You know 13-year-old Peyton List from her role as Holly Hills in Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules. But she and her twin brother, Spencer, have been acting for a while. In this interview she talks about working on the Wimpy Kid movie, embarrassing stories from her childhood, and her baby brother’s hilarious nickname for her.
Q: What was the most fun acting job you’ve had?
Peyton: One of the most fun projects I got to work on was Diary of a Wimpy Kid, because I mean they had so many kids on the set. It was like summer camp. It was so much fun. Every night we would go out to dinner and we would go swimming, and we’d pull pranks on each other.
Q: What was your favorite prank that you pulled on someone?
Peyton: Well the boy that plays Rodrick was staying on our floor. And the girl who plays Patty Farrell was staying over in my hotel room that night so we slipped him a note under his door pretending that we were really big fans and we said, “Dear Devon Hotstick, we love you. We are your number one fan.” And then we put lip gloss on and we kissed it and we sent it under his door and he knew it was us. So he sent us a note back and said, “Oh nice try.” So we sent him a note back and we said, “Oh we are your number one fans, believe us!” The next day at school together in the tutoring room, he said, “In the future, you should probably not send a note back when I know it was you for sure.”
Q: Tell me about your Wimpy Kid character.
Peyton: I play Holly Hills and she’s the popular girl at school but she’s not your typical popular girl. She’s really sweet, down to earth and she’s very athletic. I have a lot in common with her. I love to do sports and it was really fun because I got to learn how to roller skate and how to play soccer in the movie. So that was a lot of fun. She would definitely be a friend of mine because she’s a really nice character. She accepts everyone.
Q: What sports do you like?
Peyton: I love basketball, and now I love soccer. I love biking. Actually when my mom and I were in Vancouver whenever we had a day off we would go about fourteen miles. It was beautiful there in Vancouver. And one day with the Wimpy Kid Zach we went zip-lining. Basically there’s this huge line that goes across from one point to another and they hook you up to it and you zip across. We went to this huge mountain and we went up and we went zip-lining. It was so much fun. I was kind of scared at first. And so was Zach. I was like, “Come on you have to go with me! If I’m going you’re going.” I was really nervous. I thought, “Has this ever broke before?”
Q: How did you get into acting?
Peyton: When I was about four, my mom took us to see about ten Broadway plays and I just loved them. I couldn’t get enough of them. So I told my mom, “This is what I want to be when I grow up.”
Q: What was your first job?
Peyton: Sears commercial, yeah. I remember that. That was fun because I got to beat up Spencer, my twin brother. Once I did a cranberry juice commercial and I had to keep drinking it and I remember I was really little. I had on a white shirt and I kept spilling it on myself so they had to keep changing my shirt.
Q: Is there a dream role that you would like to play?
Peyton: I’ve always wanted to be in an action movie. One of those butt-kicking superheroes or being in a castle and getting to experience a princess and that sort of thing.
Q: Do you have any embarrassing stories from school?
Peyton: I remember I went to get dressed and my skirt was really big so my mom pinned it in the waist and I was walking down the street later. . . I had just gotten out of school and all of a sudden it just falls to my ankles. I remember just looking around and pulling it right back up.
Q: If you could be anything besides an actress, what would you be?
Peyton: I would probably love to be a dancer if I couldn’t be an actress. I’ve taken a lot of dance lessons. I actually take jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop- everything. I also take a lot of ballroom dancing. It’s fun.
Q: Do you have any pets?
Peyton: I have a cat and a dog. The cat’s name is Luna, and we found her in our garbage can about three years ago. She’s really sweet. She has other cats that wait for her in the backyard and they hang out. One fell over in my pool once and she jumped right back out. She has so many cat friends; it’s funny. And my dog’s name is Windsor and actually we rescued him too. He ran into a restaurant that we were eating at one summer and it was pouring down rain and it was lightning and the dog ran in. The owner tied him up in the front and she said, “I’m taking him to the pound. He’s been running around for about a week now and I can’t deal with it any more.” And we were like, “No! We’ll take him. We’ll take him.” And so now he’s a part of our family and he’s such a calm and sweet dog. I love him. It’s funny because my brother says that the dog belongs to him and I say that the cat belongs to me. But the cat sleeps with my brother and the dog sleeps with me.
Q: So it’s just you and two brothers?
Peyton: Yeah I have a twin brother, Spencer, and then I have a little brother who’s six. I remember my little brother couldn’t pronounce our names. So he called Spencer “Gugu,” which I don’t get how that sounds anything alike and he called me “Peepee.” And I was like, “Why do you call me Peepee?” I got so mad because he always said it in public. I thought it was so embarrassing. And Spencer’s like, “Hey I’ve got Gugu.” “Well at least you don’t have Peepee!” I thought he was trying to say Peepee and Poopoo – sounds like Gugu. I’m like, “He’s doing it on purpose! He’s evil!”
Q: What book are you reading now?
Peyton: The Vampire Diaries (for ages 12 and up). I really love that series! I actually just read Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief and I love those books too.
Q: Last question: what would you like your fans to know about you?
Peyton: I’m just a really happy, energetic person and I love chocolate and. . . what else? I love to read. It’s one of my favorite things to do. My brothers ask me, “Would you come and play video games?” and I’m like, “No. I just want to read.” I really love doing that.
A girl after my own heart!
Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Interview by Marie Morreale