Jewish heartthrob Gregg Sulkin made his film debut in 2006 starring as barmitzvah boy Bernie Rubens in Sixty Six. Since then, he has proved a big hit across the pond with the hit US TV series, Wizards Of Waverly Place. Here the fresh-faced 20-year-old from Swiss Cottage chats about life in Hollywood and reuniting with his cast-mates for a new film based on the show. [divider]
Wizards of Waverly Place was your first major break in the states. How old were you when you did that?
Gregg: I was 17 when I started, and now I’m just about to turn 21.
How was it getting back together for the new TV movie, The Wizards Return: Alex vs Alex?
Gregg: It was really nice, I enjoyed that experience. I think we all thought that the show was done and finished, and then to get another chance to work together again was great. And it was nice for us to get the chance to give back to the fans. They were so loyal for four years and then we all went off and did other projects and we didn’t want them to feel like we’d just abandoned them. So we came back, did the show and hopefully they’ve got one last thing to enjoy.
How do you think you’ve changed since you got your first UK film role in Sixty Six?
Gregg: Oh, wow. I feel like a new person. Not because of my career, but just because of what I’ve had to go through to pursue my career. I was 13 then, I didn’t want to be an actor, I wanted to be a footballer. I lived at home with my parents, who were the most supportive people you could ever meet. When I was young I was very close to my parents. I never liked staying at my mates’ houses, I always wanted to be with my parents and then suddenly at 17 I was like, “Oh well, maybe I should just move half way around the world.” I came to LA and I suddenly had to become independent, which was the weirdest experience ever. The only thing I can’t do now is cook, so I’m looking for a girlfriend who can help me figure that out. Once I’ve got the cooking situation sorted I think I’ll be all right.
What caused you to go into acting rather than football?
Gregg: I went for an audition for Sixty Six with my mum. She made me go. I kind of played the part down because my dog unfortunately passed away on the same day. I thought, “I love my dog too much, so I don’t even want to think about this stupid movie!” But my mum said, “Well, it’s not stupid. Helena Bonham Carter is playing your mum”. To be honest I didn’t even know who Helena was at the time. After a couple of weeks of getting over my dog, my mum said to me that the film would be shot while I was meant to be in school and I thought, “Perfect! I’ll do it.” I jumped at the chance to miss school for a couple of months and ever since then, I’ve loved acting. I like the team effort of everyone pulling together to make one good project.
Do you still love football?
Gregg: I’m still a big, big Arsenal fan. I just got Tivo which means I can record matches, but before that I was up at 4.45am every Saturday to watch them. I actually didn’t go out on a Friday night just so I could get the required sleep to watch the Arsenal game the next day.
Not really. I try to go back as often as possible. I was shooting a movie called Panda Eyes in Wales last year, so I got the chance to go back to London a lot, which was nice. I do miss home though; I miss London a lot.
Tell us about Panda Eyes.
Gregg: It’s due out in the UK in September. It’s a supernatural thriller about a girl who thinks she’s being followed by her doppelganger, and she doesn’t know if she’s going crazy or if there is another version of her; it’s very cool. I play a character called Drew. It’s basically me, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Sophie Turner from Game Of Thrones who plays the lead girl, who is the loveliest girl I think I’ve ever met.
Who’s the director?
Gregg: Isabel Coixet, a very famous Spanish director – she’s amazing. I’ve never worked with a director who operates the camera full time. She’s very in touch with the actors, she knows exactly what she wants. She’s very particular but easy to work with and just a lovely, lovely woman.[divider]
Gregg Sulkin appears in the Wizards Of Waverly Place film, The Wizards Return: Alex vs Alex, on the Disney Channel, Friday, May 24, at 6pm.
Watch the trailer for The Wizards Reture: Alex vs Alex below!
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