Jake T. Austin’s New Year’s Eve Kiss!
By: Lynn Barker
We’re with Jake talking first screen kiss, dating peeves and more.
Cute actor Jake T. Austin gained a ton of fans from his portrayal of Max on the popular TV show “Wizards of Waverly Place”. He went on to co-star with Emma Roberts in the cute film Hotel for Dogs. Starting this Friday, you can watch Jake’s first screen kiss with 15-year-old Abigail Breslin in the fun movie New Year’s Eve which also co-stars Zac Efron and tons of other big actors.
We wanted to know about that kiss, New Year’s Eve resolutions, dating etc. Pull up a chair with us….
Kidzworld: You just had a birthday (17) on the 3rd. What did you do?
- Jake: I was doing some press for this movie during the day then got asked to host something for The Jingle Ball at the Nokia Theater. It was fun and I went out afterwards.
Kidzworld: I interviewed you and Emma Roberts in 2009 for Hotel for Dogs. Have you seen Emma since then?
- Jake: Yeah. I’ve seen her a couple of times. I met up with her and her boyfriend Chord Overstreet in New York and we had a dinner. Emma is blowing up! She has so much stuff going that it’s hard to stay in touch with her.
Kidzworld: I saw you talking today with Zac Efron who is in this film. Are you guys buds now? Has he given you any advice?
- Jake: He’s a really cool guy. He’s kind of been a teen idol forever. If there is anyone to take advice from in terms of success, yeah, it would definitely be him.
Kidzworld: You and Abigail Breslin play kind of a couple in the movie. Were you able to meet her and get to know each other before you got to set or did they just throw you together on the first day of shooting?
- Jake: We met each other the first day on set and we had to kiss each other a couple of hours after we met each other but it was cool.
Kidzworld: Whew! That could be awkward. Was that the first real screen kiss for both of you?
- Jake: I consider it my first big screen kiss. Did it look good?
Kidzworld: It did! So were you able to hang out at all off set?
- Jake: Yeah. We hung out a little bit. We went to go see a movie she did called Rango. She had a lot of her friends on set. I had a lot of my friends and everybody was hanging out. We got to be good friends.
Kidzworld: In real life, do you have a girlfriend or just a lot of friends who happen to be girls?
- Jake: Well……Let’s say I’m definitely single.
Kidzworld: If you are going to ask a girl for a second date, what must she NEVER do on a first one? Like what is your pet dating peeve?
Jake: Constantly looking in the mirror. Every girl does that. It’s not just girls who are too into themselves. Even guys do that. But, when they’re too focused on their appearance, that’s a little insecure and a little too much into outward appearance. Everyone wants to look good. But, you can generally tell if a girl is not someone you want to talk to after a few sentences.
- Also, if they are on their “crackberry” the whole date. That’s worse than anything if they’re tweeting and BBM-ing their girls ‘Hey, did you watch “Gossip Girl” last night?” I hate that. Throw the crackberry out the window. Or sit home and do that.
Kidzworld: Have you ever been dating anyone and she sees you with another girl?.. like in the movie?
- Jake: Not quite like that but I have to be honest. My character put himself in a stupid position. He was slacking. I’ve had awkward things; like run into exes in front of non-exes but it’s only awkward if you make it that way. It is what it is. You have to understand that things are gonna happen and you’re not always gonna look good. Just accept it and go with it.
Kidzworld: You are from New York, right? Had you ever spent New Year’s Eve in Times Square before?
- Jake: Oh yeah. Multiple times. When I was little, like nine or ten years old, my friends and I would watch (the big ball drop) from my grandmother’s roof. We’d try to get the best view.
Kidzworld: Tell me something funny that happened on the set of this movie.
- Jake: We were filming in Ridgewood Queens and playing basketball with some local kids and word got out that we were filming a movie and their friends came and their friends’ friends and their cousins. Eventually we had a gang there of just kids from the neighboring schools who wanted to make it into the movie to just be in the background. We had like maybe a thousand kids. It was the scene where I’m talking to Sarah Jessica Parker [who plays Abigail’s mom] on the sidewalk. I don’t know if they were in the background but they were there screaming like mad. That was crazy.
Kidzworld: Do you make New Year’s resolutions each year?
- Jake: Some years I’ll make a big goal and I’ll give myself multiple years (to achieve it). When I was 12 or 13, I looked at the clock on New Year’s Eve and it was 11:11 so I made the wish. “I just want to be in a big movie” and that came true!
Kidzworld: Did you ever have that conversation with your parents about giving you more freedom to go somewhere alone or hang with your friends? Abigail’s character has to do that in the film.
- Jake: My parents worked a lot when I was little. My dad had two jobs and my mother had two jobs and was trying to go to nursing school. I saw them a lot but it was at night when they were tired so I respected that. I never wanted to disobey my parents because I knew that they were just so drained and having two kids to feed, that’s not easy. I tried to help out and they knew that so they never gave me a hard time about hanging out with my friends. They trusted me. You always get in trouble a little bit.
Kidzworld: And when was that?
- Jake: It was about driving. We didn’t have a car until I was about ten or eleven so it was a big deal. My dad was the one who drove. I bought the BMW X-5 so I’m the first kid in the family to have a car. They see all these commercials about accidents and they aren’t behind the wheel a lot so my mom is like “You aren’t driving by yourself, ever”. That was really it. They gave me trouble about driving.
Kidzworld: Ever snuck out like Abigail’s character Hailey does to go somewhere and did you get grounded?
- Jake: Of course. But I never got caught. Oh…. I guess they might read this [he laughs]. Well, I was like 12 or 13 going out to meet my friends. Now, I can just say, “I’ll be back. I’m going out”.
Kidzworld: You are also playing Huckleberry Finn in a new movie and I interviewed Joel Courtney, who plays Tom Sawyer for Super 8. How was working with him? Are you guys buds now?
- Jake: He’s so cool. We became friends on the movie and were 1 on 1 for two months filming in Bulgaria. The thing about Joel is he’s a normal kid from a small town in Idaho and Super 8 was his first audition ever. He’s so famous because Super 8 was so big and he’s recognized. I don’t think he really understands that.
Kidzworld: You’re the “old pro” so to speak. Did you give him advice?
- Jake: Yeah. I was like “Joel you have to be careful what you do in public”. I told him “I can get away with a little more. You’ve got a lot of people watching you. You’ve got to be careful”. He’s a really good actor.
Kidzworld: What music artist or band are you really into right now?
- Jake: I just got the new Drake album. I’m all over the place, R&B, Soul, Hip Hop, some alt and classic rock.
Kidzworld: Any New Year’s Eve plans for yourself this year?
- Jake: I don’t know. I’m gonna be in New York for it. I might watch the ball drop or go down (to Times Square) for the ceremony. I’ll be out with some friends for sure.
Kidzworld: Any college plans?
- Jake: I’m not knocking anything but I’m trying to do the most professionally now as I can but I would like to go to a four year college. I’d probably study independent film financing and distribution and marketing. You need a fall back. But if I weren’t an actor I’d be trying to get into the New York Fire Department.
Kidzworld: Those guys rock! You played Huck Finn so is there another character in a book or a person in history that you would love to play some day?
- Jake: Yeah. I’m in the process of making a movie with a couple of friends based on a story that happened to my uncle when I was a little kid so I’d like to eventually play my uncle in the film. The title we have now is “Modern Intellect”.