Kidsday interviews actor Jake T. Austin

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We interviewed actor Jake T. Austin who stars as Max Russo on the TV "Wizards of Waverly Place," at "Good Morning America."

Do you get along with everyone on the set of the show?

We get along. We are all friends, we work together every day so it is hard not to be. I am really good friends with David Henrie. It is really a fun environment.

How did you get started in show business?

I did a lot of stand up when I was about 9. I would be at a birthday party and I would just be the center of attention. I would just be out there. I guess I am not very camera-shy. I remember my first job in front of the camera was modeling Toys 'R' Us. I was like a hand and feet model I remember I couldn't keep still.

Actor Jake T. Austin with Kidsday reporters Cara Saporito, Madalyn Saporito and Meghan Wallace Photo Credit: Newsday Photo / Pat Mullooly

Were you in any school plays?

No, I was not in any school plays. I think being on camera doing a television show I think that is enough. I did watch a lot of school plays. I have watched a lot of my friends. I watched my friend Patrick . He played Peter Pan.

How much time do you have when you are working on a movie?

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On a movie? The process of shooting and editing is a lot longer for a film than for television. I have some time in between. I do a lot of on set schooling. I ride my bike and I really learned to longboard a lot. On my downtime I would go up and down the block so I am pretty good at skateboarding.

If you couldn't act anymore what would you do for a living?

I would probably direct, write. I want to be an MLB player, but I doubt that is ever going to happen. I love the Yankees.

Are you more of a trendsetter or a jetsetter?

I am really a trendy fashion guy. I go with whatever is in my closet.

Coming soon: Newsday's Family newsletter, for things to do with kids, events, more.

Can you tell us about the new movie you are in?

Yes. I am in a movie called "The Perfect Game," which comes out sometime in 2009. I play a Mexican child who pitches the only perfect game in Little League World history. I've got a movie called "Hotel for Dogs" coming out and I play an inventor who creates this hotel for dogs for stray animals but secretly though because it is illegal. And that is coming out in sometime in 2009 as well. That is with Emma Roberts.

Is it hard watching yourself on TV?

No, but I am really judgmental and critical of myself so if I see a mistake I made in a scene I sort of get down on myself. There si always a little pressure when there are people in the room. So if I want to criticize myself I will watch it alone. It is never a bad thing to say you did a good job.

What is your favorite school subject?

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Lunch or recess. My favorite subject that I like learning is English because I enjoy to write. There are certain aspects I could do without, but what are you going to do? I am a pretty good student. I am a little bit above average, if not average.

Do you play soccer and what position do you play?

I do play soccer. I play halfback or left or right wing.

Is the "Wizards of Waverly Place" really set in New York?

Yes. Waverly Place is a real street in the Village. I actually passed it once.

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Do you travel a lot?

Yeah. I have been on something like 200 flights, something like that.

What music do you listen to?

I listen to a lot of music. Classic Rock which is really good. Whatever is really on the radio to be honest with you as long as it is not too hip hoppy or too crazy.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Long Island and Rockland County. I grew up on Long Island on the beach until I was about 6.

If you have ever been to Disney World? What is your favorite ride?

Rock and Roller Coaster. Either that or the Tower of Terror.

What was your favorite event in the Disney Challenge?

The relay races. The best part was hanging out with all the people and friends.

What is your normal day like?

I wake up around 10 -10:30ish when it is not a school day, eat breakfast. On weekends I don't normally work. I mainly hang out with my friends and surf a lot. So for a regular work day for the "Wizards of Waverly Place" I wake up pretty early go to the set and we would rehearse and shoot some stuff.

How were you discovered?

Well, I go to the biggest city in the world a lot so it is pretty easy to be discovered here I guess. I don't really remember, I was really young at the time. I was participating in some acting classes in the city. I started modeling and then I crossed over and did the whole did the whole Brad Pitt thing. I wouldn't say I am Brad Pitt I really enjoy it though.

Did you have a good time being the bad guy in "Johnny Kapahala"?

Yeah. It was fun. I wish now, looking back on it, I wish I could have done some things differently, but I was really young at the time. It was fun playing the antagonist.

Coming soon: Newsday's Family newsletter, for things to do with kids, events, more.

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