Longmeadow native in new Disney Channel movie



teen beach movie

Longmeadow native John Deluca appears in the Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach Movie” July 19 at 8 p.m.

LOS ANGELES – Longmeadow native John Deluca is making a big splash in Hollywood this summer.
The Longmeadow High School graduate has spent the past few years honing his acting chops and has appeared on “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Jessie”, and “Ugly Betty.” On July 19 he will play the part of Butchy in the Disney Channel original movie “Teen Beach Movie.”
The movie harkens back to the once popular beach movies that often starred one of the original Mouseketeers, Annette Funicello.
The movie is billed as an exuberant song, sand and surf fest set inside a retro beach party movie where amidst the spontaneous song and dance, there’s trouble in paradise – it’s bikers versus surfers for control of the local hangout. It’s a breezy, break-into-song-and-dance musical comedy but also comes with a message for kids and tweens about the importance of believing in yourself and following your true destiny.
Deluca said his relationship with Disney began when he first moved to Los Angeles.
“My first job in LA was ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’,” said Deluca.
He appeared in several Disney Channel shows and when casting calls were made for “Teen Beach Movie,” Deluca was asked to audition. When he was cast as Butchy, leader of The Rodents biker gang, he had just three days to pack for Puerto Rico where the film was shot on location for three months.
“It was unlike anything I’d ever done before,” he said. “It was very exciting.”
Working on a movie set was a new adventure for Deluca, who has been acting on television for the past five years. In addition to the movie, Deluca also has a recurring role in a new ABC Family series called “Twisted.”
And to think Deluca got his start at LHS.
“I always enjoyed performing for people and making them laugh,” he said, “So when the senior play came around I decided to audition.”
Deluca earned a role in the LHS production of “The Wizard of Oz” and the acting bug bit him – hard.
He joined the drama club and acted at LHS and at the Jewish Community Center the following summer. When it came to college, Deluca didn’t think he could afford to attend Fordham University, his first choice where he hoped to major in theater. Instead, Deluca enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Isenberg School of Business and had prepared himself for a business and sales career. But then Fordham came through with a better offer and Deluca went after his dream.
“I remember as a young kid watching television and asking my mom how TV worked,” he said. “She told me the people on TV were actors and that was their job, and that fascinated me.”
An athlete, Deluca was often in the spotlight for sports growing up, but he wanted to be on a stage rather than a sports field or court.
“I always loved being in front of people,” he said.
After graduating from Fordham, Deluca worked in New York but realized he should head west to pursue his career.
“I bought a car and packed all my stuff in it and my dad and I drove cross country,” he said. “It as a great trip.”
Deluca’s parents still live in Longmeadow and he visits when he can. He said he keeps in touch with childhood friends and was looking forward to attending a Longmeadow friend’s wedding next week in Louisiana.
When not on set, Deluca enjoys playing guitar – “my college roommate taught me,” he said – and surfing.
“I do miss the East Coast and my family and friends,” he said, “but I’m happy and grateful that I am doing this. And it all kind of started in Longmeadow for me.”
“Teen Beach Movie” premieres on the Disney Channel (Comcast 24) Friday, July 19 at 8 p.m.. Deluca can also be seen on ABC Family’s “Twisted” (Comcast 26) Tuesdays at 9 p.m.