Tag Archives: “Wizards of Waverly Place”

‘Wizards’ Gregg Sulkin Bounces Back from Appendicitis, Ready to Move On

Gregg Sulkin

Eighteen-year-old heartthrob Gregg Sulkin gets credit for true grit.  The London-born actor had an attack of acute appendicitis on the set of “The Wizards of Waverly Place” two weeks ago, had his appendix out and “by the next Thursday I was back working,” he reports.  As he still wasn’t feeling 100 per cent, he allows that he might have gone back a little too fast, but “I’m doing all right.”

There are just three more episodes — ever — to shoot of the popular Disney Channel series on which Sulkin plays Selena Gomez’ werewolf love interest.  “Everyone has been putting their minds toward making the last episodes of the show as great as we can make them.  When we do the last live audience shows, that will be when it will get emotional, I’m guessing.  That’s when the tears will start flowing.”

Sulkin has other irons in the fire, however, including the April 30 installment of “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour.”   “It’s like ‘Twilight Zone,’ but for kids,” he says of the Hub series.  His episode of the anthology has him playing one of two brothers in a family in which not everyone quite as they appear to be.

The actor, who starred last year in the television movie of “Avalon High,” also has the big screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s “Camilla Dickinson.”

“It’s a period piece set in the 1940s, about two kids finding themselves and helping each other grow into adulthood.  My character’s parents are alcoholics.”  Sulkin doesn’t know what’s happening as far as the film’s release.  He does know, “It’s the proudest I’ve ever been of my work.”

Selena Won’t Go the Way of Lindsay, Says Her TV Dad David DeLuise

Selena Gomez, David DeLuise Disney Channel photo

Selena Gomez won’t be going down that road to wreckage and ruin traveled by other young female pop star/actresses – not according to her “Wizards of Waverly Place” father, David DeLuise, anyway.

Last month, he notes, “I was driving downtown and there were 10 helicopters surrounding the area because Lindsay Lohan was going into jail again.  Well, I’m not blaming her parents because I don’t know.  But I do know that Selena has Mandy and Brian, who are very concerned about her well-being – not only her career, but her well-being,” he stresses.  “They’re great parents.”

DeLuise, who has 17 and 12-year-old daughters of his own, has come to know Selena’s mom and step-dad fairly well through the run of the show.  “We hang out, go over to their house or they come to my house.  We watch movies, go to barbeques.  Obviously, that’s slowed down because Selena has become so busy.  On weekends, she goes on mini tours.  Yes, they do mature very quickly,” he adds with a smile.  “Selena was this little adorable girl and now she’s like a grownup woman wearing high heels.  It’s so weird and so great.  I just heard her on the radio. They played Justin Bieber, and then Selena – on some list of teen singing sensations.  I’m very happy for her.  She’s very talented.”

DeLuise acknowledges that with Gomez and her series brothers – David Henrie and Jake T. Austin — maturing so fast, the cast shouldn’t be idle long after the completion of the series’ final season.  They’ll need to go into production on the next “Wizards of Waverly Place” movie pretty fast.

“I have not seen a script for the film, but.it’s going to be one of two things.  It will be a wrap-up on the show” – including the long-awaited answer as to which of the three “Waverly Place” siblings will become a full-fledged wizard – “or a movie about what happens to the family when only one kid is doing the magic.”

He adds, “They chose to do it as another TV movie.  I do not mind saying I feel that was a mistake.  I feel a feature film would have done great. But for some reason, they chose to make it a Disney Channel Movie, and I’m very happy to participate.  As I sometimes tell the kids, ‘This is what we have to do, and trust they have their reasons.”

David DeLuise Talks Weight Loss

“Wizards of Waverly Place” papa David DeLuise finished Season 3 with the series family about to walk home through the desert.  He started Season 4 with his character entering his house, saying, “Wow, that was a long walk.  I feel like I’ve lost 35 pounds.”

The thing is, DeLuise HAS lost 35 – make it 37 – pounds in recent months.  He says he was “just sitting with a buddy of mine, saying ‘I’m happy with every aspect of my life except this’” – meaning his weight.  And he decided to do something about it.  He started hiking, spinning and “I just made it happen,” he tells us.  Coincidentally, he ran into series son David Henrie and his real-life dad on a hiking trail between seasons, “and he said, ‘Oh, my God!  Half of your face is gone!’”

DeLuise, youngest son of late comedy legend Dom, has acknowledged in the past that his dad’s weight was probably an issue that hastened his demise.

“You get healthy and it’s such a positive thing,” he acknowledges.  “You exercise, you get all your aggressions out.  You get all the endorphins.  My daughters like that I’m exercising.  And living a healthier lifestyle, you come across people who are happy, who are positive, because they, too, are trying to do something good for themselves.”

