All-American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter has had silver-screen dreams ever since he was a kid. The only problem was that his ultra-successful rock band got in the way of him actually realizing them.
“I just wanted to be on a stage when I was a kid, and I did all this little dinner-theater stuff, like ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’ all that stuff,” he laughed. “But then I realized that the only way I was going to get onstage was by being in a band, so I was like, ‘I don’t care, I’ll do it.’ ”
Seems like a pretty fair tradeoff to us, but it turns out that Ritter has never quite let those Hollywood fantasies go. So while his AAR bandmates continue working on the hotly anticipated follow-up to their massive 2005 record, Move Along (see “All-American Rejects Want To ‘Rot Your Brain,’ Might Tweak Rejected Gwen Stefani Tune” ), he was able to slip away for a few days to film a part in the Adam Sandler-produced “I Know What Boys Like” — a.k.a. “the Anna Faris/ Katharine McPhee vehicle formerly known as ‘House Bunny’ ” (see “Katharine McPhee Gets Knocked Up — In ‘House Bunny,’ Her First Film” ).
“I play Colby, who is the love interest of Natalie, the sidekick to Shelley, who is Anna Faris. I don’t even think you can follow that,” he joked. “To be honest, I like doing dramas more — I never thought of myself as the super-duper cutup. I definitely see myself doing stuff like dramadies, you know. I’d like to do ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ because Burt Reynolds was the chief in that one. Or the next ‘Deliverance,’ only without the squealing.”
Sounds like a plan. But do Ritter’s future endeavors mean that the Rejects are taking a back seat? Not in the slightest.
“My band rules, and we are now writing our next record. The guys are so nice that they’ll give me a break to take 10 days to go shoot a movie,” he said. “It’s really cool that next year, our record will come out, and I’ll also be in a movie.”
And just what will that record sound like? Well, Ritter said fans can expect “a departure” from the hook-heavy Rejects rock of old, including a duet in the vein of Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” — he’s hoping to land one of the gals from Tegan and Sara for that one — and a pair of new songs, “Mona Lisa” and “Damn, Girl.”
“We’re gonna take a step in a different direction. I’m not gonna say we’re sacrificing any pop, but you’re gonna get a lot more variety out of us. Some aspects are gonna be disco, some are gonna be more straight-up rock, and some are gonna feel like you could be listening to a really good old folky song,” he explained. “Our manager told us that ‘Mona Lisa’ is the best song we’ve ever written. It’s about, like, ‘If the world ends, I just want you to be next to me.’ And ‘Damn, Girl,’ … I’m not gonna lie, it’s the sh–.”
In keeping with his newfound Hollywood stardom, Ritter claimed that the record is going to carry a handle that’s suitable for the big screen — and for Ray Parker Jr. too. And we’re only 75 percent sure he’s joking about it.
“I want to call the record Zuul from ‘Ghostbusters’ because that was like the king of Gozer, and that was like the top of what you can get,” he snickered. “So, I don’t know, maybe, like, Ghostbusters? Or All-American Rejects: Ghostbusters: The Album. That would be badass. I don’t know, it’ll probably be called Remember Us? because it’ll probably take another year before we make it.”