Playing 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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”