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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.

He just returned from a cruise and is preparing for a cross-country move, but thankfully neither stopped New Kids On The Block star Joey McIntyre from calling in to my radio show this week.

For those who don’t know, I’m running this weekend’s TCS New York City Marathon with #TeamULTRA, and this week I’ve been gathering advice on what to expect as a first-time marathoner both privately and publicly. When I thought of music artists that ran a marathon, McIntyre was the first person who came to mind; he completed the 2013 Boston Marathon about five minutes before the terrorist attack. The singer/songwriter returned with bandmate Danny Wood to then complete the marathon again in 2014.

So I was very pleased when McIntyre agreed to an interview, candidly sharing experiences, advice and a few mantras that helped him along the way.

“’What can I do to make my situation better?’” was the first phrase he told me about. “Meaning like, ‘Focus on my feet, am I working on my feet?’ or ‘Focus on how my shoulders are.’”

The idea is to make yourself feel more comfortable and also preoccupy your mind “for chunks at a time.”

And that was the vibe I caught from McIntyre; this will be just as much mentally challenging as it will be physical.

“But it’s thrilling man,” he assured me. “There’s such a high. You go through the tough times but there are moments when you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m really doing this.’”

McIntyre didn’t completely rule out doing it himself next year; the NKOTB artist just launched a new podcast called “The Move” which is inspired by his family’s pending move back east to New York City.

“My wife is from the city; I put in a solid 10 years in my 20’s so it’s been bubbling up,” he revealed. “We’re ready for a move and we’re going back to New York.”

McIntyre plans on using his new podcast to tell stories from his move while also inviting others to share their experiences of relocating.

“Moving, no matter where you’re going, brings up a lot of feelings and thoughts and history,” he noted. “I think it cuts through a bunch of levels on an interview basis.”

Despite the move to the Big Apple, don’t expect McIntyre to abandon his routing interests. We talked just days after his Patriots traded backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and like any true New Englander, the singer had a thought or two on the matter.

“People are sort of dumb-founded, a little shaking-their-head,” he mused before adding, “It’s hard to argue with Bill Belichick.

“We’ve been so lucky with the Patriots man. At this point, we don’t even get worked up.”

Will Reeve stopped by the show to chat about the new season of “The MSG Hockey Show,” which airs weekly on MSG. In addition to sharing his opinion of the hockey locals, Reeve also offered up some tips to me on running my first NYC Marathon; Reeve ran it last year to raise funds and awareness for his parents’ foundation. I’ll run my first with #TeamULTRA on Sunday.

The ladies of Little Mix took a quick break from “The Glory Days Tour” in Scotland to chat with me about the “Reggaeton Lento” remix with CNCO, their favorite Starbucks orders and their plan to rest and relax for the holidays, happily noting that for the first time in a while, they have “a beautiful two months off.”

Little Mix will release “Glory Days: The Platinum Edition” on November 24.

Harlem-born actress Paula Garces talked with me about the work she has done in Columbia with the Orphaned Starfish foundation and the upcoming season of her show “Major Crimes,” which kicks off on TNT this Halloween.

“Disco Fried” co-author Meli Dez called in to chat about a new study out regarding a rising trend: women cheating on men.

Attorney Jill Stanley, PROOFwithJillStanley.com, called in to offer insight on the legal battles and headlines facing disgraced studio executive Harvey Weinstein.

Photo: David Shankbone

Photo: David Shankbone


Our old buddy Marc Scibilia called in from Nashville in an interview scheduled prior to both the tragedy in Las Vegas and the passing of music legend Tom Petty. We talked with Marc about some of his new projects and how we saw him all summer long on Jeep’s summer ad campaign.


Phillip Phillips told an old tale for his new tune: the time-tested fable of turning lemons into lemonade; overcoming adversity.

It has been a minute (read: a few years) since we’ve heard from the “American Idol” winner and that isn’t a coincidence; Phillips was embroiled in a legal battle with former management, 19 Entertainment, claiming his contract wasn’t fair and thus he should be allowed to exit it. The dispute is now settled and the Georgia-born artist is moving on with plans to release a third album through Interscope Records.

“I’m a pretty patient and relaxed guy,” Phillips told me recently in an interview on Stage 17 when I brought up the lawsuit. “It takes a lot to get me angry.”

Phillips joked that under normal circumstance, the only thing that might irritate him is food that doesn’t taste good. And while the tussle in court might have left a bad taste in his mouth, the singer didn’t let that stop him from channeling that emotion in to his new single, “Miles.”

“Yunno, you gotta stand up for what you believe,” Phillips said regarding his inspiration behind writing the track. “You might feel like you’re stuck in something but there’s always hope and a little light at the end of the tunnel of it.”

The normally-jovial and light-hearted Phillips was sure to punctuate the statement with perhaps a phrase that he should use to title his next LP.

“Life is good!”

The new Miss America may still be growing accustomed to her crown and sash, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t already plotting out her life post-reign.

“From there I’m going to go to law school, so I’m going to use the scholarship dollars I earned through Miss America – which is actually over $45,000 prior to winning (Miss America),” Cara Mund told me as we stood atop the Empire State Building. “So I’ll be out of student debt, I’ll be able to go to law school and hopefully run for office one day.”

However before that, Mund faces a whirlwind year that will push her to every corner of the U.S. as a motivational speaker, ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network and public figure; her deal as the new Miss America includes a six-figure salary and an appearance contract with dick clark productions, which produced the competition telecast in addition to “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” the “American Music Awards” and the “Billboard Music Awards.”

“I think each Miss America makes the year her own,” Mund responded when I asked if she had a chance to receive any tips or guidance from previous crown-holders on what’s in store. “And so while they can give me tips, they’re going to help me figure it out along my way too.”

Mund is the first contestant from her state to crack the Top 5, let alone win it all. The Bismark, North Dakota native graduated from Brown University in Rhode Island and interned for Sen. John Hoeven in Washington D.C. The new Miss America’s resume also includes four summers of training courses with the Radio City Rockettes.

“It was right at Radio City Music Hall and it was (The Rockettes’) summer intensive,” Mund explained. “So I did it for four years, I was getting ready to audition. Didn’t work out because I was too short but I ended up going to Brown instead so it was a good tradeoff.”

She was also able to use some of the skills learned with The Rockettes on the Miss America stage, so suffice to say, everything happened for a reason.