KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (2023)

TV favorites for Riverdale and The Fosters play a romantic couple.

01. May 2019

By: Lynn Barker

BoxNetflixab 3. MayrdforThe last summera relatable movie about that summer right after graduating from high school. Do romantic relationships continue, end or begin? What's next? Studies, trips abroad, career? Australian actress/singer/songwriter Maia Mitchell, who played Callie Adams Foster in the TV series The Fosters and the TV musical Teen Beach, plays Phoebe, a high school grad who is interested in filmmaking, while KJ Apa Archie Andrews continues to play popular TV series"Riverdale' plays Griffin, the fellow student she falls in love with.

The last summerFan

For the interview, KJ is still wearing his red hair for his role as Archie. He and Maia seem super comfortable and easily reveal some personal feelings about being romantically rejected and being scared. They have some great advice for tweens and teens. See if the actors are talking about something you can relate to!

Q: Did the film resemble your own fears after high school? At that point, you were both probably well advanced in your professional life.

  • KJ:Yes, I definitely think so. Like Maia, I was working on a TV show while I was in high school, so I had to make a decision, "Do I stick through or do I drop out of high school and do all the acting?" So yeah, it was definitely a anxious moment to make that decision because it's either one or the other.
  • Maia:Yes, I can definitely understand it. This time is so embarrassing anyway and I think there is a lot of pressure on young people of that age to know exactly what you are doing and where you are going and it is not necessarily a time in your life that is conducive to knowledge all that. Like KJ, I decided to drop out of high school and pursue some of the opportunities that came my way. I went with my gut and what I thought was right. I think that's also the message of the film.

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (1)Maia at the premiere of the film

(Video) KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell Play Kiss & Tell | The Last Summer | Netflix

Q: Do you have any summer memories that stand out to you in particular?

  • KJ:I think for me it was always family. I usually spend many of my summers in Samoa. My father's side (of the family) is in Samoa. I remember that.
  • Maia:Summer is the same for me. When it's summer at home (Lismore, Australia) it's Christmas time here where we always have a break from work so I'm always with my family during the summer and that's definitely how I picture summer; just family and christmas and new years eve and celebrations.

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (2)Maia and KJ on the set of the filmCourtesy of Netflix

Q: What do you think is the key ingredient to a successful romance or rom-com?

  • KJ:I think the core ingredient has to be chemistry, right? I think when you're working on a rom/com, especially romantic stuff, you have to work with someone who you can have that kind of chemistry with, and I think we're really lucky. Maia is really easy to work with and we had great chemistry together straight away so….
  • Maia:Yes, we have (laughs).

Q: Where do you think your characters would be two or three years later?

  • Maia:I'd like to think that if they didn't stay together, they at least stayed in touch.
  • KJ:Yes. If they weren't together they would still be very good friends I think.
  • Maia:Yes. Maybe just get married later and have twenty kids.
  • KJ:Down the line, down the line!

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (3)KJ als Archie in RiverdaleCourtesy of The CW

Q: KJ, your character Griffin was rejected first, then you moved on. Have you ever been rejected and what is the best way to deal with it?

  • KJ:Yes. I get ejected all the time (laughter). No. I've been rejected several times, a lot in fact. I really got into it a lot. I think I'm not scared when I see something that attracts me and I would just walk up and say hello. Usually I get rejected too many times because I'm too young. This is the thing for me. "Sorry, you're too young for me".
  • Maia:I've never really put myself out there unless I know something will be reciprocated, so I usually play it safe, but I haven't seen a single in a very long time, so I don't remember what that's like (Note: She is dating Rudy Mancuso, an actor, internet personality, and musician).

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (4)Maia on The FostersCourtesy of Freeform

Q: Even as an actor you have to expect rejection if you don't get a role. Have you had this experience? How do you deal with that?

  • Maia:Oh, I've had that experience.
  • KJ:Ah, many times. My process when I go to an audition is that I forget it as soon as I leave. If you don't get cast for something, it's either you don't look right or they don't want you for some reason.
  • Maia:You try not to take it personally. It's like I get in there and I'm the right person for the job, I'll get it and if I don't I won't get it and that's totally out of my control so somehow you have to make it happen, how it should happen.
  • KJ:Yes. Don't bother emphasizing something over which you have no control.

