Tag Archives: Disney XD

‘Mighty Med’ Kids Have Big Fun With NBA’s Dwight Howard

JAKE SHORT, PARIS BERELC, BRADLEY STEVEN PERRY, DWIGHT HOWARDPlaying opposite 6’11” Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets was really big fun for Disney XD teen star Jake Short.  “He was great.  He’s a big guy doing big motions with his hands and arms and it’s good for comedy.  He’s a funny guy, and he’s really nice,” says Jake, who had the chance to go one on one, comedically speaking, with Howard playing a super hero called The Great Defender on the Nov. 4 episode of his new “Mighty Med” series.

The episode kicks off Disney XD’s month-long “Pranksgiving” programming event, in which NBA players Tyson Chandler, Stephen Curry, Kenneth Faried and DeAndre Jordan will also be seen involved in pranks — a full court press of kid-friendly hijinks.  Jake notes that Howard has “done quite a few gigs here.  He jumps right in with all that Disney energy and all that fun stuff.”  On his medically-themed sitcom, “We prank him and prank a bunch of other people, and it creates mayhem in the hospital.  It was crazy.  We did a bunch of green screen stuff.  It was difficult but it was worth it.”

Rising Star Ben Schwartz Balances ‘Lies,’ ‘Rec,’ and ‘Ninja’

With his costarring role on Showtime’s ribald “House of Lies,” his recurring part as the cult fave wildman Jean-Ralphio on “Parks and Recreation,” plus a couple of big ticket film writing assignments, rising multi-talent Ben Schwartz is busy — so busy, he has literally rushed from one set to another to work on two different shows the same day. And now he’s doing 52 episodes as the title voice role in Disney XD’s “Randy Cunningham, 9th Grade Ninja,” debuting today.

“I don’t sleep much. I get very stressed out a lot,” admits Schwartz, whose credits include writing for David Letterman and “Saturday Night Live.” However, “I started from nothing, I had no connection with anybody in the entertainment industry. When I started I was just doing comedy for five or six years for no money, just trying my hardest to get work. So the fact I have opportunities now just blows my mind, it gets me so excited, you know, like, if I didn’t work as hard as I could, the person I was seven years ago would be so upset at me.”

Why a Disney XD animated show? Schwartz says he’s a long-term animation buff himself. With “Randy Cunningham,” he says, “I get to be a ninja! I get to be this big, funny, broad character and make action sounds like I’m slicing through robots and stuff like that. For me, that’s like the perfect fantasy.” Plus, his niece and nephew can watch it — unlike much of his other work. “Randy Cunningham” also attracted voice talent including Tim Curry and Megan Mullally. “It’s really funny, and it gets funnier as we go along,” Schwartz tells us.
MEANWHILE: Schwartz’ screenplay for Paramount’s planned updated version of the 1991 comedy hit “Soapdish,” with Rob Reiner producing, wound up on Franklin Leonard’s annual Black List of best unproduced scripts, voted on by producers. “I did it as a telenovela as opposed to a soap opera. Telenovelas sometimes get better ratings than American shows, so it’s like this big movement, this beautiful thing, so I wrote it that way,” he says. He’s also writing a comedy called “No Hearts Club” for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment. “I’m almost done with the first draft of that.”

He has no idea whether he’ll land in front of the camera in either film, but he’s at the point of going for leads. “Independent films have been very kind to me to make me the lead of films,” notes Schwartz, who is remembered as Nathan Meyerwitz, the author who gave away his family’s secrets, in 2010’s “Peep Show” with Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson and Michael C. Hall. “But in $20 million ones, I’m totally aware that if you put Justin Timberlake or Shia LaBeouf in a movie, it’s going to sell a lot quicker than Ben Schwartz.”
The way he’s going, that could change before long.

Down Time Short Time for Busy Disney Star Adam Hicks

Adam Hicks, Doc Shaw

Just days away from completing production on his first season of the Disney Channel’s “Pair of Kings,” Adam Hicks admits he’s on a “countdown until it’s time to chill.”

The personable, red-haired actor admits coming into the show in its third season to replace Mitchel Musso, “I didn’t know what to expect, but everyone welcomed me with open arms, like a family.  And I didn’t know how the fans were going to respond, but the fans have been digging it.  It’s been great — keeping me busy.”

 He’ll head to his home town, Las Vegas, to catch up with family and friends for awhile.  As he points out, “I turned 18, so I’m living in California by myself now.”  But he won’t be idle long.  He’s working on the music side of his career, and open to more hiatus time opportunities.

