When photographer Ryan Astamendi saw Skyler Vallo's ModelMayhem profile, he knew he had found the perfect Rapunzel for his "Real-life Disney princesses" series. Only after inviting the Roanoke native to pose did he learn she was already playing the long-haired heroine at Disneyworld.
It seems destiny had a plan, and that plan had a small frame but a big appetite...for success! Ho ho ho! See how we overturned your expectations there? But seriously, she will beat you in an eating contest.
She's also done a few commercials. Those of you lucky enough to live near a Jack in the Box might have caught her as a comely cowgirl hollering, "Ride that spicy chicken!" Alas, we don't get to see her saddle up in the buck-buck-buckawing bronco, but we do get to ask how a guy can impress her, and that's worth more than a mountain of spicy chicken or a river of hair. Especially the two together. Can you imagine? Ugh. Gross.
Thanks for chatting with us. What's your story?
Small-town girl who grew up in the mountains of southwest Virginia. I spent my college years doing professional theatre and when I found myself able to graduate early from school I moved to Florida for a brief stint to work at Disneyworld. After I felt fulfilled with being a princess, I moved out to Los Angeles to pursue the world of film, television, and commercials.
Do you like to work in any particular genre?
I have been told that I have a real knack for comedy. There are very few feelings that compare to the joy of making someone laugh.
We get that feeling whenever a woman sees us naked. What's on your career wishlist?
My dream would be to get on a funny sitcom this upcoming pilot season and then on my off-months from shooting work on films. I look up to Goldie Hawn, Tina Fey, Courtney Cox, Anna Farris. Sometimes I think it is difficult for audiences to find women funny, and these women definitely defy those claims.
Given your roles as Rapunzel, spicy cowgirl, and groovy sixties nursing student on American Horror Story, you better have had a kick-ass Halloween costume. Did you bring your A-Game to Halloween?
I went as a 1950s housewife. There is something I find so beautiful about the women of that time period. Everyone guessed I was Rachel McAdams in the Notebook. I just went with that towards the end of the night.
You are apparently the universe's pick to play Rapunzel. Did you get to play any other characters?
I was also "friends" with Ariel. When I was little I dreamed I would grow up to be a mermaid. Disney really does make dreams come true.
How often do Disney princesses get hit on? Does it ever work?
One time, when I was Ariel, I had a 5-year-old boy just reach up and put his two hands right on my purple seashells (and if you've seen The Little Mermaid, you know what the purple seashells cover) and just keep talking to me with his hands there. That was definitely the freshest any male got with me at work. He was a little young for my taste. It always got weird when they were old (and had wives or girlfriends with them) and asked for kisses.
Any strangers recognized you as the spicy chicken girl yet? Has it scored you a free lunch at Jack in the Box?
You know what, that's a good idea. I should definitely try to get free stuff out of this deal. I have had quite a few people recognize me, mostly at parties or at my job. One time I was serving a bunch of Jets fans at my restaurant and the commercial came on and the room erupted as if the Jets just scored a touchdown (and if you're a Jets fans you know how rowdy this can get).
Adam Scott's character in Party Down is known as the "Are We Having Fun" yet guy in a string of commercials. I joke that I am just like that. Except everyone makes me hold a fake burger in my hand when I say it.
How does it feel to be The To Do List's official Hot Girl in a movie loaded with them?
When my agent sent me out on the audition I said, "I will never get this." I tend to go out for more girl next door roles but amazingly, someone thought I fit the bill. I play the "hot" high school girl that wants to hook up with Scott Porter's character in the film when he comes back from college on a school break. He chooses my high-waisted shorts and teased bangs out of every 17-year-old girl in the crowd.
You're a Friday Night Lights fan. Were you geeking out?
I actually did not start watching Friday Night Lights until after I filmed with Scott. It is probably a good thing, because I would have been a total nerdbomber about getting to hook up with the first string QB.
In real life, do the first string guys approach you?
I think I am generally a pretty open and approachable girl. I try to enjoy life and have fun wherever I go. I am comfortable with who I am as a person. And I think when guys see that you truly like who you are, they like that too.
Are California guys different from Virginia guys? (or gals. Maxim doesn't judge!)
California guys (and girls for that matter) and very career-driven. I think out here, many guys are focused on their careers and being successful. They are more interested in dating than a serious commitment, which is fine since that is what I am focused on as well currently.
What's your perfect first date?
I like a guy that takes initiative and plans something that he has put a little bit of thought into. One time I went to lazer tag, another time a guy took me to play putt-putt. If a guy puts any creativity into it, I'm into it.
Bacon lover. Skinny girl. Our kind of woman, but please explain. Our waistlines urgently need the secret.
I am going to pull one of those annoying lines and say "I've got good genes". But I am also in the gym almost everyday doing a rotation of kickboxing, running, pilates, and yoga. But seriously, all of my friends joke that I eat like a 5-year-old. Burgers, fries, Taco Bell, ice cream, and Moe's Southwest Grill cheese goo are my favorite food groups.
What's the most monstrous meal you've eaten this year?
This is a really tough question for me because there are so many times I go on rampant binges. But a couple weeks ago I went crazy and ate an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in one sitting. It was uncomfortable.
What's the last adventurous thing you did?
...it is kind of personal.
We'd press the point, but a Disney princess is entitled to her secrets. What hobbies do you have?
I am really physically active and I adore the weather in Southern California. I am at Runyon at least once a week hiking the trails or doing their outdoor yoga. I'm also an actress so it is really important that I watch movies and keep up with the latest television shows. I am religious about studying actors on screen.
You seem to have a political bent. Are you involved with any charities or action groups?
I am a huge supporter of our troops. My cousin is in the Marines, and I think there is no greater sacrifice you can do for our country. I love our boys and send them care packages monthly.
Anything you want to add? Speak your piece.
It's creepy how much you can know about me just from my Twitter feed.
Thanks! Creepy's what we do best.
Brendan McGinley hides his lack of good genes with good jeans.
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