The following is a transcript of an interview conducted by Nathan, the winner of [Scholastic's]
Season II Psychic Contest, with Shawn Ashmore (Jake) on March 21, 2000.
Shawn: Hi Nathan! How are you?
Nathan: Hello! Iím fine!
N: Shawn, where are you from?
S: I am from Toronto in Canada. Iíve been living here about 10 years.
N: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
S: I have a twin brother named Aaron and heís an actor as well. But only one brother, no
sisters. And I have a dog named Jess.
N: Did you go to a public school or were you tutored on the set?
S: When I was in school I did a little bit of both. I went to school when I could because
there's nothing like being in a classroom and having your own teachers so you can ask questions and
stuff. Itís easier to do your school work in class because you can concentrate. But when I was working
I was tutored on the set, but that is harder because there is so much going on around you that itís
hard to concentrate.
N: Whatís your favorite subject
S: I love English - itís my favorite subject. And after that I would say Science. I had fun in
N: Do you enjoy school?
S: When I was in school it was a lot of fun. I miss my friends from high school.
N: What is your favorite food?
S: I like tacos, and pizza is always good! I like a little bit of everything. (Nathan likes
anything with chicken!)
N: What hobbies do you have?
S: I play guitar. I really like music - listening to and playing music. And I really like to
N: Whatís your favorite sport?
S: Snowboarding. I love snowboarding. And my favorite team sport is hockey. (Nathanís favorite
sport is street hockey! How about that! His favorite team is the Nashville Predators.)
N: Do you have a favorite professional sports team?
S: I like the Edmonton Oilers hockey team. Theyíre from Alberta, Canada where I used to live.
N: Have you read the Animorphs books?
S: I started reading them when I was auditioning for the show and I really liked the books.
Thatís when I got really excited about the show. (Book #3 is Nathanís favorite book.)
N: What kind of books do you like to read?
S: I like to read all kinds of books - science fiction, biographies, history books.
N: Do you like video games?
S: I love video games.
N: What is your favorite type of music?
S: Thatís a tough one because music is one of my favorite things. I listen to everything:
blues, hip hop, reggae, rock - I listen to everything. Itís kind of like my taste in books. I get bored
if I listen to one type of music too much, so I listen to a little bit of everything so I donít get bored!
N: Whatís your favorite group or singer?
S: Hmm, of all time.. Bob Marley is my favorite singer of all time.
N: Who is you favorite movie star?
S: I have a lot of favorite movie stars. Right now Iíd have to say Samuel L. Jackson. But it
changes all the time.
N: Will you be starring in any movies soon?
S: I just finished a small part in a movie called X-Men based on the comic book. Itís coming
out this summer.
N: What is your favorite TV show?
S: I like "Friends." That always makes me laugh. I like Joey and Chandler. Theyíre really
funny and always make me giggle whenever I watch.
N: Who has had the greatest impact on your life?
S: Probably my parents just because theyíve always been there and supported me when I wanted
to do acting. ĎCause itís kind of a big choice! My mom would always help me rehearse and either my mom
or dad would drive me to auditions. They did a lot of work to help me do what I wanted to do, so theyíve
had a really big impact on my life.
N: Who gives you the most encouragement?
S: Again, Iíd have to say my family. My grandparents, my parents, my twin brother Aaron - all
of them give me a lot of encouragement as an actor and in my life in general. Theyíve really been good
N: When did you start acting?
S: My brother and I both started at the same time. My mom was in a twin and triplet club in
Alberta where we lived before. A casting agent asked my mom if we would be interested in being in a toy
commercial. Of course we wanted to be in that, and Aaron got the part but he was sick on the day, so I
did it. And then we just started doing commercials and having fun.
N: Where you nervous when you started acting?
S: Yeah, very nervous. Because behind the camera is tons of people that you donít see when
youíre watching a show - all the actors, the camera people, the directors, the producers, the lighting
people, everyone who makes the sets look good - so there are tons of people there! So when I first
started I was really nervous. Itís not so bad anymore, you get used to it.
N: Do you enjoy acting?
S: I love acting. If I can do it for the rest of my life, thatís what Iíd like to do. I have
lots of fun doing it, I meet lots of cool people and I even get to travel. Itís also kind of fun because
you get to be someone new for every part, you get to pretend youíre someone else, and thatís fun.
N: Is it hard to act?
S: I just have fun doing it so it doesnít seem too hard to me. I just try to do my best. I
guess if you like what youíre doing, it never really seems that hard.
N: Do you have to memorize a lot of lines?
S: Yeah, thatís the hardest part. Sometimes you have to memorize a lot of lines and it can be
kind of hard. But I just take it slowly and do a little bit at a time and then I can do it. But sometimes
you get stuck. You mess up and everyone starts laughing. Everyone messes up, so itís not that big of a
N: What is you favorite episode of Animorphs?
S: I have two favorite episodes - one is "The Capture" where Jake is Yeerked and Ax has to
morph Jake and try and fool the family - so I got to play Ax acting like Jake. And the other is "Not My
Problem" where Jake wishes the Animorphs never got their powers. I liked those because they were
different and I got to play sort of a bad guy in one of them - that was fun! (Nathanís favorite episode
is the first one, "My Name is Jake.")
N: What is your favorite morph?
S: Definitely the tiger. Itís the strongest and the scariest and the Yeerks hate the tiger.
(Nathan chose to morph the hawk because heíd like to fly. Shawn said he would also choose either
something that could fly or swim. It would be cool to breathe under water.)
N: Is it hard to get the animals to do what they are supposed to do?
S: Sometimes. Some of the funniest times on the sets were with the animals. You never know
whatís going to happen when the animals are on the set. The lions and tigers and hawks - and even the
lizards sometimes run around, and not in the direction you want them to! And the cockroaches run around
and get lost.
N: What is the funniest thing you can remember that happened while taping a show?
S: To me it was both the funniest and scariest - I kind of put my fingers up a tigerís nose.
Iíve told this story a lot, because itís definitely the strangest thing thatís ever happened to me. It
was the scariest, but now when I look back on it itís really funny. Itís that scene where I was
acquiring the tigerís DNA and I was touching the tigerís head and something startled it and he moved
his head and my fingers went up his nose! Then the trainer told me to slowly back away and I did. I was
so scared! And itís also always funny when people mess up their lines. You get the giggles when you get
tired and someone forgets their lines. Some people would get frustrated because it would take longer to
film things but it was always fun. We had a lot of fun on the set.
N: Can you tell us anything about Season II?
S: Hmmm, I donít know! I go to the prom and guess who I take? (Nathan guessed right, of course!)
I think youíll like the new season, itís very cool -- lots of morphing and action.
N: Are you good friends with any of the other actors on the show?
S: I am good friends with all of them. We had such a good time on the show, just hanging out
and getting to know each other.
N: Do you get together and do things when you are not on the set?
S: While we were filming we did a lot of stuff together - went to the movies, went out to eat.
Itís harder now because everyone is back in their own towns, but we run into each other sometimes and we
always laugh about the fun we had.
N: What is your favorite movie?
S: Stand By Me is a really good movie. Thatís always been one of my favorites. Itís a book as
well, a short story.
And thatís the end of the interview! A good time was had by all - Nathan was a fantastic interviewer...
look out Carson Daly!
© Scholastic / Transcript by Pam