Tag Archives: Adam Hicks

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.

‘Lemonade Mouth’ — Next Generation of Disney Channel Stars?

Adam Hicks, Blake Michael, Bridgit Mendler, Naomi Scott, Hayley Kiyoko Disney Channel photo

Will tonight’s Disney Channel Original Movie, “Lemonade Mouth” establish the next generation of Disney Channel stars?  That is the hope of producer Debra Martin Chase, and you’d better believe, it’s the network’s hope as well — especially now that the stars of the “High School Musical” franchise, “Camp Rock” and “Hannah Montana” have all grown up and moved on.

If Chase’s track record with fresh talent is any indication, the new gang will be well worth following.  Her “Princess Diaries” movies gave us Anne Hathaway and Chris Pine.  “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” introduced Blake Lively and gave America Ferrera a teen following.  Lucy Hale,   so hot in “Pretty Little Liars,” got an early career boost in “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” as did “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Jesse Williams.

What does Chase hunt for?  “I hate to sound like a cliche, but you really do look for that ‘It’ — that very special quality that makes someone stand out.  Sometimes I call it, people have light in their eyes, something that shines from within, coupled with intelligence,” she says. “They need to be attractive, but an interesting attractiveness.  They need to have some soul and depth to them, you know?  That’s how it happens, they just come in and you say, ‘Okay. that person is special.'”

As Chase points out, both Bridgit Mendler (“Good Luck Charlie”) and Adam Hicks (“Zeke and Luther”) are already Disney Channel stars.  Other members of the title high school band of “Lemonade Mouth” are starting to take off as well.  Hayley Kiyoko has opened for Justin Bieber.  And, “Subsequent to the filming of our movie, Naomi Scott was cast by Steven Spielberg as one of the leads in his new Fox series, ‘Terra Nova,'” points out Chase.  “She has already shot the pilot in Australia.”

Heartthrob-to-be Blake Michael “is really the Cinderfella of this whole thing.  He sent in a self-made tape with his mother reading lines with him in Atlanta.  The tape just popped.  We knew we had to have him,” Chase recalls.

Casting was a three-month process that made good use of new technology.  Rather than going city to city looking at candidates for the roles, Chase and her team viewed video posted to their website.  British actress Scott “auditioned via Skype.  That’s the first time we’ve done that.”

As for whether there will be a “Lemonade Mouth 2” — Mark Peter Hughes, who wrote the popular novel, is writing a sequel now — Chase smiles.  “It all depends on how we do Friday night.”

TRAFFIC ADVISORY:  L.A residents who want to catch a glimpse of a classic style pop superstar mob scene can drive over to Sunset Blvd.’s BookSoup book store in West Hollywood tomorrow (4/15) around three p.m..  (Others, take note and avoid.)  Janet Jackson will be there to sign a few hundred copies of her No. 1 best-selling book, “True You,” and it doesn’t take much imagination to predict what the scene will be like.  Miss Janet will have to tear herself away to perform at Universal City’s Gibson Amphitheatre in the evening.  All three of her concerts there sold out in ten minutes.

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  Tim Allen’s pilot is sounding like a better and better prospect now that Nancy Travis is aboard as Tim’s wife, and Hector Elizando’s in the mix, playing Tim’s boss at a demolition company — at least for awhile.  (The character steps down, moving Tim’s character up.)  Elizondo automatically confers quality upon anything in which he appears, as his buddy Garry Marshall would be first to agree.  Garry insists on using Hector in all his movies as his good luck charm.

Sounds like HBO’s planned television treatment of Femme Fatale magazine will be sexy stuff.  The producers (who have “NCIS” and “Castle” in their collective credits) put out a casing call for a “hot ethnic woman in her twenties, a hot ethnic woman in her thirties, a hot caucasian woman in her twenties” and four good-looking guys in their twenties and thirties.  Nudity required for everybody.

Diahann Carroll Gets Her Diva On for PBS

Matt Bomer, Diahann Carroll "White Collar" USA Network photo

Diahann Carroll is diving into preparations this week to bring her “The Lady … The Music … The Legend” one-woman show to Palm Springs to be filmed as a PBS special. It’s the latest high-profile turn for Diahann, who also has her ongoing commitment to USA Network’s “White Collar” as well as two upcoming Lifetime movies. The still-glamorous septuagenarian is surprised herself to be in such demand.

