Will Shadley, child actor in The Spy Next Door from Lionsgate, shares his filming experience alongside the world-famous Jackie Chan.
CP: The Spy Next Door came out in theaters and was a big success, and now the combo pack DVD/blu-ray is out. How does it make you feel when you hear reactions to the film?
WS: I really enjoy hearing reactions to the film! Most of the kids I have talked to loved the movie, especially the parts where Jackie and the kids beat the bad guys. I think it makes kids feel more powerful and like they could do it too!
CP: I was reading an interview your did in which you stated that when you try out for a part you should be memorable. What do you personally do to stand out among all the others?
WS: I am not sure I do anything different. What I do is make a strong choice on how to portray the character I am auditioning for. It’s hard to know how the writer sees the role, so all you can do is go in there with a clear choice and if it’s not what they were thinking they will redirect you.
CP: In another interview you stated that Jackie Chan really helped you learn about physical comedy. What exactly did you learn?
WS: The most important thing I learned from Jackie, was that the action is not random. Each part is planned so that it looks like it just happens. You always have to be aware of the camera and make sure that the action can be captured. It may look like we are just running around, but we actually do the same thing multiple times!
CP: Please give me an anecdote of something that happened on set that really inspired you as an actor.
WS: Something that really inspired me was seeing the way that Jackie was so approachable for someone who is an international star. He makes a point to learn everybody’s names no matter who they are. He never said “no” to a picture or an autograph. He played with us kids all the time instead of hiding out in his trailer! He set a great example for us.
CP: How do you think you grew personally as an actor while filming The Spy Next Door?
WS: It was a big part, I worked almost everyday, and I loved it. A lot of parts for kids aren’t very big, so it was great to get to do one that was. I learned that could I could handle the challenge of being a main character. I can’t wait to do it again!!!
CP: Many actors start thinking about directing. I know you love acting,
but have your dreams ever included any other parts of the film
business (if so, what)?
WS: I would really like to direct and produce someday. I like the idea of being able to have more input and develop projects. But, I would still like to be in front of the camera.
CP: What are your thoughts on the types of films children should be viewing?
WS: I think that it should be up to their parents as to what is right for both the kids and their families. Everyone has different values and boundaries. I do like that films like Spy are available that are just good clean fun.
CP: What are you working on now?
WS: I have a couple things coming out, a Hallmark movie called Dad’s Home and an episode of Ghost Whisperer that I did. I have also been doing a lot of voice-over projects and commercials. In this business, you never know what is going to happen next!
CP: Is there anything you would like to add?
WS: I am incredibly blessed to get to pursue something I love. I know that this is a privilege and not a right and I am thankful everyday for all the great experiences I have had. Can’t wait to continue on this journey!