If you watch the Disney Channel, chances are you’ve heard of the new movie Den Brother premiering Friday, August 13th. It stars Hutch Dano (from Zeke & Luther) and G Hannelius (from Leo Little’s Big Show). In Den Brother, Alex, played by Hutch, is a high school hockey star, begging his dad for a car. His dad refuses to get him one until his “attitude” improves. But after getting into trouble, and being suspended from his hockey team, that doesn’t look likely. Alex tries to do chores, and babysit his little sister, Emily, (played by G) to get back into good graces. He ends up, unexpectedly, becoming the new leader of Emily’s Bumble Bee troop, and masquerading as a Den Mother. Only problem? He isn’t a mother, and he isn’t female. Enter . . . Den Brother!
Check out our interviews with Hutch and G to get hooked up with the full story!
Q: Den Brother sounds hysterical. What was the funniest moment on set?
Hutch: I’d say when I got all in drag (dressed as a woman) to play Mrs. Zamboni, the fake den mother I create. I walked in there and all five girls had never seen me with the makeup on, and they all just burst out laughing.
Q: Describe Alex.
Hutch: There’s two Alexes. There’s Alex at the beginning of the movie, and Alex at the end. He starts off being egotistical. He thinks he’s the coolest thing around. By the end of the movie, after he has signed on to be the den brother even though he doesn’t want to because he loves his little sister so he’s going to do anything for her, he becomes a nicer guy.
Ratha: I love their brother-sister relationship – it’s super cute.
Q: What book would Alex recommend to someone?
Hutch: He’d recommend The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to somebody. Immediately. Just because he likes to swindle people and he likes to get other people to do stuff for him.
Q: If you could be any character from any novel, who would you be and why?
Hutch: I’m a big fan of Mark Twain. Like Alex from Den Brother, I would love to play Tom Sawyer. I know he’s been played before, but man, that character is just perfectly charming. He’s up to no good all the time but everyone loves him. He’s definitely one of my favorite characters.
Q: Do you have a favorite school subject?
Hutch: I’ve always loved history. It’s the closest thing to a script in school. It was always the thing that caught my interest, because it was like reading a story.
Q: What are five books that influenced your life?
Hutch: Well, I’m gonna say they’re all part of the same series. Don’t kill me here, but I love the Harry Potter books. ALL of them. I’d say the first five, just because as a kid reading those – I loved them. I grew up with those things!
Ratha: Don’t worry, I think a lot of people feel the same way!
Q: What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve had in your life?
Hutch: Well, I really liked this girl, and I took her on a first date. She wanted popcorn so I went and I got this big bunch of popcorn that we didn’t need, but you want to look cool so you go buy the biggest one. Coming back, there was this guy with his feet out on the chair. We were right in the middle and the movie was about to start. So I’m rushing and I get there, and the guy doesn’t move his feet.
Ratha: What a rude dude!
Hutch: Yeah, and I’m trying to hand the popcorn to her. And I go so fast that I trip on his feet, while the popcorn goes up in the air. It falls all over her and the floor. And at that point, the guy picks me up. And everyone’s going, “Sit down!” And I look over and the look on her face is just, “Epic fail. It’s just over.”
Ratha: Tough break. But if she didn’t like you because of a little spilled popcorn, then she wasn’t worth it. I’m sure there are a lot of gals who would appreciate the effort, and get a good laugh. Right ladies?
Q: (to G) Do you go by G, or Genevieve?
G: I usually go by G. My friends and family call me G. My full name is Genevieve Hannelius. It happened when I was a little baby and people would just send cards and presents to Baby G, and I guess it just evolved to G.
Q: You’re doing Den Brother, and you have the series Leo’s Little Big Show, recurring roles on Sonny With a Chance and Good Luck Charlie, and you’ve done Hannah Montana. So out of all of those, which one of your characters is most like you in real life?
G: I think Amy is most like me on Leo’s Little Big Show. She’s really got a spunky personality and she’s really out there and she is who she is.
Q: Which one do you have the most fun playing?
G: I would have to say Dakota on Sonny With a Chance or Joe in Good Luck Charlie. One is like a big bully, and the other is a bratty spoiled little brat girl. It’s just fun to be able to play that, because it’s really different from who I am.
Q: Describe your character, Emily, in Den Brother.
G: She’s really girly. She dreams of being a princess. She loves pink. She’s really outgoing and she just loves her friends that she’s made in the Bumble Bee troop.
Q: What’s the best memory you have of the film shoot?
G: Getting Alex ready to go on his date (with the girl he’s crushing on in the movie – Matisse). We were all racing around getting different t-shirts and shoes, and I actually got to put styling gel in his hair. It was very fun!
Q: Who was your first celebrity crush?
G: It is and always has been Zac Efron.
Ratha: Dreamy. I think that is a very popular sentiment!
Q: What’s been your most embarrassing moment in life so far?
G: When I went to shoot in Disney World for Leo’s Little Big Show, Leo wanted me to go on Rockin’ Roller Coaster. It goes from 0 to 60 in three seconds. I was so nervous, so I’m getting on it and I just start to cry. It just came out. So that was pretty embarrassing.
Q: What’s the hardest thing about your job?
G: Sometimes it’s memorizing lines. You have to work on it really, really hard. It’s definitely practice, practice, practice. And juggling schoolwork and acting.
Q: What’s your favorite book and why?
G: Right now I’m working on a book called Eggs by Jerry Spinelli. It’s a really inspirational book. It’s about friendship and loss and recovery and it’s kind of inspiring me. He’s really good.
Ratha: I just read a review of Eggs that said, “Did someone just spill a whole cup of awesome all over this book?” Now if THAT doesn’t make me want to read it, I don’t know what will!
G: Stargirl by him is also a really inspirational book. [His books] are really good. They’re kind of mysterious, so you have to get to the end to understand what’s going on.
Ratha: I agree! I loved Stargirl too. It comes up a lot on THE STACKS. Looks like you guys know a good book when you see one!
Q: Is there a character from a book or maybe a historical figure that you would like to play in a movie?
G: There’s two. One from a book that I’ve read called Dear Dumb Diary. [Jamie Kelly!] I think that would be such a fun character to play. Then in Little Women, I think Amy would be very fun to play. She’s the youngest sister, has some tough experiences, and it’s a really interesting story. Ratha: A Dear Dumb Diary movie! That’s what I’m going to ask for for Christmas.
Q: What book would you recommend to a friend?
G: The book Eleven by Lauren Myracle. Especially for kids my age, because I’m eleven. [It's about] difficulty at school and friendships, crushes.
So there you have it, inside info on Den Brother and the stars in it. I have a good feeling this is going to be another hit Disney movie. What do you guys think? Drop a Comment below! Until next time!
— Ratha, Stacks Writer
Interviews by Marie Morreale
Photos courtesy of Disney Channel