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Justin Martin Interview

Feb 20, 2009

By: Sindy

Sindy:: How did you land the role of Donny Dion in High School Musical 3?

Justin: Initially when I auditioned for the role, there WAS no Donny Dion. It was only Jimmy and Tiara and so after they cast those roles, they wrote in another for me, which was Donny Dion. It was so cool and great because I got to sort of create the character.

Sindy:: Do you have a singing and dancing background?

Justin: I do, I was on Broadway for a year a half playing Simba in The Lion King. I’ve always been a singer and a dancer.

Sindy:: What was your favourite part of playing Simba?

Justin:: I love performing live in front of a big audience and seeing its reaction. For TV and movies you have to get the reaction from magazines and critics’ reviews. I like getting the reaction from the audience right then and there.

Sindy:: So would you say you prefer stage over film work?

Justin:Oh, I like both. I actually think theatre helped me out a lot with film. With theatre you can’t just cut and do it over again and with film—it seems to give you more recognition.

Sindy:: Who are some of your favourite actors?

Justin:Well, last night I at was at the NAACP Image Awards and I was sitting right behind Will Smith who’s my all time favourite actor. I like Denzel Washington, of course, Forrest Whitaker met them both Don Cheadle, Shia LaBeouf—he came from Disney and now he’s doing thousands of films.

Sindy:: What about your favourite movie?

Justin:Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson and Christian Bale.

Sindy:: Tell me about A Raisin in the Sun.

Justin: Last night it got nominated for an NAACP and I gave the acceptance speech. That was amazing, I got to hold the trophy.

Sindy:: Wow, were you nervous?

Justin:: I was! Because we won, but nobody else was there to say the acceptance speech, so I went up there. We also got nominated for Emmys and Golden Globes.

Sindy:: And you got to go to the Sundance Film Festival, right?

Justin:: Yeah, it was the first tv movie in history to ever be invited. The Festival was great, I got to meet a lot of cool people, see a lot of great movies and I went to the SWAG tent.

Sindy:: And you get to play the younger version of Jamie Foxx’s character in the Soloist, right?

Justin:: Right, that comes out in April. Jamie and I spent a lot of time getting our mannerisms for the character together so it relates—the kid Nathaniel and the grown-up Nathaniel. We also got to spend some time with the real Nathaniel Aires which was pretty cool.

Sindy:: Did you get to meet Robert Downey Jr?

Justin:: I did, he’s hilarious. Jamie is too—they’re both really cool guys.

Sindy:: Did you learn to play the cello for the role?

Justin:: Yeah, I went through about four months of cello rehearsal, so yeah I learned to play the cello for the movie.

Sindy:: Do you play any other instruments?

Justin:: Yeah, I play piano, drums, a little bit of trumpet and now cello.

Sindy:: Do you have any advice for other young actors looking to break into the business?

Justin:: It has to be something you really really want to do. It can’t be something others push you to do because it takes a lot of hard work. And don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t.

Sindy:: Good advice. Thanks so much for the chat, Justin!

Justin:: No problem, thanks Kidzworld.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year is now available on DVD & Blu-ray!

Related Links:

  • HSM3 Movie Review
  • HSM3 DVD Game Review
  • The Lion King DVD Review
  • Will Smith Biography
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