Actor Alex Ferris Talks “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

Recently we got to interview actor ALEX FERRIS about his role in the pending film version of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. Alex has a impressive resume of credits to his name and I want to thank him for taking the time to answer my questions and to Jordyn for arranging the interview.

Hi! It’s Alex – thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me.

GVK: How did you become involved With Diary and what can you tell us about the films and your character?

I was so fortunate to be cast as Collin because I missed the final callback! I was on a family cruise to Alaska when I received a call from the Wimpy Kid people asking me to come back in for another audition the next day. I was really disappointed because I loved the script and was worried that missing the call-back would mean that someone else would get the part. I was so lucky that they hired me anyway!

My character’s name is Collin Lee. Collin is a snappy dressing Republican type (although here in Canada we would say “Conservative”) who does all he can to strengthen his friendship with Rowley, while attempting to destroy Rowley’s relationship with Greg. In the movie, Rowley and Greg have a fight – due to the fact that Greg is simply a bit selfish and not as loyal as a best friend should be. Eventually, Rowley decides to turn away from Greg for good, and become best friends with Collin. Collin is very kind to Rowley, and they are best friends until Greg apologizes, and Rowley forgives him. Collin is angry with this decision and, he ceases to be friends with Rowley. As for the film, it is extremely like the book. Some of the lines in the movie have actually been taken directly out of the book. From what I’ve seen, the film looks like it is going to be fantastic. I can’t wait to see it with my friends.

GVK: What sort of research did you do for the film?

Immediately after booking the role as Collin, I read all three of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books (at that time there were only three). I enjoyed them immensely and read the fourth book as soon as it came out. There is not much of a description of my character in the book, so I had a lot of freedom to make the character my own.

GVK: What were some of the more memorable moments from filming and what are some of your fondest memories?

Being on set of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid was a fantastic experience. It is probably one of my favorites, out of all the projects I have worked on. This is because in The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, almost all of the characters were around my age. Usually most of the actors in a movie are older than me, so it was great working with so many kids. Since there were so many kids, the set was extremely child-friendly. For instance, one day one of the producers brought Nerf guns onto the set for us to play with. It was a blast. Also the items on the lunch menu were quite a bit more kid-friendly than usual. Instead of heavy dinner type meals we’d get more burgers. Another fun aspect of this set experience was the fact that most of the kid cast came from different places – Fregley was from Alabama, Rowley was from Rhode Island, Greg from California and Chirag from Washington State.

GVK: What can you tell the readers about your training in acting and about your first break?

It’s a funny story how I decided I desperately needed to become an actor. I had never given acting any thought, but in March 2004 my family and I were on vacation in Hawaii and I met a little boy who happened to be from Vancouver as well. A few days after befriending the boy I learned that he was an actor, and that he had done a commercial for Match Box, and gotten to keep the toy cars after filming was done. I thought that this was greatest way to get free toys and so I asked my mom if I could be an actor too. My mom told me no, acting would take up too much time and that I wouldn’t like it as it required tremendous patience.

I wouldn’t take no for an answer. After days of begging, my mom said, “I’m sorry Alex, but even if I let you be an actor you couldn’t because you don’t have an agent.” So I went up to the boy and asked him who his agent was. When we got back home I wrote a letter to the agent all by myself. I had just turned 7 so my letter wasn’t very articulate. I think it said something like, “I am smart. I am cute. You should hire me.” My Mom reluctantly let me send mail it off. I was lucky because the agency took me on, and sent me on an audition. I had a great time and booked my very first audition, at the age of seven. I had an even better time filming the project, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and my career took off from there.

GVK: What movies have you seen recently and what do you have on your to see list?

Recently, I finally saw Avatar. It was fantastic! The special effects were like nothing I had ever seen before. I really want to see Shutter Island, but my parents saw it and said I’ll have to wait because it’s a bit too creepy for me yet. We also went to see The Blind Side which I really liked as well. My family loves to watch movies and rent a ton.

GVK: What sort of music do you like as I noticed on your bio that you loved downloads. Also, who do you see having a brighter future, The Jets or Cowboys?

Although I love both teams, I would have to say that the Jets have a brighter future. I was impressed by Mark Sanchez’s rookie season; I believe he will be even better in the 2010 season. The Cowboys have a lot of very talented players, but they seem to have trouble coming together as a team. They will definitely have to work very hard if they want a chance of winning the NFC east. My favorite NFL moment this year was when Dallas beat the Eagles. My older brother is a huge Eagles fan, so it was very satisfying.

The last song that I downloaded was Drop the World by L’il Wayne. I love his new album.

GVK: What future projects do you have coming up that the readers can look forward to?

I am waiting to find out. I will let you know as soon as I do!

GVK: Which performers are your favorites and if you could select anyone to be your co-star, whom would it be and why?

I LOVE the Godfather trilogy, so my favorite actor of all time is Al Pacino. It would be incredible to work with him. I would also like to work with Robert DeNiro. He was fantastic in Goodfellas, and, of course, the Godfather as well.

GVK: Having worked in both film and television, can you talk about the differences between the two and which one you prefer?

That is a great question. I truly love doing both. Since I’m young and my family lives in Vancouver there are greater opportunities for me to work on films. I go to regular school which is very important to my parents. This means that I don’t usually audition for roles that will mean that I need to relocate to another city for long periods of time. For example The Time Traveler’s Wife filmed in Toronto, and for my role I got to make a few trips back and forth but only ended up missing a week or two of school. Although we film a bunch of great TV shows in Vancouver, most of them film in LA. If you are going to be a series regular on a TV series you really need to relocate. I’m working on convincing my family that this is what we need to do!

Thanks so much for the interview. It was fun thinking about your questions.