If anyone can appreciate the struggles faced by Lainey, the failed singer who reluctantly returns to teach music at her old high school on “Schooled,” it’s AJ Michalka. In real life, AJ, 27, and her big sister Aly, 29, have nabbed accolades, gold and platinum records and an American Music Award nomination as a pop-music duo. But doubts still creep in. “There was a time when I did not feel confident in our music, and I think Lainey has felt that way most of her life,” said AJ, who stars in “The Goldbergs” spinoff. “You go through a lull and find yourself in a writer’s block. Those things translate between character and real life.”
The sisters still record and tour — they hosted a sold-out show at the Gramercy Theater this past June — in between acting gigs, which now include AJ’s role and Aly’s part as Peyton Charles on the CW’s “iZombie.” In this week’s episode of “Schooled,” stylish Lainey offers to give a makeover to an awkward pupil.
AJ recently spoke to The Post about Lainey’s challenges, her “Goldbergs” co-star Wendi McLendon-Covey, and what she thinks of the ’90s alcoholic beverage Zima.
What’s the hardest part of going from student to teacher for Lainey?
She feels like one of the students. She’s still figuring out who she is as an adult. This job feels temporary and then she realizes it is not. She’s there to help these kids figure out what they want to do with their lives as musicians, and I didn’t necessarily have that. Her place at William Penn is a lot more deeply rooted than she thought.
Have you ever considered teaching?
I’ve thought about it because I love kids. I love the teacher-student relationship. It’s underplayed in society. What teachers are doing is heroic.
You have more lines than on “The Goldbergs.” How do you like that?
I’m channeling Wendi as much as I can. She is my comedy mentor. She’s been on “The Goldbergs” for six years and she knows exactly what she’s doing. I hope I can lead with as much comedy and grace.