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (5)KJ and Maia

Q: The film shows that growing up isn't always easy and that you struggle with things like falling in love for the first time, trouble at school or with your parents. Do you have any advice on how to deal with this?

(Video) Guitar Lessons With KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell | The Last Summer | Netflix

  • KJ:I didn't really have a girlfriend back then. I had my first girlfriend about a year ago, so I've always been very busy. I think that's why. I think I was in love with a person once. Everyone is different. I think you have to understand that everyone is different to accept it.
  • Maia:I did my own thing. I was dying to get out of school and really wanted to stand out a bit, but I think the main thing I can take away from this film is that everyone is doing their own thing and being on their own journey, and that's okay. Just to be able to be strong in himself and his own journey and identity.
  • KJ:It's also important to have good role models, I think. You have to pick really strong people. I think a lot of young people see the wrong people as role models on social media. It is important to recognize and distinguish who is positive and respectful. I hope I'm a good role model.
  • Maia:That's the problem I have with this term "role model". What is this really? I think for me I'm clear that I'm not going to please anyone, so if I'm authentic and myself, then I'm exactly who I wanted to look up to when I was a kid. I think that's the key. I don't think it's about behaving well or behaving a certain way, it's about being authentic.

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (6)Maia and KJ with the film cast

Q: What so-called role models do you look up to?

  • KJ:My father is my role model. I think he has a really strong belief in God, which I really respect. he works hard His work ethic is really inspiring to me. I could go on forever. he's my type
  • Maia:I have many different role models. My mom is my role model but in terms of what I aspire to I think of actors who manage to be successful but also very private like Carey Mulligan, Nicole Kidman, those kind of people who stay out of the limelight and have their own life. Cate Blanchett is so cool. She runs the Sydney Theater Company from Sydney and then also shoots around the world and has a very private life. That's what I look up to.

Q: The chemistry between you two is great. Was there an introductory workshop before the shoot?

  • Maia:We had a few days, maybe a week before. We had a little pre-production where we had to do adjustments and do some rehearsals with William (director William Bindley) which was great so we could flesh out the dynamics on screen. If you are also in another city (Cleveland, Ohio) and only know one person there….
  • KJ:We had no choice but to hang out.
  • Maia:There was this lounge in a hotel, we hung out there. They had free beer.
  • KJ:Free beer, free cookies, beef jerky, remember?
  • Maia:Yes. Really, it was just hanging out at the hotel and just going over the script and watching movies and stuff like that.

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (7)KJ as GreifCourtesy of Netflix

Q: So many young people struggle with anxiety, depression and mental health issues. Have any of you experienced this or know someone who has? If yes, how do you help?

  • KJ:I personally don't, but I have a few friends who are going through anxiety and depression and stuff. For me as a friend, it's really important to listen, especially when you don't identify. Maybe I didn't feel that way, but I think being a friend while listening might be the best thing to do.
  • Maia:Yes, I've definitely struggled with anxiety in the past. It comes and goes in waves. When I'm really stressed and busy, I go into meltdown mode (laughs). I go to therapy and deal with it, but yeah I think it's just about surrounding yourself with people who make you feel normal and whole and who, as KJ said, listen and then you try not to stress yourself too much.
  • KJ:Don't get me wrong, I sure had my moments.

Q: Social media can make you feel so vulnerable. How do you deal with reactions to your work or personal life on social media?

  • Maia:Yes, social media causes me stress. I don't spend much time on it. I log on to my public social media and post when I have to and log off and go to my smaller one that I only have with my friends. I have to subdivide it.
  • KJ:I don't put much effort into my social media, I guess I just like to be myself. I think what I'm posting is pretty much for my friends in New Zealand. I want to make her laugh. I think authenticity is great. All of my favorite accounts that I follow are people who are authentic and who they are.

