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With his Salvation Army duds and shaggy brown hair, Landon Pigg looks like a cute indie rocker straight out of central casting. It’s worked out well for the singer, perhaps best known for steaming up De Beers commercials a few years back with his breathy single, “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop.” Starting today, he’ll make his big-screen debut in the Drew Barrymore-directed roller-derby romp “Whip It.”
“They were looking for someone who could play a musician and who wasn’t necessarily an actor,” recalls the artist, whose only previous acting experience was “the real high school musical” (aka school plays). Luckily, the part wasn’t too much of a stretch. “To the naked eye, Oliver and I are pretty much the same person,” says Pigg of his character, who is the object of co-star Ellen Page’s affection.
It’s a big week for Pigg, who is also promoting his sophomore album, “The Boy Who Never,” out now on RCA Records, though “nobody cares about that,” he says, laughing.
WWD caught up with the 26-year-old to discuss things people do care about — namely, working with Barrymore, finding the right size fishnets and growing up with the last name Pigg.
MUSICAL NOTES: Though Pigg spent most of his adolescence in Nashville, the crooner didn’t feel pressured to become a country singer. “There are all sorts of musical genres that come out of Nashville,” he says. The singer describes his latest album as “a mix of Gershwin and Motown.” (Pigg also has a few separate tracks on the “Whip It” soundtrack.)
NAME GAME: No, Pigg wasn’t teased for his last name in grade school. “Everyone always asks me that,” he says. “Maybe it happened once in second grade.”
ROLE MODEL: Although his director had already starred in “E.T.” before Pigg was even born, he was quickly at ease on set. “[Barrymore] puts herself on the same plane as everybody else,” says Pigg, who appears with Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon and Marcia Gay Harden. “So you are all trying to figure it out together. Working with her was a really disarming experience.”
SKATER BOY: Unlike his female co-stars, Pigg never actually laces up in the film — and that’s just fine with him. “I’ve never seen a guy compete in a roller derby,” says the singer, before adding, “But I guess I could do it if I could found the right size fishnets.”