fifteen times.
MICHAEL: What about that time when you fell off the back of the couch?
ASHLEY: That was fine, all I had to do was do a little flip on the couch and everyone was so worried for me, they had no idea that I danced my whole life, so I made it gracefully.
MAITA: How would you describe Michael as an actor and as a friend?
ASHLEY: I could be prejudiced, but I think he's the best actor and the best friend that anyone could ever have. He's so great to work with, like whenever I'm feeling a little low or something or feeling anything not so good about this scene, I just have to talk to him and then I'll feel so great. He's really just a great person to have on the set with you, and as a friend I could call him anytime and I do, and I'm very lucky to have him. He's my favorite person.
MICHAEL: I love you so much!
MAITA: What's the best fan mail you've received so far?
ASHLEY: The best I ever got was from this girl who sent me this really cute bracelet. It was a little bit too small for me, but she was so adorable, like "Is there any way that you could wear it on the show?" So I think I'm gonna try to stretch it a little bit so that it would fit, it's really pretty.
MICHAEL: The best one that I could think of is I've mentioned my dog in interviews and stuff before, so one time I got this fan mail from this girl who said that "I love the show, it's really great, I drew you this picture!" And in that picture it was me, the girl who wrote the letter and my dog, so it was really cute and quite lifelike.
MAITA: Any words of advice or inspiration for the kids out there?
ASHLEY: For school, that's probably the hardest part of your life, so don't change for anybody. I know it's part of growing up that you meet not-so-good people, but you'll find friends who are true and when you do, just stick with them.
MICHAEL: Words of Advice from Michael Seater (laughs). What I've got to say is pretty similar with Ashley, just have fun, do what makes you happy, and as great as it is to be selfless, you have to learn to love yourself before you get to love anybody else.
LIO: If you weren't performing, either acting or dancing, what would you be doing instead?
MICHAEL: I would probably be in university, going to film school or getting a general degree in philosophy. Or if I wasn't acting, something I would want to be doing maybe would be party planning. Whenever I throw a party, there's always a theme. I go above and beyond decorating. My last Halloween party, I had like fifteen carved pumpkins around my place.
ASHLEY: The last we saw each other I said, like, "Hey, have a party!" And he was like, "You can't have a party in just two weeks!" And I was like, "Okay."
MICHAEL: It takes me like around two months to get ready for a party.
ASHLEY: I would be a teacher. I'd still want to get my degree. My mom was a teacher.