Your parents ran a drama camp at your church. Was this a sign that you were destined for a career in the industry?
Well, truth be told, my first role on stage was before I was even born. My parents were in a production of Christmas Carol and I was in my mom’s tummy waiting to come out. My mom said when she went out for curtain call she could feel me flipping around, like I was doing a curtain call myself! So, yeah, I think I was destined to be an actor.
What was it about acting that drew you into this up and down world?
Every since I was a kid, I have loved making people laugh. I used to run full speed into walls and pretend I was George of the Jungle, “Watch out for that tree!” But, it’s odd, as most of the roles I’ve done have been serious or sad characters. Oh well, someday I’ll do comedy!
One of your very first projects was the film Babel, which starred Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Not a bad start at all! What vivid memories do you have working on set with them?
Odd fact, but I never met Brad Pitt until the premiere as we were never in the same scene in Babel. At the premiere, being 7 years-old, I really didn’t know how big a deal Brad was. I remember sitting next to him after the red carpet and I commented to him,”Wow, Brad, the press really took a lot of pictures of me! Did they take pictures of you, too?” He just smiled and said, “yeah, a few.”
You’re now in the film Dolphin Tale 2. What are some major differences to the first one?
Well, the characters of Hazel and Sawyer are older and more developed. It’s fun being able to grow up with our audience and share some of the challenges they are going through as young adults, too. Plus, it’s so cool that we get to tell the continuing story of the most inspirational dolphin on the planet, Winter. Who’s ever heard of a sequel to a true story? Well, with Dolphin Tale 2, you will see one, as again, the movie is based on true events.
Did you experience any challenges filming on set?
Swimming in salt water with your eyes open is a bit painful! And, to do the really deep diving they would put weights in my suit so I’d sink to the bottom faster, which could be a bit scary! But all in all, no complaints. I saw up close, kids who are terribly ill and veterans with devastating injuries. Compared to these people who have real challenges, I am very blessed.
You have quite the resume for a young man. And yet, you seem to have things remarkably well handled. What do you attribute your keeping it all together to?
My family. My mom, from the very first movie I was on, told me to treat everyone on the set, from the production assistants to the producers with respect and dignity, basically how I would want to be treated. Plus, we live a very normal life away from Hollywood. Oh, and having two sisters tends to keep your head from getting too big!
As previously mentioned, you’ve had the opportunity to work with some Hollywood heavy hitters.
Who else is on your list to act alongside? Like many actors, I’d love to work with Steven Spielberg, such an icon and inspiration. I’d also love to do a comedy with Will Farrell and Jim Carrey.
Let’s just say for a moment, that you weren’t an actor, what other job could you see yourself doing?
Well, anyone who knows me a little knows I am a huge football fan. So, I could totally see myself combining my two passions and work as a play-by-play football announcer or a sports radio talk show host. That would be awesome!
What about styling, which trends or fashions would we find in your closet?
Truth be told, I love nothing better than hanging out in my Seahawks sweats and jersey. But, when I have to dress up, I love a casual dress shirt and maybe a vest or even a bow tie. I love that look!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. We look forward to seeing how things unfold on Dolphin Tale 2. What other projects do you have coming up?
You can see me in an upcoming episode this fall of CSI with Ted Danson.