“I’m very proud, pleased, happy and thrilled to be working like this as I approach…” she pauses, laughs, then sings, “the time of my life.”

She’s certainly been having the time of her life, adding a best-selling autobiography and a “Grey’s Anatomy” Emmy to her long list of stage, screen and TV achievements over the past couple of years.

Right now, she’s putting together an orchestra to rehearse with in L.A. for “The Lady…The Music…The Legend.” There’ll also be wardrobe to work out with Bob Mackie.

“For stage, Bob was always kind enough to be there for me,” she notes. “He’s a genius. Anyone who could take Cher’s body and turn her into what he’s turned her into — so gorgeous and appealing. And now he’s working with Pink, which I think is a wonderful combination. My gowns are not so extreme as that.”

Her live performance next month is a benefit for the Annenberg Theater at The Palm Springs Art Museum, with the TV special planned for summer debut.

Meanwhile, Diahann plays mama to “Rescue Me’s” Daniel Sanjata as he brings to life crime novelist Patricia Cornwell’s detective Wil Garano character in back-to-back movies. “Patricia Cornwell’s At Risk” and “The Front,” air April 10 and 17, respectively.

And then there’s “White Collar” and her part as the savvy and soigné widow who shares her home with con man-turned-crime fighter Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) “I’m having an absolute ball on that show. She’s a great character and I love the company,” says Diahann. “It’s so great to be around, people who are a bit – just a bit — younger than you and me.”

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT: Benjamin Bratt turned a lot of heads at last year’s Sundance Festival, playing a Latino father who finds out about his son’s hidden homosexuality in “La Mission.” Audiences will get a chance to see the flick, when it premieres in theaters April 9. Jeremy Ray Valdez, who plays Ben’s gay son in the film, wants us to know, “We had five screenings at Sundance and got standing ovations at every one. It just strikes a chord with people – not just with gays and Latinos, but all cultures are responding to it.”

He adds, “It was a project that I was really passionate about. As actors, we want to act in roles that are meaningful to us and the character is saying important things
and that’s what this script has. It’s just a beautiful story. I hope people take away from this film the possibility of change and unconditional love.”

The experience was certainly a life-changing one for Valdez. He tells us he’s lucky to have found a new role model in Bratt. “I can’t say enough good things about this guy. He’s super genuine, a family man, very down to earth, and cares about
everyone around him. He gives you everything he’s got as an actor,” says Valdez. “I actually got engaged while we were filming and you hear so much negativity in the Hollywood community about being married and cheating so to see him be so loving with his wife and kids, it made me hopeful with my marriage.”

Adam Hicks

CHANGE OF PACE:   It’s been a busman’s holiday for 17-year-old Adam Hicks while he’s been on hiatus for his Disney XD series, “Zeke & Luther.” The affable red-haired actor has been busy doing five episodes of “Jonas” for the brothers’ upcoming new season.

“My character on ‘Jonas’ is completely different from Luther. He’s the cool guy who has all the input on all the parties in California, the guy who shows them around,” Adam reports.

The new season of the skateboard-centric “Zeke & Luther” comedy premieres Monday (3/15), with an episode in which Zeke (Hutch Dano) jumps a shark, literally. Soon their hiatus will be over, and Hicks says he feels ready to get back to work on his own show.

“It’s funny, when you’re working, you get home and the first thing you do is go to sleep because you’re exhausted. You can’t wait for a break. Then when you get a break, you can’t wait to get back to work.”

ON THE GOOD FOOT: Hollywood’s legendary 92-year-old marathon-running publicity man Julian Myers is staging a Four Myers Generations run Saturday (3/13) — with 12 of his family members from near and far in the Lakewood, CA Sheriff’s Family Fun Run

Julian Myers

It’s all about promoting AmigoDay, the monthly day of conscious friendliness launched by Julian and wife Patsy years ago. Those longing for kindness and civility should consider joining in AmigoDay the first Sunday of every month. Requirements are simple. “Just greet anyone anywhere, your way, any month’s first Sunday,” explains Myers, a gentleman of the old school, who has worked with innumerable stars, all the studios, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the TV academy through the years.

He’s hoping all three of his great-granddaughters will run, but considering that the youngest one is a mere 1 ½, that may be asking a bit much. Even for a Myers.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

‘Fame’s’ Debbie Allen: We’re in a War to Save Arts Education

Debbie Allen is hoping that the new “Fame” feature that opens Friday (9/25) will do more than entertain – it will serve as a reminder of the importance of arts education at a time when “the money dries up right and left.