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (8)Phoebe and Griffin at schoolCourtesy of Netflix

Q: My take on down under (New Zealand and Australia) is that when you get home you can't be boastful or bigger than everyone else or they will drag you down very quickly.

  • Maia:you will be shot down
  • KJ:We can be cocky in America and no one will judge us for it. At home it doesn't matter if you're cocky or not, you're going to shit either way.
  • Maia:Oh yeah. No matter what, but it's a lot of fun.
  • KJ:It's usually just a fun banter, but often I feel like some of the news outlets back home just don't have anything better to tell. You ask yourself, "Really? Isn't there anything more interesting?” The answer is, “No, there isn't.” (Laughter)
  • Maia:You're the one.

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (9)Will Phoebe and Griffin remain as a couple?Courtesy of Netflix

Q: What kind of music do you listen to these days?

(Video) Bagged Milk?? w/ The Last Summer Cast ft. KJ Apa & Maia Mitchell | Netflix

  • KJ:I've heard Apes of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, a lot of Mother Love Bone, the Pearl Jam band, but their singer passed, then Eddie Vedder came along and that's how Pearl Jam was born.
  • Maia:I tried listening to pop music. It's not going great. I create an Apple or Spotify playlist and just listen to what happens. Everything sounds the same.
  • KJ:I'm finding it really hard to hear automated sounds now. I feel like I got stuck listening to live music and instruments. So when I go back to pop and I hear all these automated sounds, it's just not that interesting to me.
  • Maia:It's really boring so I'll just go back to my 80's music and call it a day. I like The Cure and The Smiths.

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (10)Will Griffin pursue his music?Courtesy of Netflix

Q: KJ, can you talk about your band?

  • KJ:I'm in a band called Legend. We've been playing together for about three months. All the guys are from Vancouver and we're trying to finish an album this year. We play some kind of plastic rock 'n' roll. Our goal is for people to listen to rock again because we all grew up listening to it. It was really fun to get together and create stuff like that.

Q: Do you have filmmaking ambitions like Phoebe?

  • Maia:Yes I do. I'm hoping to start out in television and then hopefully move into feature film, directing.

Q: What was your favorite scene to shoot?

  • Maia:I think the day on the lake was the most fun with the jet skis and all. It was fun and everyone was there too and we were able to hang out.
  • KJ:Yes. The party scene was probably the least popular. It was so hot in there.
  • Maia:It was probably a hundred degrees in that warehouse.

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (11)Phoebe (Maia) and Griffin (KJ) get romanticCourtesy of Netflix

Q: Did you have summer jobs when you were younger?

  • KJ:No. I've only ever played. That's the only job I've ever had.
  • Maia:I was a food pig. That's what they call them in Australia. You just wash the dishes. I did that for four years. My mother wouldn't let me access my savings even though I worked as an actress. If I wanted extra money, I had to eat pork at my mother's friend's restaurant. I got really good at washing dishes. I was also an usher in a movie theater.

StromThe last summeron Netflix from April 3rdrd.

KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell enjoy last summer's interview (12)Courtesy of Netflix

Show your feelings!

Do you already have plans for after high school? Do you think you will still be with your best friends or your boo or move on? Are you a fan of KJ or Maia? Everyone wants to hear from you. Leave a comment here or on your Kidzworld profile page!

(Video) KJ Apa & Maia Mitchell BURN BATTLE: New Zealand VS Australia | The Last Summer | Netflix

Film Interview Netflix


1. KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell Interview for “The Last Summer”
(Manny The Movie Guy)
2. KJ Apa On Chemistry With Maia Mitchell In 'The Last Summer' | EXTENDED
(ET Canada)
3. K.J. Apa, Tyler Posey and More of the Cast of "The Last Summer" Take a Friendship Test | Glamour
4. KJ Apa Reveals Secret Deleted Scene From “The Last Summer”!! | Hollywire
5. The Last Summer - LEM'S Bar-B-Q vs SMOQUE BBQ K.J Apa and Maia Mitchell
(Mr. Clip)
6. Maia Mitchell Broke the Rules at a Meditation Retreat


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