Prior to last weekend, Ross Lynch was mostly known as one of the stars from Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally” as well as a member of the pop group R5. To say people are now seeing him from a different perspective would be quite the understatement; Lynch portrays a teenage version of Jeffrey Dahmer in the new film, “My Friend Dahmer.”
“I think a lot of people are really excited – R5 fans, not R5 fans,” Lynch responded when I asked him about the reaction he anticipated from the band’s supporters. The artist phoned me from the Bowery Hotel downtown where he was participating in a press junket for the film. “I think (R5 fans) are expecting to see Ross Lynch acting but I think pretty early on in the movie you forget that it’s me.”
However critics are not forgetting and Lynch is earning praise for his role. The actor told “Rolling Stone” that when his agent presented the film’s script, he had “no idea” who the serial killer was.
“It was my first time playing a serial killer,” Lynch revealed to me. “So I really just wanted to get all the information I could, whether it was Wikipedia, whether it was the interviews (Dahmer) did with his father after he got caught and convicted.
“I did a lot of research. I just really wanted to do a good job, so I just read anything I could get my hands on.”
Lynch didn’t have any contact with Dahmer’s remaining family, although the film was shot in Akron, Ohio where the killer’s father is believed to reside. The actor did speak with author John Backderf, who was friends with Dahmer and penned the novel and memoir from which the movie and its title was adapted.
And while the film is certainly providing Lynch with his breakout role, the artist doesn’t seem to be straying from his band. R5 will play a handful of dates later this month in South America, and Lynch promised a new single from the group soon.