Okay, so, I am about to blow your mind.
You know this guy right here? Well, if you have children between the ages of, say, 5 and 10, like I do…you know that he plays Max, the youngest Russo on the hit show Wizards of Waverly Place.
But what you might not know is that Jake T. Austin is not only on one of the most popular kid shows right now…he is actually on TWO. Because THIS
is also him. I KNOW, right? Your mind is BLOWN.
Well, now that all of that is out of the way, I can also tell you that I had a chance to sit down and talk to Jake T. Austin about Wizards of Waverly Place and about Family Channel’s Halloween programming lineup, Wiztober. In Canada, we are nearing the end of season 3, which, according to Jake, will see some great guest stars, including Wilmer Valderrama and a return of Gregg Sulkin, who plays Mason. Jake says, “Season 3 ends in a big cliffhanger, and then season 4, the final season, will move towards the wizard competition…” where viewers will finally find out which of the Russo siblings will be the one to keep his or her wizard powers.
When I asked Jake how he feels about the show ending, he said that the emotions haven’t really hit yet. “When I hear that ‘That’s a wrap!’ he says, “That’s when it’ll hit me.”
The character of Max, to him, is, surprisingly not that unlike himself. They both really like to enjoy life and have a good time, but sometimes Max just takes it too far and doesn’t realize. His favorite episode of Wizards was the one where there’s a spree of deli robberies so Max becomes MAXIMAN, Manhattan’s newest superhero. “I did lots of research watching The Dark Knight,” he joked.
I asked Jake if he had any embarrassing audition stories to share and he said that for him, “EVERY audition is an embarrassing experience.” He said that most actors find auditioning a weird and uncomfortable situation and that’s probably how it’s supposed to be…but clearly whatever he did worked for Judy Taylor and Gary Marsh at Disney, because he became the youngest Russo.
We talked about the differences between a TV show shoot and a movie shoot, because in addition to Wizards, Jake has filmed several movies, including the Wizards of Waverly Place Movie and (a fan favorite around our house) Hotel For Dogs. He said that the two could not be more different. With TV, you have a dressing room and with a movie, you have a trailer and have to be transported to your shoot. With TV, you are working many hours straight and you get way more done. With a movie, there’s a lot more waiting around. He couldn’t decide which he liked better, mostly because he is lucky enough to shoot movies on location in places like Puerto Rico and Mexico and New Zealand, and not, like, say places that aren’t amazingly beautiful or, like friends of his, who have shot movies in places without running water or edible food.
After discussing music we like (and completely dating myself)(he’s a big fan of Lil Wayne) and our thoughts on the Bieber haircut, I realized that I quite enjoy Jake T. Austin. And, one thing is clear, Jake T. Austin has already had a successful career under his belt, and he’s only 15. When Wizards is over, I have a feeling we will be seeing a LOT more of him.