Austin and Ally may be the ones in the spotlight on their Disney Channel sitcom, recording albums and going on tours, but the duo wouldn’t be hitting such high notes without the help of Dez, the weirdly wacky and arguably fashionable character played by 22-year-old actor Calum Worthy.
Worthy not only puts up with Dez’s antics (think deep-frying shoes, carrying ice sculptures in his backpack, etc.), but says he loves doing the nutty scenes. In the upcoming third season, things only get stranger in the wake of Austin’s letter to Ally. In the exclusive clip below, Dez is there to assist the gang to figure out why Ally’s not where she should be.
Worthy talked to EW about Dez’s quirks, what he wishes he could do on the show, and how Dez might be getting a love interest of his own.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Going into this third season, what are you most excited about?
CALUM WORTHY: I’m most excited for the first three episodes. They really wrap up the cliffhanger that we ended on in season 2. The best thing about the season is we’re so comfortable with our characters now, and the writers are so comfortable and the directors are comfortable and everyone feels they can really step it up even more. The first and second seasons were amazing, but this season, everyone feels so confident in themselves and the show itself. I think we’re really able to have a lot of fun with it.
Last season had tons of big moments, including Austin and Ally’s kiss. What was it like on set when that happened?
It was crazy. It was really exciting. Before then, most of our storylines were standalone stories, so each episode contained a story on its own. But then suddenly, we start having three-parters, but we don’t get descriptions until the Friday before the Monday with the table-read, so I’d be up all night Friday night reading it, being like, “Oh my god, this is insane, I can’t believe this is happening.” It really blew my mind. I thought Dez and Ally were going to end up together, so this was a real surprise for me.
Were you disappointed when you found out Dez and Ally weren’t going to be a couple?
I was crushed.
Still, does Dez get any huge moments this season you can tease?
Dez finds love this season. That’s a huge plot twist for the Dez character. You haven’t met her yet, but she’s a really talented actress, and the character is hilarious, it’s so funny.
Clearly the character of Dez has evolved since we first met him. How do you think he’s changed?
I think Dez started off with a lot of physical craziness, like he’d have ideas that were out of this world. Now, he’s still wacky but he’s gone for more intellectual Dez. It’s almost like he’s maturing a little bit, but in a way that only Dez can, so he has these insights. He’s almost more of a therapist this season, it’s pretty funny. He’s been having great bouts of wisdom, and he starts spouting out all these intuitive thoughts that none of the other characters can think about and no one knows where they come from.
But he’s still doing plenty of wacky things. What’s been your favorite “Wacky Dez” scene?
For our Christmas episode, I end up in a giant Santa suit, and it was pretty nuts. This thing was huge, and it was inflated so it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger each scene. We filmed that last week, and it was insane. Also, we filmed with a kangaroo, and that was nuts. I had to work with an alpaca last season and that was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. They seem to have a lot of gas when they’re nervous and freaked out — and it was freaked out nonstop.
Is there anything you wish Dez could do on the show? Maybe something musical that Austin and Ally get to do all the time?
I think it’d be really funny to see Dez try to do what Austin and Ally do. I know he’d fail miserably, but it’d be really funny to see him try to get a record deal or something. It’d be funny for an episode if he discovered he had a real passion for music. He’d try to do a lot of things but he’d fail in all of them, but he would really try to give it his all.
What’s something surprising about you?
I produce a show called the Coppertop Flop Show when I’m not doing Austin and Ally. And people often think I’m Tilda Swinton. They mistake me for her all the time.
They mistake you for Tilda Swinton? Seriously?
They’re like, “Wait, is that Tilda?” And I’m like, “No. One, I’m a guy, and two, I’m… I’m Calum.”
Just wondering — what’s your craziest fan encounter?
There was a car accident near my place, and I was going for a job, and I walked by. There were a lot of people around, and as I was jogging by, I asked one of the people what was going on, and he was like, “Oh, there was a car accident,” and then he looked at me and was like, “Wait. Are you Dez from Austin and Ally?” And everyone, even the people who were injured, wanted a picture with me, so I took pictures with people on stretchers and the ambulances, and I took pictures with the cops. I was like, “I don’t know if this is how things are supposed to be done. I think this is breaking every protocol.”
Were they okay, at least?
I think they were. I think they at least had a better experience. One person said it was the best car accident they’ve ever had, so that was good.
Austin and Ally is going strong, but looking ahead, do you have any long-term plans you want to pursue? Will you do another Disney show?
I love the audience that I have on Disney, and I don’t want to be one of those actors that just ditches the fans they have at the moment, so I want to keep making great content for them, whether it’s in front of the camera or behind the camera. I want to grow up with my fans, and I want to do content that they can grow up with as well with me.
You guys had Dwyane Wade on set for a cameo. What was that like?
I don’t know what I can say about it, but I can tell you it’s going to be a hilarious episode. I think the connection to Dez is going to be really funny for the audience. He’s so funny, too. I guess he’s never done a TV show before, but he was hilarious, and we were cracking up on set nonstop.
Did you get to shoot some hoops with him?
Well, we didn’t play any basketball, but I’d be pretty confident that I can beat him.
Austin and Ally returns Oct. 27 at 8:30 ET on the Disney Channel.