BSCkids recently chatted with the talented young actor Zackary Arthur who is making his major motion picture debut as ‘Sam Sullivan’ in “The 5th Wave” set to release on January 22.
This impressive nine year old has already taken the entertainment world by storm since being featured in several commercials and notably in the Emmy-and Golden Globe-winning Amazon television series “Transparent” starring Jeffrey Tambor. Next year we will also see him in a movie alongside James Franco and Rashida Jones. In The 5th Wave, he stars with opposite Chloe Grace Moretz as the younger brother she is desperately trying to save as increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of the Earth decimated. The highly anticipated box office hit is based on the first book in a trilogy by New York Times best-selling author Rick Yancey.
Arthur has been acting for several years already. He started at just age 6 and since has appeared in dozens of commercials including spots for Honda, Toys”R”Us, Kaiser, Rabbids Invasion, Burlington Coat Factory and voice-over spots for Build-A-Bear. Along with his brother Aiden Arthur, Zack plays the Pals Club President in the new “PALS” series directed by Zachary Gordon. He also appears in Disney’s “Best Friends Whenever” as young Naldo and in the CBS pilot “The Half of It,” as Jon Dore’s son ‘Will.’
BSCkids: Zackary Arthur
Tell us about your character “Sam” in the upcoming movie The 5th Wave.
Sammy is a normal kid and he has a great family. He is brave and believes that Cassie will find him. He believes that she will keep her promise and she does!
Were you excited to be in a movie about an alien invasion?
Yes! Especially because Rick Yancey is such an amazing writer. When I met him I was even happier because his family is so amazing and nice. Then when I heard Chloe Grace Moretz and Nick Robinson would be in it I was even more shocked in a great way! I love action films and thought this would be something I would love because I am so much like Sammy in real life!
Did you get along with your co-stars? And what was it like working with Chloe Moretz as your big sister?
I loved every single person on the set- cast and crew! Squad 53 was so amazing and also the people that played the “Others” in the film were super nice in real life! Everyone was so talented and kind to me and would play with me if there was time. Chloe was the best big sister in the world. I feel so lucky to have worked with her and she is funny, nice, pretty, and really professional. I loved being her little brother and hope that I get to work in the next two sequels if they make them. What a dream that came true to work with Chloe and everyone.
You also had a role in the Emmy-and Golden Globe-winning Amazon television series “Transparent” starring Jeffrey Tambor. Tell us about your experience on that show?
“Transparent” is so much fun to be on. I am so excited that we will be starting our third season. Everyone is so caring and nice on the show. Working with the director, Jill Soloway and Jeffrey Tambor-Judith Light- Amy Landecker… And also my sisters on the show have become such special friends of mine in real life. I owe so much to all of them. I love shows that are about kindness, and accepting people for who they are in their hearts. My mom has explained what the show is basically about and I am so glad I am a part of something so important.
Having worked on both, do you like movies or television projects the most?
That is such a difficult question because I like them all for different reasons. I love films because you have the time to get to work with your film family for a long time… I don’t like to ever “wrap” on a project because I get attached to everyone I work with and really care about them. I love TV because it is lots of fun and I learned a lot working in front of a live audience with the iconic director James Burrows last year. Every director/producer/actor I work with I really learn something from them. I also learn a lot from the crew in every department- Lighting-cameras-sound- and everyone that works on a project is important. I want to be a film maker when I grow up so I am thankful that I get to know so many experts in every field.
Next year you will be in a movie starring James Franco. Is there anything you can tell us about the project?
I can tell you that it is based on a book- and that James Franco is my dad, Rashida Jones is my mom and Jeffrey Wahlberg is my brother… It is an amazing artistic film. Bruce Thierry Cheung is an amazing director. Rabbid Bandini Films- Wow! It was an amazing acting experience and in the desert- that is where we filmed the movie- Let’s just say … We LIVED it. It was a valuable experience and I loved working on this project,too!
Outside of acting, what are your favorite activities?
Lots and lots of things… I love to ride my bike, play with my dogs and my brother -he is an actor too and is one year older than me. Aiden is also my very best friend. We like to ride our razor scooters, play soccer and baseball and make movies with our iPads. We both work hard at acting but have time to play and go to school with our friends.
How do you find time to act and go to school? Is it difficult?
Sometimes it is difficult and sometimes it is easy. This year we have really understanding teachers and that is so important. Teachers in a normal school can make it really difficult on actors or they can be supportive. This year has been great for both of us. Aiden and I are really lucky this year. Most kids our age have to be homeschooled and that would be ok but it’s kind of nice going to school with our friends this year.
Do your friends treat you any differently because you are an actor or are most of your friends also in the business?
No- Not really. They are happy for me and they don’t really care too much but they want to see my projects. It’s the people that don’t really know me that sometimes treat me different than other kids. I like it when the older kids think of me as their little brother and I like it when kids my age treat me like their good friend… Not like an actor. I don’t talk about my work at school at all- I am too busy playing other games at recess or trying to be good in class.
Have you always been a performer? If you weren’t acting, what would you want to be when you grow up?
I have been an actor since I was in kindergarten. If I wasn’t acting- Well, I am going to make films as a producer and a director… But if I couldn’t, I would be a professional basketball player… Or maybe a doctor- but I think I would like to play one on tv because I don’t like needles.
Find Zackary Arthur @1zackaryarthur on Instagram and Twitter!