The 24-year-old newcomer stars in Disney’s ensemble comedy Prom (April 29), playing a high school bad boy who strikes up an unlikely romance with the prom-committee president (Aimee Teegarden). ”I’m not like that myself,” says McDonell, who got a BFA from New York University in 2008. ”I didn’t get in fights and skip class.”
McDonell was recently cast as the younger version of Johnny Depp’s character in the upcoming Tim Burton film Dark Shadows. No surprise there: He bears a striking resemblance to Depp — and we’re not the only ones who think so. ”I’ve heard it before,” admits McDonell, adding that he wouldn’t mind modeling his own career after Depp, Al Pacino, or Christopher Walken. ”I admire people who will do anything and everything,” he says.
The NYC native is no stranger to the press: His dad is Terry McDonell, the editor of Time Inc.’s Sports Group. The best perk of that connection? ”I do get the occasional basketball ticket.”