Sarah Chats Again with the Star of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” Zachary Gordon
The Hollywood Palms theater in Naperville hosted a special advanced screening for the film, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rockrick Rules” last Friday evening, March 18. Fans were able to meet Zachary Gordon a.k.a. ‘the wimpy kid’ in person. Before the screening he signed autographs, posed for photos and chatted with fans.
Last Friday marked the second time I’d met Zachary Gordon as he, Jeff Kinney, author of the wimpy kid books and Robert Capron were interviewed by me in Chicago last year during a press tour for the first movie.
To prepare for the interview I called on Jeni Rogers a teacher friend of mine at Prairie Elementary School in Naperville where I taught for ten years. Mrs. Rogers is currently teaching fifth grade. I also knew, from speaking with her on several occasions she and her students are fans of the wimpy kid books. She developed a teaching lesson based on questions to be submitted for this interview.
Backstage Notes: When I arrived at the theater Zachary was sitting in the audience with a sold out crowd, which just so happened to be laughing hysterically as a very funny scene from the movie was playing.
It was great to see Zachary again and we quickly reconnected. The interview was held upstairs or (backstage) if you will. He’s noticeably taller and was very excited about Hollywood Palms. He was curious about the movie memorabilia and chatted with owner Ted Bulthaup in between photos.
Sarah Adamson: Hi Zachary, I want thank you for chatting with me again. Whew, time flies it seems like yesterday when we were chatting and that was a year ago.
Zachary Gordon: Well, I’m happy to be talking with you again and am very excited about the second movie.
SA: I have some questions from some fifth graders I’d like to ask you to begin.
ZG: That sounds fun, let’s go with it!
SA: How do you make movies to match the book? (Sophie Angele, 5th grade student, Prairie School)
ZG: Well it’s interesting about that, because you don’t really want to make the movie the same as the book because its like reading the book again. You want to have a little twist in them.
SA: Who was your director on the set?
ZG: David Bowers and he was really great because he has kids of his own.
SA: Are you going to eliminate any characters? (Thomas Rancich- Prairie School)
ZG: I’m not sure? But hopefully not because the cast is wonderful.
SA: Are you going to add any new characters to the movie?
ZG: Yes, we added Holly Hills who plays Greg’s crush. He really wants to get close to her becasue she’s so beautiful and popular. Her name is Peyton List.
SA: How did you get along with Peyton ?
ZG: Really well, she’s become one of my best friends. It’s so much easier working on a movie with people you’re comfortable with.
SA: Is it difficult to make a movie? (Corey Walgren and Ethan Mizen, 5th Grade Student, Prairie School)
ZG: Yes, it is at times. You have to memorize a lot of lines. I have to work 10 hour days and have to give up things to do this.
SA: What music do you listen to?
ZG: I love the 60s. Beatles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Bee Gees, Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson.
SA: What kinds of books do you like to read?
ZG :I love adventure and fantasy. After Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, I like “The Candyshop War” by Brandon Mull. Percy Jackson, “The Giver”, that was a great book. “The Phantom Tollbooth”.
SA: What county do you live in?
ZG: Ventura County in Cailfornia. It’s really nice but I’d love to live in Vancouver, the weather, it’s so beautifull. I love Victoria Island. We shot most of the movie there.
SA: Will you be making a third movie? (Matt Atwood)
ZG: Hopefully, I really hope it does well so we can do another one.
SA: What do you like to do in your spare time? (Hailey Greco)
ZG: I like to be on the computer and play games. And play basketball.
SA:What are the ages of the kids in the movie because they look really young? (David Barrios)
ZG: They are in 7th grade and Rodrick is in High School.
SA: Do you think you will write any more movies with a different theme? (Brennan and Shane Rogers)
SA: I’m sure you like this question Zachary because I know you like to write and these boys think you wrote the script.
ZG: Well, yes I love to write and am working on a script write now. I think they’re going to see how this film goes and then they’ll decide to go ahead with the next movie.
SA:Where do you like to go on vacation after working so hard on a movie? (Brennan and Shane Rogers)
ZG:I really don’t go on a vacation after working on a movie because I don’t have time. I really have to go to school because school is my number one priority.
SA: Is the process of making the movie fun? (Kyleigh Flaherty)
ZG: Yes, it’s lots of fun, but also hard work.
SA: Do you have a family? (Brennan and Shane Rogers)
ZG: No I don’t! Isn’t that sad! I drive myself to auditions and no one has caught me yet! I’m kidding! (We both laugh..)
I have two older brothers, one about the same age as Rodrick.
SA: What was your favorite subject in school and who was your favorite teacher? (Jeni, Brennan, and Shane Rogers)
ZG: I really don’t have a favorite teacher, I like all of my teachers but I love social studies. I really want to be a director when I grow up and maybe be a physician. Science and Social Studies are my favorites.
SA: Thank you so much for granting me this interview, and best of luck with the movie!
ZG: Thank you so much, maybe I’ll see you next year again!
April 5, 2011