“It’s a funny thing in this business.  You get addicted to the next project and the next, and you want to keep working,” notes the actor, whose claims to fame include the big screen “How to Eat Fried Worms” and Disney XD’s “Zeke and Luther.”  Hicks enjoys his “great relationship with Disney” — which keeps him busy not only with the series, but with appearances and outside activities, like today’s  “TRYathlon” in which he and castmate Doc Shaw team up with the NBA’s Kevin Love to compete in a set of endurance challenges.
They’re up against fellow Disney XD stars  Leo Howard and Olivia Holt from “Kickin’ It,” and Billy Unger and Spencer Boldman from ‘Lab Rats.”  Also involved are three young viewers from across the country, who were  selected to be contenders.  And the NFL’s Arian Foster and WNBA player Candace Parker.   The fun event is part of  Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a program that celebrates kids and families discovering simple and fun ways to be healthy and encourages kids to try new things.
Hicks says he learned some lessons he’ll take with him, like learning to pace himself.  Yes, for him that’s new.

Adrian Pasdar Talks Tony Stark, Comic Con Job

STARK IN HERE:  Adrian Pasdar is having a blast doing the voice role of Tony Stark/Iron Man on Disney XD’s “Ultimate Spider-Man” — which fans will be able to catch Sunday (4/22) on Disney XD’s Marvel Universe.  The former “Heroes” star, who’s also busy doing ABC Family’s “Lying Game” these days, tells us, “The best part of it is that I get a chance to do something my children not only watch, but really enjoy.  So many things I do are not really age-appropriate for them.”  Pasdar and wife Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks have two sons, ages 11 and six.  Marvel Comics President Emeritus and comic book creator legend Stan Lee does cameo voice work on “Ultimate Spider-Man” too, as a janitor — which just adds to Pasdar’s fun.

            “He’s been great.  I’ve done projects with him.  He was in ‘Heroes,’ which created a great opportunity to run into him at the Comic Cons.  Once you get into the inner circle of that world, you cross paths with so many great people.  I’m such a fan of it, of course.  I’m like a kid in a candy store at those things,” admits the actor.  “And to have Stan Lee ask me how I am, it’s just amazing to me.”

            Pasdar hasn’t had a chance to take his boys to such an event — yet.  His Comic Cons have been in the thick of promotion work, doing interviews and signing autographs and such — which makes it pretty hard to move about freely.  “I did it once dressed up as a Storm Trooper just to walk around, my Howard Hughes moment,” he reveals with a laugh.  Sounds like a good idea!  “Yes, but if I’m going to borrow an outfit like that again, I’m going to make sure no one else has worn it first.  It seemed like a great idea ’til I put the helmet on.”  Eww. 

 COWBOYING UP:  Bruce Boxleitner is heading to Oklahoma Cityto be inducted into the National Cowboy & Heritage Hall of Fame at the city’s annual Western Heritage Awards tomorrow (4/21).  Sure, fans might think of the “Tron” and “Babylon5” actor as a sci fi guy, but he has a long list of Westerns to his credit as well.  “How the West Was Won,” “The Gambler,” “Aces ‘n Eights” to name a few – plus his sci fi/Western hybrid novels, Frontier Earth, and Searcher.  Past Hall of Fame inductees include such names as Fess Parker andTempleGrandin.

Hutch Dano Says ‘Zeke and Luther’ Allows Him to Grow

Hutch Dano Disney Channel photo

Disney XD’s “Zeke and Luther,” which is now launching its third season, has made stars out of 18-year-olds Hutch Dano and Adam Hicks. At least, it has with a certain segment of the population. The affable Dano tells us that getting recognized “depends on where I go. I have a little sister. I went to her science fair at school last week, and I got recognized there a lot. But if I go to see an R-rated movie, adults don’t look twice.”

His and Hicks’ skateboarder characters continue to mature this season, he notes — beginning with their season opener, in which Zeke takes a fall that threatens his future.

“One of the coolest things about the show is that every season, you see the main characters step up more and more and become better and better friends as the season progresses,” believes Dano. “Every season, you want to bring something new to your character. For me, Zeke is a little more serious, he’s a leader, he’s older — but you also want to be able to let him let loose a little more. We do that. We have spit takes, we have those moments when we’re jumping all over the place … It’s a tough balance to find, even working with the writers.”

Dano, who had his own “Den Brother” Disney Channel movie last year, and co-starred as Henry Huggins in the big-screen “Ramona and Beezus,” wouldn’t mind “Zeke and Luther” going on into a fourth season, or more.

“I love the show. I love the cast and crew. I’d definitely be open to continuing on whatever happens with the show.”