One of the biggest films of 2018 was Bumblebee, the reboot of the Transformers movie franchise. One of the stars of the movie was Jason Drucker. At just 13, he has already acted in several TV shows and three feature films—including as Greg Heffley, the main character in Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.
So what is it like starring in Hollywood blockbusters before you're even in high school? We talked to Jason about staying grounded, standing up to bullies, and what his dream role would be.
Keeping it balanced
OWLconnected: You’ve been acting for half your life now. How do you balance work and things like school?
Jason Drucker: Actually, I did enroll in an online school in the sixth grade, so that definitely made my acting and my school much more flexible. My school lets me do homework wherever I want. Just bring my laptop and I can do it. Fortunately for me, it hasn’t been too tough to do my education and shoot. It’s been pretty easy!
OC: Bumblebee was the second film that you’ve been in with Hailee (Steinfeld). She has also acted from a really young age (she started at age 10). Does it help to be around people who can understand that experience?
JD: Yeah, it definitely did. On the first movie (2015’s Barely Lethal), she pulled me over and spoke about my life and her life and how education should always come first. Even if you don’t get the chance to finish something at the typical age that you’d finish school, you should always go back and relearn your stuff. She’s taught me some pretty valuable lessons.
OC: Both Bumblebee and Diary Of A Wimpy Kid are pop culture phenomenons with huge fanbases. What has it been like dealing with expectations that come with that?
JD: It’s been a dream! I’m still trying to wrap my head around this kind of stuff. I’m in probably one of the biggest movie franchises of all-time, Transformers, and I am the Wimpy Kid, Greg Heffley, who is such an influential book character that I grew up with, my brother grew up with, my friends grew up with, so to be able to portray him has been such an honour.
OC: You have been involved for a while in (the anti-bullying charity) Free 2 Luv. Can you talk about how that relationship started and what it means to you?
JD: I became a part of them in 2013, I believe? I was seven, and I had just finished the second season of my Nickelodeon show, Every Witch Way. I found that many people were reaching out to me through Instagram and Twitter, and talking about their home experiences or their schoolmates and how they’d been bullied or abused. And me being seven, I felt helpless. I wanted to help, but I couldn’t do anything.
So me and my mom did research and we found this wonderful organization, Free 2 Luv—an anti-bully, non-profit organization. And we help spread anti-bullying through arts and music and events. And they also have different social media platforms that allow me to reach out to fans or they can reach out to me about their situations. I can help guide them through and show them how to cope with it.
OC: How different is it acting in a big-budget action movie like Bumblebee compared to your earlier TV series?
JD: Honestly, I just see it as another acting job. It’s kind of weird. When I get on set, I don’t really think about what I’m doing. I’m just like “Hey, this is something that I enjoy, let’s do it.” Most of the time people are like, “Are you nervous? Don’t you understand that millions of people are watching you?” And I’m just like, “Nah!” I don’t really think of it that much. I think of it as another hobby. It just comes with some quirks, I guess!
OC: Do you have a dream role that you’d like to be cast in?
JD: Could it be someone that I want to work with?
OC: Yeah, sure!
JD: Jim Carrey. JIM CAR-REY! I love him so much. He’s so funny. He’s very, uh, what’s the word? Inspirational, jeez! (laughs)
OC: Judging by your Instagram, you seem to be a really big sports fan. Do you have a favourite sport?
JD: Baseball, for sure. A lot of people are like, “Hey man, you should be in a baseball movie if you love baseball so much!” And I’m like, “Ahhh! I wish it was that easy!” But I don’t know… I don’t think in my six years of acting that I’ve had a baseball audition, which is kind of sad. There hasn’t been many baseball films recently… If there’s another Sandlot (1993 baseball film) movie, I would die to be in that movie!
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