Debbie Allen

Debbie Allen

“We have a war going on,” declares the dance great.  “Where is the money for the arts?  There is no money, but the arts should be one of the last things to be cut.  We need the arts to initiate, to create, to have a voice.  The performing arts are one of the best ways to connect people.  It’s character education.”

 Allen is in the new “Fame” – making her the only performer to appear in the hit 1980 film, its spin-off TV series, and the new movie.  Her character may be named Principal Simms, but to Debbie, she’s playing the same fiercely dedicated teacher she’s played all along.  “After all this time, I am the same character.  Lydia Grant is married – this is her married name,” she says with a laugh. “That’s how the world is going to know her.  I’ve never left it.” 

 Indeed, she carried Lydia Grant into her own life, founding her immensely successful Debbie Allen Dance Academy that’s already seen students hitting the big time, including her daughter, Vivian Nixon, of Broadway’s “Hot Feet” — and “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant William Wingfield.  She’s had other dancers and choreographers land work on stage and screen – including “Fame.”

 “A few of my students are in it.  One of my right hands – Marguerite Derricks – choreographed it.  When I saw it, I just beamed and gushed about how wonderful her work is,” she recounts.

 Debbie herself recently choreographed and directed Mariah Carey’s big new Las Vegas show.  Now, besides her ongoing activities presiding over the school, she is getting ready to direct the London production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” that she directed on Broadway last year – starring her sister Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan.    

 SO GOOD IT’S BAD:  “I appreciate that people are taking better care of themselves, but I’m like your dirty secret,” says Blythe Beck, who is starring in her own Oxygen reality series “The Naughty Kitchen With Chef Blythe Beck,” debuting today (9/22).

 “I am the naughty chef.  I call my food sexy new American – food you ate growing up but I make it naughty.  I’m all about beer, butter, pork fat, and loving on your food.  The more love you give to it, the naughtier it is,” claims the sassy chef, who runs the Dallas restaurant Central 214.  “You wouldn’t eat this food every single day, but you come to me when you want to celebrate the good times or be comforted in the bad times.  I just want people to come in my restaurant and let me love on them for a little while.” 

Despite so many cooking shows on television at the moment, Beck claims her show is different.  “My show is not just about cooking.  It’s more of following me around as a chef.  My life alone has been like a television show with the ups and downs of working in this field, and now it actually is one,” she adds with a laugh.  “I’m just blessed that cooking is the gift God gave me.  It’s the best gift ever.” 

Adam Hicks

Adam Hicks

YOUNG STAR ON THE RISE:  Adam Hicks, Luther Waffles to fans of  “Zeke & Luther,”  is resting up a bit between his and fellow star Hutch Dano’s just-finished promotional sweep of Europe and the start of second season production of their popular Disney XD show.

 “It was amazing!  Everything was a new experience.  Hutch and I are open to all these new things all the time.  I had a blast,” he says.  “I got to see the Eiffel Tower; I’d always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower.  I loved Germany…”  And he got recognized in Paris, he reports.

 Did he and Hutch ever get on each other’s nerves?  “We never really did.  We have a good relationship.  We balance each other out,” he says.  “We’re constantly working together, so that’s great.”

 Hicks, who starred in the big screen “How to Eat Fried Worms” and has a sizeable list of TV and movie credits,  recalls feeling “a different vibe” about “Zeke and Luther” than anything he’d done previously.  “It was more fast-paced, fast cut — a lot of outrageous comedy with us skateboarding down the streets and stuff like that.  I wondered if people would be open to this new flavor of comedy.”

 They were.  Now the amiable red-haired 17-year-old is getting used to being asked questions about what makes a good kiss and such by the teen magazines.  He seems to be taking it all in stride.  “I’m open to answering a lot of the questions.  I’ll give you my best advice,” he says.

FEELING GOOD:  “The Biggest Loser” host Alison Sweeney admits to pangs of jealousy over her husband’s ability to eat just about anything without putting on weight.  “He’s so thin,” she says of her mate, California Highway Patrolman David Sanov.  But it’s not as if he gets a free ride as far as staying in shape, she points out.  “He works out.  It’s interesting.  You learn it’s not just about how many pounds you see on the scale — it’s about what’s going on on the inside, too.  So it’s about what you put into your body and maintaining your health and fitness.” 

 With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster