We are big fans of Disney XD in our house. It has that nice combination of shows the kids love and shows that I can actually sit down and watch without mumbling under my breath about how long I might have to sit there through the torture. On July 2nd, Disney XD will be premiering a new original series called Kickin’ It. It stars Hannah Montana‘s Jason Earles and Leo Howard. I got a chance to chat with Leo a little bit yesterday about the show.
Leo told me that the show is about Rudy (“played by the one and only Jason Earles,” he says) and his under-performing Bobby Wasabi Martial Arts Academy. Leo’s skateboarding character Jack comes in to help save the day. “It’s a lot of fun…and there will be some really great twists and turns.”
Leo said that he has been doing Shorin Ryu martial arts for more than nine years now, and now he’s moving into a more extreme form of martial arts that includes more of the acrobatic side, including stunts and flipping. “It’s interesting because it was because of my martial arts experience that I started acting,” he says. Leo was at a tournament when someone suggested that he might want to explore his acting chops. He started going out to auditions, and there was lots of rejection in the beginning, but then it started taking off and “has been such a blessing.”
It seems obvious that this role of Jack on Kickin’ It is kind of a perfect job for Leo, as he is both passionate about acting and martial arts. He says that when he heard about it from his agent, he immediately said, “I have to do this!”
He says that it’s really easy to get into his character, as Jack is ridiculously similar to him, “but one difference it that I am not very good at skateboarding.” Leo says that even though it’s not difficult for him to become Jack, and they have so much fun filming the show (“We love each other and we are just like one big family. We joke pretty much nonstop on the set. Jason Earles is so clever and really is the king of jokes!”) it’s still a job for him and he takes getting into the role of being another person very seriously.
As for Leo’s future prospects? Look for him as Young Conan in the upcoming film Conan the Barbarian and don’t be surprised if one day you see him starring alongside Johnny Depp—one actor that Leo would love to work with. “He is my idol!”
Kickin’ It debuts on Saturday, July 2nd on Disney XD at 7:30pm EST.
–Ali, Senior Associate Editor of CF.ca
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