We interviewed actor Jake T. Austin who stars in “Wizards of Waverly Place,” while he was in Manhattan recently.
What inspired you to be an actor?
I didn’t try to be an actor. I started modeling for fun because I got approached to do it and at one of the modeling things I met a kid who was an actor. So he introduced me to his agent. It was sort of suggested more than I said, “Ma, I want to be actor,” but I love it. I’m so glad it came into my life. I’ve grown into thinking it’s the coolest thing in the world.
Is acting in the movie different than acting on a TV show?
Very different. Like TV show, “Wizards,” it’s more about the lines and the individual jokes as it is about the story. When you’re making a film like this it’s more about the overall story and how it’s perceived by the audience, which is a huge difference in acting and writing.
On the TV show “Wizards of Waverly Place,” how is to work with Selena Gomez?
She’s cool. She’s really a very talented girl, of course. She is a typical teenage girl. Very talented.
If you weren’t an actor, what would you want as a second profession?
A writer, but I can do that as well. Yeah, but definitely a writer.
Did you ever look back on a part and think you could have done better?
Yeah, I can’t say I watch myself act. You’re so critical and judgmental. It’s like you guys, you’ve seen home videos of yourself, turn that off, I don’t want to watch. I look stupid, etc. It’s the exact same way. I don’t think I’m a good actor at all. Other people may think differently. When I’m watching a film I can’t help only critique myself. In my eyes, jeez I shouldn’t be doing this. Some people feel the same way, other people say no, it was pretty good. Unless you’re really vain and you love yourself to death, then I guess watching yourself act isn’t the most enjoyable experience.
Did anyone inspire you to become an actor?
No. I’ve always been a big fan of movies. I’ve never liked television. I’ve always loved watching good actors, but like I said, I never said, hey mom and dad I want to try to be an actor and this is what I want to do. It sort of fell into place and I’m glad it did. I guess my family has been really supportive. They haven’t been pushing me to do it, but if it’s something that I wanted to do they’re very supportive of me.
What is your most embarrassing moment in acting?
Just being an actor. Being filmed I guess is the most embarrassing. You have to do a crying scene in front of 100 people watching you, I guess it’s kind of humiliating if you don’t deliver. Yeah, I guess acting in general. But if you come to both your skin and you’re really not too insecure, I guess that’s not too difficult. I’m pretty secure myself. Acting is what I love to do and only look at it as a job. If other people are there they could enjoy it as well.
What are your tricks or technique to being emotional?
Being in the scene and thinking about it. Putting yourself in the scene as much as you can.
What actor or actress would you like to work with?
I would really love to work with Leonardo DiCaprio, Emile Hirsch, River Phoenix, if he were still alive, one of my favorite actors. And actresses, I would love to work with Meryl Streep of course, and Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson.
Do you ever imagine yourself as a singer?
No. I’d be a ghostwriter. I could write some good songs under an alias name, but no. I don’t really enjoy it; it’s not my thing.
Do you go to school regularly?
I try to when I’m not filming stuff. I go to public school in New York, but when I’m not in school, they’ll mail me my work and I’ll just do it on set. I live in Rockland. I go to school up there.
Are you a baseball fan?
Yes I like it. I grew up a diehard Yankee fan and I still am. And Derek Jeter is my man and he’s the coolest guy in the world. Yeah I love the Yankees.
Did you have fun making the movie “The Perfect Game”?
I had a blast. Just imagine it’s you and your buddies going out and being put up in hotels for free and just playing sports all day. That’s what it really was.
Who would you rather date, Miley Cyrus or Hannah Montana?
Date. I don’t know. If I’m going to date a celebrity it wouldn’t be that. I would want to date like Miranda Cosgrove. Someone like that. I don’t know we don’t kind of work together. It would be kind of strange. I would probably faint.