From left to right: Lindsey Black, Chandler Massey, Lindsey Shaw and Susie Abromeit, a former Duke player. (Photo provided by 16-Love)
In the new tennis-centric movie 16-Love, Lindsey Shaw plays Ally Mash, a top-ranked junior player who is injured and forced to lead the teen life she never had before. (Jealous, Capriati??) While the movie is geared more to the ABC Family crowd than the TSF one, Shaw delightfully reminds us of a younger a Andrea Petkovic — as an actress, of course. The 22-year-old’s best known cred is probably her work in Pretty Little Liars and she co-stars alongside a shirtless-post worthy (don’t you worry folks, it’s coming!) Chandler Massey, who has done TV work on Days of Our Lives, One Tree Hill and other projects.
Shaw took time out of her busy sched to chat with TSF on email. Check out her hilarious musings below.
TSF: A lot of the tennis action was filmed at La Costa in San Diego, where a pro event takes place. What did you think of training there? Did you soak that in a little bit? See any big-time tennis players or teaching pros training?
Lindsey Shaw: La Costa was great, mostly because I could wake up and walk to set from my hotel room. It’s harder to be late when you sleep 100 yards away from the set. It was always fun to come to set every morning because there were always a variety of other guests that were out for their morning tennis lesson or game. There was a lot of active tennis energy around. The environment was immersed in the story, so to speak. The courts were so much fun to get to work on. I felt kind of epic walking onto the court every time because of how grand it all felt. Definitely soaked in the energy of past players and spectators who had been there. I didn’t see any big-time players or pros on the courts there, but being at La Costa and dressed in my tennis gear, I certainly felt like a big tennis deal most of the time … I think that counts.
TSF: Big deal, indeed. Another big deal is Chandler Massey, who is your co-star. What was the best part of working with him?
LS: His abs. Definitely.
TSF: We’re jealous. The worst part?
LS: The worst part of working with Chandler Massey was constantly battling the star power of his abs.
TSF: If you could use a tennis racquet to do something other than play tennis with, what would you use it for? Gardening? Air guitar?
LS: If I wasn’t playing tennis with my tennis racquet, I would assume/hope that the racquet would be infused with superpowers I could use for the world’s protection and occasionally my own amusement.
TSF: Who is your favorite tennis player?
LS: Roger Federer.
TSF: You’re not a tennis buff. What sort of tennis training did you do for this movie?
LS: I had no tennis training before shooting 16-Love. When I found out I booked it, I was both excited and anxious about portraying an athlete at the top of her game. I immediately started working with great tennis coaches a couple hours a day which continued all the way up to the first day of shooting. Unfortunately, as any tennis player knows, tennis is not mastered in the 15 hours of training I got. We brought in an awesome double for a lot of the big tennis matches. But I certainly got worked across the court as well! For every 50 shots, I think one landed where I intended it [to]. It was such a whirlwind, wonderful experience to be faced with such a physical challenge within a world I knew very little about prior to this project. I offer myself up to all tennis players out there, I did my best!
TSF: What’s the funniest moment you can recall in the shooting that involved tennis? A fall? A racquet to the head?
LS: The funniest moments shooting the tennis were the times when I had to be really intense and immersed in a match and I completely missed the ball. I looked like such a pro, and then it came crashing back to me every time I actually had to handle the racquet that I was not really a sports star. Also, all the tennis scenes where Chandler Massey had to downplay his real, mad tennis skills and I got to act like I was schooling him were pretty entertaining.
TSF: Imagine you’re given the chance to play Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon. What would you wear?
LS: If I were playing Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon, I would wear the exact outfit she was wearing to psyche her out.
Shaw’s advice for Venus, her battle cry against Regis Philbin and her favorite music after the cut. PLUS: See the signed hat that 16-Love wants you to win. Click for more.
Seriously Shaw: Lindsey had been on court only for a few hours before filming began. (Provided photo)
TSF: Venus Williams wants your advice on how to be more relatable to teens. What do you tell her?
LS: I would tell Venus to put out a hip-hop album. [Ed. note: Shaw didn’t know of Serena’s tunings.]
TSF: What’s one thing you discovered about tennis that you had no idea about the sport before you started playing?
LS: I didn’t know much about tennis, so everything was pretty new. One thing I will say is that those tennis outfits are tiny!
TSF: Regis Philbin loves to play tennis. Say he spots you at La Costa and wants to hit around. Do you let him win? Why or why not?
LS: I do not let anybody win, even Regis Philbin. He would have to earn his victory! Which I’m gonna venture to say would not be all that difficult…
TSF: What are you listening to on your iPod right now?
LS: I’m listening to Yeasayer, “Odd Blood.” Awesome!
TSF: What’s your current favorite movie?
LS: Black Swan.
TSF: If you could play in the U.S. Open, who would you pick to be your coach for the tournament?
LS: I’d pick Regis Philbin after our jaunt at La Costa either because of his gracious defeat or because of his impressive win. Whatever the outcome of our match, I know I’d want Regis by my side at the U.S. Open.
TSF: For viewers, you hope when they watch 16-Love they leave the couch/theatre with what?
LS: I hope viewers leave 16-Love feeling entertained and inspired to seek The Alternate Routes (also a band with music featured in our movie) and to any dream they aspire to.
TSF: The movie’s working name was Smash but had to be changed for distribution. Basically, it got smashed.for the project was smashed. One thing you’d like to smash in your life is what?
LS: I’d like to smash a guitar on stage just once.
TSF: Brilliant! Us, too.
Below: 16-Love wants you to win this lovable hat. Click here to head over to their Facebook page and post on their wall the answer to this question: “”The hottest tennis player, past or present, male or female is________”