Wimpy Kid Actor in Halloween Episode
By: Lynn Barker
Usually a funny guy on screen, Robert gets to play some pretty serious scenes as Lex, a prankster trying to be cool then ratting out his friends with some horrific results in “The Cast”, the Oct. 20th episode of the creepy R.L. Stine’s “The Haunting Hour” TV series on the Hub.
Robert, on a break, called from his home in Rhode Island to talk about the fun Halloween episode and his movie work.
Kidzworld: You were in another episode of “The Haunting Hour” before this upcoming one called “The Cast”, right?
- Robert: Yeah. The first one was called “Catching Cold”. It was about a boy named Marty who was obsessed with ice cream.
Kidzworld: Hey your arm is broken in “The Cast”. I see a theme of illness going here.
- Robert: Yeah. It’s weird.
Kidzworld: Your character Lex is fond of pranking people. Do you think he does that to seem macho or just get noticed?
- Robert: I think Lex’s problem is he really doesn’t have any friends so he tries to be friends with the two older boys Dexter and Sterling and acts like a prankster and tough guy when he’s not.
Kidzworld: Are you a prankster? Even toilet-papering a house for Halloween? Ever get in trouble for pranking someone?
- Robert: No. Not really. I’ve never done any pranks because that’s not really me.
Kidzworld: So when you do get in trouble with your parents what is it usually for?
- Robert: Usually for doing something to my sisters. I have two younger sisters. It’s okay to prank them a little bit.
Kidzworld: Did you and the other young actors on “Haunting Hour” get to hang out and do anything up in Vancouver?
- Robert: Well shooting TV is a lot quicker than movies. In this one, some of the scenes were at night so I didn’t get to hang out much.
Kidzworld: Lex breaks his arm while out egging an old witchy lady’s house. He has to wear a cast. Have you ever broken anything and had to be in a cast? It itches!!!
- Robert: I’ve never broken anything but I did have to wear a cast for Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Even the fake ones itch.
Kidzworld: There are rats in this movie. Are you okay around rats? Some people have them as pets. Were they okay on set?
- Robert: Yeah, I realized while filming it that I was just going to have to deal with them and I honestly didn’t think they were all that bad.
Kidzworld: What funny thing happened on set that wasn’t planned?
- Robert: Something that I thought was funny was in the scene where there are at least fifty rats with me. It is toward the end of the episode. While we were filming it there was this one rat who kept trying to climb up this tube and he kept slipping and falling and he’d crawl back up and fall. It looked hilarious. He wasn’t getting hurt or anything. It wasn’t a long fall. He was trying non-stop. I had to stop looking at that rat.
Kidzworld: Have you read some of the R.L. Stine books?
- Robert: Yes. I used to read “Goosebumps” all the time.
Kidzworld: What are your Halloween plans this year?
- Robert: I don’t know what I’m gonna be yet. I’m in our public high school band and we’re doing a parade and I have to dress up as something. I’m kind of too old for trick or treating. Wish I wasn’t. I don’t know what to be yet.
Kidzworld: Do kids at school leave you alone or come up to you with “Hey, you’re that guy in “Wimpy Kid”?
- Robert: When I was in 6th grade and finished shooting the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie a bunch of seniors were coming up to me and being like “You’re the movie star” and all that.
Kidzworld: You started acting at age 8. What are your future goals in the business?
- Robert: As of now I like acting but definitely, when I get older I want to go into the other side of things like directing and writing. I think that is cool and sounds fun.
Kidzworld: Have you and friends ever shot your own little movie?
- Robert: Me and my friends have written scripts and we never get around to filming them. We’re either not all available or didn’t feel like doing them.
Kidzworld: You voiced neighborhood kid Bob in Frankenweenie. Did you ever get to record your voice part with any of the other actors?
- Robert: I recorded by myself on Frankenweenie but there was another person in another booth just feeding me the lines.
Kidzworld: How was working with Tim Burton? Was he there when you recorded?
- Robert: Yes, my first recording session I got directed by Tim Burton and that was really cool!
Kidzworld: Are you a fan of horror films or scary TV shows like “The Walking Dead”?
- Robert: Yes!
Kidzworld: What is your favorite scary movie?
- Robert: Well, one of the first ones I saw was The Ring, the American version. Now I want to see the Japanese version.
Kidzworld: Will there be more Wimpy Kid movies?
- Robert: I don’t know. We’re getting kind of old and our voices are deeper but I haven’t heard anything about it yet.
Kidzworld: What music artists are you into?
- Robert: In general, I like all forms of music. I really like The Beatles. They’ve got a song for every mood you’re in.
Kidzworld: What kind of movie would you like to be in that you haven’t been in yet?
- Robert: Some kind of drama. My entire career except for “Haunting Hour” and an episode of “The Middle” (on TV), I’ve been doing comedy. I’d love to go into the dramatic side of things.
Kidzworld: What was your favorite scene to shoot in “The Cast” episode?
- Robert: One of my favorite scene was when we were egging the old woman’s house because it was pouring up in Vancouver where we shot it.
Kidzworld: And who would you just die if you ever got to act in a scene with?
- Robert: If I could act in a scene with Robert Downey Jr. I would flip out because he’s Iron Man and I’d like to meet him! I’d like to be in a superhero movie.
Kidzworld: Why will kids and teens get a kick out of watching your episode “The Cast” on “R.L. Stine’s: The Haunting Hour” on The Hub?
- Robert: They’ll enjoy it because it’s really freaky. It keeps you on edge. Why is his cast itching so much? You slowly realize it’s more than a normal itch.
Catch Robert’s episode on The Hub on October 20th.
"R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series" - The Cast promo