Aah August. Hot summer days, back to school sales. . . and my cousin’s birthday. Pretty much the usual. EXCEPT this August 3, 2010, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie (rated PG) comes out on DVD. Now that doesn’t happen every year, does it? And how are we going to celebrate? With fun new interviews of course!
We spoke with Jeff Kinney, author of the books, and Zachary Gordon, the actor who plays Greg. First we asked Jeff:
Q: In real life, would Greg be a friend of yours?
Jeff: I think so. Even though he’s kind of petty and self-centered, I think he has an interesting point of view and he would amuse me.
Q: Do you keep a diary. . . er journal?
Jeff: No, but I kept one in my mid-twenties. In fact, the format of the journals I kept as an adult — text and drawings — gave me the idea for Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I ended up stopping because I was spending more time documenting my life than living it!
[Ratha: Lol! That's what Miley Cyrus said in one of our interviews, about why she quit Twitter.]
Q: How does the movie compare with the book?
Jeff: We tried to capture the best moments from the book and put them in the movie so fans of the series would be happy. What I really like about the movie is that you grow attached to Greg and Rowley and you really care about their friendship.
[Ratha: It's true! I actually ended up liking Rowley much more than Greg in the movie. . . but vice-versa in the book!]
Jeff: That’s something that the books don’t deliver on as well. I think that some scenes in the book translate really well in the movie, like the school play. I think the movie tells the same story in a really different way. We could’ve made an animated movie that stuck with the book word for word, but I don’t think the audience would’ve felt satisfied. I think the audience wants to be surprised.
Q: What do you think is the best part of the movie?
Jeff: My favorite part is when Greg sings during tryouts for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz play.
Q: What surprised you the most about the process of making your book into a movie?
Jeff: How collaborative the process is. With a book, all you need is a writer and a pad of paper. To make a movie, you need hundreds of people and loads of equipment.
Q: Do you have any advice for kids who want to write or draw?
Jeff: I’d recommend that you copy the style of other artists and writers to start off. That way, you can see how they do what they do, and it will become a part of your toolkit and help you develop your own style.
And now here’s Zachary Gordon, who stars as Greg in the movie:
Q: Will there be a Wimpy Kid sequel?
Zach: I hope so, I think there possibly will, though we don’t know yet.
[Ratha: Our sources tell us that the sequel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Roderick Rules, is in pre-production, and will hit theaters March 25, 2011!]
Q: What else are you working on?
Zach: Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2. I play George Lopez’s son, a mischievous Chihuahua who always gets himself into trouble. It’ll be out later this year.
[Ratha: Look for Greg starring as the voice of mischievous Chihuahua, aka "Papi Junior."]
Q: Were you a fan of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series before you got the movie?
Zach: Yes, I told my mom I wanted to make a movie of it!
Q: What else do you like to read?
Zach: Right now I’m reading The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan; it’s a great book. And of course, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is one of my favorite book series.
Q: What other literary character would you like to play?
Zach: I’d like to be in a movie of one of the Dr. Seuss books. I’d like to be one of those creatures.
Q: Do your older brothers treat you like the baby?
Zach: Like Rodrick in the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they pick on me, and they torture me, but I know they love me.
Q: Is there anything people don’t know about you that you wish they did?
Zach: I am a singer and dancer.
[Ratha: Hmm. . . I have the feeling Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Musical! Will hit Broadway in a few years. . .]
Until next time!
— Ratha, STACKS Writer
Zachary Gordon Interview by Marie Morreale
Images courtesy of 20th Century Fox