Just a Minute With: Josh Peck for "The Wackness"

Fri Jul 4, 2008 1:14am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Josh Peck has spent much of his teenage and young adult life in front of television cameras portraying the chubby, goofy character Josh in the Nickelodeon cable TV series "Drake & Josh."

But a slimmed-down Peck, 21, is now starring in art house drama "The Wackness" as a New York City high school dope dealer, Luke Shapiro, who trades marijuana for counseling with his psychologist, portrayed by Sir Ben Kingsley.

The role in the adult-oriented film, in which Luke falls in love for the first time, is a major departure from Peck's TV show aimed at young teenagers. Peck, who grew up in Manhattan, talked to Reuters about the movie and his career.

Q: You started at age 9 doing stand-up comedy and then went on to acting, what interested you from the start?

A: "It gave me a lot of confidence, and I felt accepted in this arena, and I would see a lot of kids' performances and think I could really do that. I didn't see why I couldn't."

Q: With "Wackness," did you think you needed to take a role that was opposite of straight-arrow Josh in "Drake & Josh" in order to change your image as an actor.

A: "The ("Drake & Josh") audience has supported me over the past several years -- have made me who I am -- and for that I'm forever in their debt. But this is its own genre. Doing "The Wackness" was an oddly selfish endeavor because I was only thinking of myself. I read the material and felt like I could portray this character in an honest way. I identified with some of his attributes and a lot of his weaknesses."

Q: Like what?   Continued...

<p>Cast member Josh Peck from the movie "The Wackness" poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, June 5, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>