DeLuise says he’d like to lose another pound or two, but now, “What I would like, ultimately, to do is get more cut – get a little more muscle.  So I look more like what the women want,” he says with a laugh.

With 17 episodes left to shoot of “WOWP,” he’s focusing on directing as well as acting on the show.  He’s now helmed three episodes, and says, “I’m going to do two more.  The next one I’m doing is in November.  Of course my hope is that I get a shot at doing a show that is not mine, so that I can navigate my directing position from the beginning.”

‘Bittersweet’ Times for ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ Creator as Final Season Progresses

David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Selena Gomez, David DeLuise, Maria Canals Barerra

Selena Gomez just got her driver’s license last week, joining “Wizards of Waverly Place” cast mates David Henrie and Jennifer Stone as legal behind the wheel of a car.  Her TV younger brother Jake T. Austin, meanwhile, has applied for his learner’s permit – and has undergone a dramatic growth spurt since last season.

That’s the word from “Wizards” creator-producer Todd J. Greenwald, who is back into production of the popular Disney Channel series — for what will be its fourth and final season.  “It’s definitely bittersweet,” admits Greenwald.  He says he’s set up the number-being-served sign on the show’s deli set so that “it’s counting down the episodes we have left to shoot.  When we get down to zero, it’s going to be pretty emotional.”

On the sweet side, both the series and its 2009 telepic spinoff are up for Emmy honors.  Last year, “Wizards of Waverly Place” was named Outstanding Children’s Program.  The awards will be a family affair for Greenwald, whose mom is coming from New York to be on hand – and whose real-life son and daughter, Jordan and Julia, served as the models for Henrie’s and Gomez’ characters on the show.

As “Wizards” fans are well aware, the series is moving toward a day of reckoning when one of the three siblings will become a full-fledged wizard and the other two will go on to lives as mere mortals.

“Alex is going to have a wave of not wanting to be a wizard and then really wanting to be a wizard.  Max is definitely getting a little wiser, beginning to look like someone who could win.  And Justin, who has graduated from high school, is becoming more prominent in the wizarding world,” he notes of Gomez’, Austin’s and Henrie’s characters, respectively.  “With their maturity, anyone could win competition.  What I’m really looking forward is doing that episode.  It’s where we’ll go for broke.  We’re getting so many ideas, from classic games shows to shows like ‘Survivor,’ to high tech productions like ‘Avatar.’”

As for the already-greenlit next “Wizards” TV movie, he says, “I think it’s a great idea to explore what the family is like after one of the kids becomes a wizard – what happens after the big event.”

David Henrie Has Moved on From Theme Park Dustup

Selena Gomez, David Henrie "Wizards of Waverly Place" Disney Channel Photo

Disney Channel star David Henrie tells us he’s moved on from the Universal CityWalk altercation involving himself, his brother and some strangers that saw him wind up in post-midnight custody at a police station last month. ‘That’s all done with. There are no ramifications. It was an intense night. I’m not going to go into detail, but I’m good, I’m good,’ says the 20-year-old ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ hottie.

Indeed, David is back to focusing on his burgeoning career, especially the May 21 episode of his show, which he wrote. ‘I’m so excited to finally get something done,’ says the actor. Early on in ‘Wizards,’ he asked the series’ writers if he could ‘just come in the room and see how they work.’ He also wrote a ‘Two and a Half Men’ script on spec, and from that, the ‘Wizards’ team ‘could see that I could capture character voices, create a story structure, tell a joke.

‘Once they thought I was on my own two feet, I got to do this storyline. It was a dream come true for me,’ adds Henrie, who has designs on directing as well. His series father, David DeLuise, helmed the episode that has Henrie and series sister Selena Gomez squabbling over her getting a citizenship award on dubious grounds.

He says that he and DeLuise got into joking arguments over who was at fault if a piece of business didn’t fly right. ‘I’d say it was bad blocking by the director, he’d say it was bad writing. It was a lot of fun.’

While the series is on hiatus, ‘I’m trying to close in on a movie here, have a couple of other things working on the side there. When the show starts back up, hopefully I’ll get to direct. I really love being a part of the show creatively and learning as much as I can.’

CASTING CORNER: They’re picking up the pieces on ‘A Detour in Life,’ the indie feature that was to have been the late Corey Haim’s directorial debut. A casting notice has gone out for ‘a very recognizable actor to, sadly, replace Corey Haim.’ The story has to do with a man who goes off on an alcoholic bender after his wife is killed in a horse accident — though his young teenage daughter needs his help.

With the Brad Pitt baseball flick ‘Moneyball’ due to start shooting in July, casting forces have been on the lookout for a young teen who can match Pitt to play his character in early days. Yes and we already know of some girls who want to meet this guy as soon as he is found.