Zachary Gordon’s Summer “Dog Days”
By: Lynn Barker
We’re on the cell with 14-year-old actor Zach Gordon who plays Greg Heffley in the “Wimpy Kid” movies. We’ve kind of grown up with Zach since the first film and we found out that he’s way more into sports now than Greg and was NOT thrilled, as Greg would be, when he was stuck in bed playing video games for most of the summer after breaking his leg!
Zach told us about his love of a childhood stuffed dog, his pet peeve about girls, pranks the cast members play on each other, what he’s reading now for fun, what new movies he’s working on and why he thinks you’ll love this movie.
Kidzworld: Greg’s summer is kind of a bummer. Do you remember a particularly bummer summer or a particularly good one?
- Zach: Actually this summer is kind of the Dog Days summer up until now. This (talking to reporters for the movie) is the highlight of my summer. I was in summer school to lighten my workload next year because the first year of high school I want to relax and take some work down. I also had a broken leg for most of the summer. Just got out of my cast a week ago.
Zach as Greg with family dog Sweetie
Kidzworld: How did you break your leg?
- Zach: I was skydiving and an asteroid was hurtling toward earth and…
Kidzworld: Oh yeah, right. How did you really break it?
- Zach: (laughs) I was running on a kitchen tile floor with wet shoes.
Kidzworld: Ouch! What is a summer goal you haven’t been able to achieve yet?
Zach: My summer goal this year is to play basketball again because my leg really hasn’t healed yet but hopefully I can start getting active again and playing basketball.
Summer Dog Days
Kidzworld: What is your pet peeve about girls? “I hate it when girls……”..what?
- Zach: I don’t hate anything about girls. Well, just that I wish that they didn’t go shopping so much. I personally don’t like shopping that much. Just go to the mall, get one dress and go!
Kidzworld: I think a lot of guys feel that way. Are you more into outside sports and stuff than Greg is?
- Zach: Yes, definitely. I do a lot of sports, basketball, football. I love staying active. That was what was really bad about my cast; staying in my room playing video games. It sounds fun but I missed playing basketball and sports.
Kidzworld: Any advice for guys your age when a girl they like puts them in the “friend zone”?
Zach: I don’t think of that that much really. I guess, in high school, I’ll start talking more about that stuff. I don’t really know. It depends on the person who is in the friend zone. Most of what I know is from movies.
Kidzworld: Greg tells a pretty big lie in the movie. Did your parents ever catch you in a lie about something? If so, were you punished?
- Zach: Not necessarily a big lie. When my mom would leave the house she’d say “Don’t go on the computer” and obviously I’d go on the computer but I don’t lie about extreme stuff. Lying is pretty bad. It’s a negative word. Lie only when you really need to but not just in general. Greg lied about having a job because he got the best of both worlds. He got his parents off his back and he had fun at the country club.
Kidzworld: What would be the worst punishment for you? Taking away something or….?
- Zach: Taking away electronics and hanging out with friends but I really learn from my mistakes and that’s the moral of the third movie; Greg is afraid to admit his mistakes. That’s the big problem.
Kidzworld: Greg’s little bro in the movie has “Tingie”. Did you have a childhood blanket or toy you were very attached to? Do you still have it?
- Zach: Well, when I was younger I was superstitious about taking my stuffed animal with me. I stopped taking it because I didn’t want to lose it. It was a stuffed dog. I haven’t seen him in forever. I wonder if he’s gone! But I would take him for good luck. I took him on the first “Wimpy” movie (audition). I really don’t want to grow up. I want to stay a kid forever. For any of you who have your blankies, it’s not weird to have that stuff. I have a 17-year-old friend and she still has hers. It depends on the person. It’s just your own style (if you keep it or not).
Greg and Rowley (Robert Capron) at the country club
Kidzworld: I still have my stuffed rabbit! Greg thinks up a great prank to pull on the other Scout troop. What is the best prank you’ve pulled?
- Zach: Nothing really big. I’m still working to prank Devon (Bostick who plays bro Rodrick). It varies from ding dong ditching someone at the hotel, fake notes and prank calling but big ones like filling an Oreo with toothpaste was pranked on me by Devon. I try to learn from all this stuff and when I’m older I’ll be able to have a variety of awesome pranks to pull.
Kidzworld: Who is the biggest prankster on set?
- Zach: Devon and I. We were always at it back and forth. All my pranks backfired. I don’t get how he always found out. It’s like he was psychic. I was so mad. I planned it months in advance. I didn’t tell anyone.
Kidzworld: Have you ever sat around a campfire telling scary stories like in the movie? Are you easily scared?
- Zach: Not really. Just scared from movies mainly. Some are definitely scary. Movie magic is great. All these stories that people imagine and put on paper come to life. Some are scary.
Kidzworld: What do the cast members do together for fun while up in Vancouver shooting?
- Zach: We’d go bowling every once in a while or the movies which were right across the street or dinner, sports every once in a while. It’s so much fun hanging out with this group of people. We’re the Wimpy family and we did almost everything together. We bonded so well and it plays so well in the movie. We are literally best friends. We have a lot in common and help each other when we’re in need too.
Zach on set with Peyton List who plays Holly
Kidzworld: That’s great. Do you still want to play a superhero some day? Favorite one?
- Zach: Flash Gordon. His last name is Gordon and his outfit has a lightning bolt on it and that contributes to the fact that he’s awesome.
Kidzworld: What are you reading lately?
- Zach: There’s a book called “The Scorch Trials” I’m currently on (by the author of “The Maze Runner”). It’s hard to explain it.
Kidzworld: You do a lot of voice roles for animated characters. Any new ones coming up?
- Zach: I play young Norm (a polar bear cub) in “Norm of the North”. I play young Rob Schneider and a new animated film I’m working on currently is based on “The Boxcar Children”. I play Henry, the eldest of the four kids.
Kidzworld: What else are you up to? Any live action films?
- Zach: I was in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. I play a character totally opposite from Greg. I play Willy. It was weird doing that. It definitely looked so real when I punch (someone) and beat him up but it looked great. I’m a bully in it.
Kidzworld: Boy, that is different for you! Why will kids and teens really get into seeing Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days?
- Zach: Everyone can relate to almost everything Greg goes through; a similar experience or the exact same thing. I know, when I watched the film, I thought “something like that happened to me”. The family and everything is so relatable.