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Kidsday interviews Disney star Kenton Duty

Disney star Kenton Duty from the TV show

Disney star Kenton Duty from the TV show "Shake It Up" with Kidsday reporters Matthew Sullivan and Angelo Molinelli, both 10 from Ronkonkoma, at Planet Hollywood in Manhattan (March 31, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

We met Disney "Shake It Up!" star Kenton Duty at Planet Hollywood recently. He stars as Gunther Hessenheffer. We asked him about handling fame. He said:

I'm still sort of trying to get used to the thought of people knowing who I am while ordering doughnuts for myself, just stuff like that; you see a camera flash while you're in the middle of eating your salad. It's something to definitely get used to. I don't think I'll ever really get used to the phenomenon that it is. It's something fun. I think my sister sort of enjoyed watching it. Kids will come up [and ask] what's it like to be his sister, and they're like well . . . he's normal. I think it's fun. I guess it's sort of the perks and also one of the responsibilities that comes with the job.

How is your character on the show different from your personality in real life?

Gunther and I are both really confident people. I would say the bigger difference between us, personality- wise is I'm like more laid back: casual clothes, like a jacket, shirt, some jeans and fun shoes. And Gunther has fun shoes, crazy pants, LMFAO-style type thing, crazy jacket, crazy shirt. He's more of an outgoing personality. I'm still pretty outgoing.

Is your wardrobe as glittery as on the show?

I wouldn't say glittery. Sometimes, my shoes are pretty shiny because I like to keep them clean, but this is like what I wear on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, it's just a T-shirt and jeans and some cool like flip-flops if you're going to the beach. Like I said, Gunther's wardrobe is like, 'Bam, check me out,' and Kevin's is like, 'Hey, what's up?'

What's it like to be famous?

Like I was saying, it's sort of a weird feeling because you get tapped on the shoulder, and you'll be like, 'Oh, sorry, did I cut in front of you?' . . . 'No, no, can I take a picture?' It's like sure. My fans are my everything. They mean the world to me. They're really what's got me to where I am. And they're the guys who watch the show, and they're going to hopefully listen to my music. It's something you get used to.

How old were you when you first started acting?

You guys said you're 10. I was about that age in summer camp when I did my first theater camp, and I loved it. I fell in love with building sets, I fell in love with learning how they lit this theater stage. Everything about it. That's how old I was when I first started acting.

What is your favorite episode on "Shake It Up!"?

The season's finale of "Shake It Up!" is basically . . . three episodes. So everybody gets to watch a lot more "Shake It Up!" It's called "Made In Japan," and so as that infers, our group goes to Japan, something devastating happens to Gunther and Tinker where they lose something very dear to them, and so they have to learn sort of how to adapt, and then they find that they're even more in love with this new thing. And then another bad thing happens with legal authorities, and then CeCe and Rocky really come through for us in the end.

Do you carry a lucky charm?

I normally have in my pocket a little bag of crosses that I've ended up collecting over the years. Because I've always had this little bag, little Ziploc bag with little crosses in it.

Who is your best friend on the show?

That's a tough one, but I will go with Davis [Cleveland -- Flynn Jones]. We're all like a family, but I would say Davis because he's like my little brother, and he's brilliant in so many ways.

Do you have any bad habits?

I chew ice, which apparently is really bad for your teeth. I'm trying to wean myself off it, I'm just going to sort of suck on the ice instead of chewing it. I think I'll break the habit.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I love doing my music, playing guitar, songwriting, practicing my dancing. All of the above.

What is your favorite movie?

That's a hard one because I like looking at all aspects of movies. From the lighting, from the way they filmed it, how they did camera pans, how they did the close-up shots over the shoulders. I just sort of look at the overall of the movie, but I can't always pick one.

What is your favorite food in a restaurant?

I'm a big fan of sushi and there's this little sushi spot that I'm not going to say the name of because I don't want it to suddenly be packed every time I go. It's seriously a Mama San restaurant. It's a little sushi spot in North Hollywood, Calif., and I go there with the guy who's our set coach. His name is Tony. He introduced me to it and we'll just go and have a good time.

What is the best vacation you ever been on?

Vacation for me out of the country was Aruba when I was younger. My whole family went and fun little story on that. My dad and I went with my grandmother, we call her, she's Mimi. We went with Mimi on jet skis out into the ocean. My dad let me drive a little bit, so he's like alright, so go up next to me, pull over next to me and we're like flooring it and going like 30 miles an hour and now turn really hard left and I go as hard as I can to the left and salt water sprayed all over her. And by the way, she hates getting her hair wet. So then she ended up for the rest of the time you have on the ski, she chased us down and we splashed her more and she chased us down.

Who is your favorite actor?

I've got sort of a top 5. No particular order. Robert Downey Jr., Tim Allen, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Johnny Depp.

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