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St. James kids chat with Buddy Handleson

Kidsday reporters Dianna Johnson, Will Park, Brooke Moses,

Kidsday reporters Dianna Johnson, Will Park, Brooke Moses, and Christina Simmons from St. James Elementary School in St. James, interviewed Buddy Handleson from the Nickelodeon show "Wendell & Vinnie." (Feb. 25, 2013) Credit: Newsday

We met with Buddy Handleson, who stars as Wendell on the hit Nickelodeon show "Wendell & Vinnie," when he was visiting the Nickelodeon offices in Manhattan recently.

How many people does it take to make one full episode of your show, "Wendell & Vinnie"?

Probably almost 100 people, because there's all the crew, the camera people and the sound [engineers] and then we also have the audience, who we need for the laughs. Right? Then we have producers and everyone. So probably over 100.

What's it like acting with Jerry Trainor, who plays Vinnie?

It's very fun. He's really nice and he teaches me how to be louder. He teaches me different ways to say lines. It's really nice to work with him.

How does it feel to be the star of the show?

It feels great because I've been doing acting for, like, five years now. and so I finally have my own show. It's pretty awesome.

How did you become famous?

I don't know if I consider myself famous, exactly, but just a lot of auditions and hard work, really.

Who's your favorite actor, not including you, and what show or movie does that actor star in?

Well, Michael J. Fox, but he stars in "Back to the Future," and that's my favorite movie.

What's the best thing about being on television and what's the worst?

The best thing is getting to do stuff like this and being able to live my dream. I think the worst, it's a difficult one, because there aren't much bad things about it. Maybe having to get up very early.

Have you ever gotten fan mail?

I got, like, three pieces of fan mail one time. Those were real fun to read and then I responded to them with a head shot that I had signed and everything.

Is it hard to balance school and acting?

Yes, it is. But we have an awesome studio teacher on set. So it makes it a lot easier.

Normally, how many times does it take to get a scene right?

The average would probably be, like, four, but sometimes we'll do it up to, like, eight times.

What's your favorite episode?

It's a baseball episode. That one was really funny to just rehearse, and then filming was hilarious. The audience laughed a lot. So I hope everyone enjoys that episode.

How did your experience with "Hannah Montana" and "Shake It Up" help with your new role?

"Hannah Montana" was my first role I ever did,. That showed me how everything worked, and then "Shake It Up" was just a lot of experience, and kind of, like, polished some of my acting techniques.

Do you like being recognized?

I do, yeah. I like being recognized, but, like, if I'm eating a dinner or something with my family, then it's, like, "Oh hang on one second, I'm going to finish eating and then I'll take a picture with you." But it's really nice to be recognized, it feels cool and stuff.

What can we expect to see upcoming for "Wendell & Vinnie"?

You're going to see a lot of quirky antics from Wendell and Vinnie. Both of them just kind of working together to become used to each other, being complete opposites. I think just every episode would be something to look forward to because they're all really funny.

Are you like your character on television or are you different, and how?

I am like him because I do like to learn. I do like school, but I don't like it as much as him. I don't like doing math or anything. But I like to read a lot, and he doesn't like video games, but I do.

Who would you like to have as a guest star?

I think Jim Parsons, who's from "The Big Bang Theory." But I actually would like Michael J. Fox to be on it. He would be really cool on it.

If you weren't an actor, what would you want to be?

I think maybe a lawyer.

Are either of your parents an actor or actress?

No, none of them are but I think my dad wanted to be a rock star at one time. Who doesn't?

Where are you from?

I'm from the San Francisco area in California.

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