Actor Atticus Shaffer May Have Fragile Bones, But He's Got a Strong Love for Life

03/18/2015 11:27 am ET | Updated May 18, 2015


Atticus Shaffer doesn't let Osteogenesis Imperfecta type IV stop him from doing what he loves. Photo by Vince Trupsin.

I really love this guy Atticus Shaffer who is able to play younger characters in TV and film. I want to squeeze him but then I remember he's 16 years old and past the squeezing stages! Hmm, how about a hug instead?

You know Atticus from TV's The Middle, but did you know he voiced Edgar E. Gore in the animated film Frankenweenie? Atti-boy, Atticus! P.S. Atticus is pretty funny. Read on.

You play Brick Heck in the ABC's Critics' Choice Award-winning comedy series The Middle.

Really? I am?

Are you wise beyond your years?

Well, I would love to hope that I was wise beyond my years. I have always been told I seemed older for my age, but maybe that is because I really enjoy learning. My mom has taught me to love to learn and I am forever grateful for that. I find it important to be able to think, understand, and reason about things, whether it is in day to day life, or from in a book, etc. Wisdom and education means a great deal to me and I find joy in being able to learn new and interesting things every chance I get.

If you were going to write a fiction book, what characteristics would the main character have?

I love words of encouragement, thought, etc. My fridge is covered in phrases, poems, and even scripture that my mom and I enjoy and draw inspiration from. I happen to have one entitled, Qualities of a Hero. The qualities listed are, self-sacrifice, determination, loyalty, courage, dedication, selflessness, and conviction. Those would be the qualities the main character in my book would have.

Tell us about the condition you have called Osteogenesis imperfecta type IV, a congenital condition which causes fragile bones. What's the difference between type I and type IV? What do you have to do (or make sure you don't do) on a daily basis to ensure you can get to work?

OI is a complicated condition, and is something that is looked at on an individual basis. There are far too many types, and variations of symptoms within those types to discuss adequately. People are welcome to look up more information on this condition on the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundations website. What do I have to do on a daily basis to ensure I can get to work? Ummm, let's see. I need to set my alarm and I, ummm, Oh! And then leave the house in time with my mom. Yep. That's about it.

Have you ever been to a sci-fi convention as a spectator?

No, I have not. I have been able to attend San Diego Comic Con a couple of times while there for work. I loved the innate nerdy-ness of it all and being able to see a variety of different things, from video games, to movies, to comic books, etc. There's something very bonding being surrounded by people dressed as my favorite comic book or animated characters.

Are you a part of the Lego Master Builder Academy?

While I am not a part of the Academy, I did have a chance to spend some time with a Master Lego builder while at the construction of Legoland Florida. He taught me quite a bit of things, ranging from connection to depth and design. I must say I have a much greater appreciation for the Master Builders and the craft that they do. I specifically enjoy making stop-motion animation movies with my Legos. I usually combine my military history side with my Legos and create battle scenes and animate the two sides coming together.

What are your favorite video games and on what consoles? Have you ever had a video game that you just couldn't get into?

I am a huge zombie nerd and I love the zombie video games such as Dying Light, the Dead Island franchise and The Walking Dead games. I also enjoy games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, and medieval period games like Skyrim and LOTR:Shadow of Mordor. I do not have a preference to any particular system, (as I am a fan of both Xbox and Playstation) but I enjoy each in a certain way and with friends who have one system or the other.

When you were little, did you ever get punished?

In all honesty there was never a need for me to be punished. My mom would always talk with me about everything and if I made a mistake she would talk with me about it and explain things to me and/or give me understanding. I find it important for parents to actually talk with their children and let them know the reasons why something may be right or wrong, safe or unsafe, or simply give them understanding to something they don't know. Mutual communication is so important.

What goals do you have set for yourself that you have not yet obtained?

I would like to be able to go to college, enroll in film school, and study to become a director/writer. It would be interesting to take things behind the camera and become the narrator of a story as opposed to the character in the story.

What prompted you to become a Boy Scout?

I have been home-schooled my whole life. My mom has been, and still is, always on the lookout for activities that I can do to incorporate into my studies. When I was little we were involved in our local 4-H group and were a part of classes. Then we found out that I was old enough to get involved in our local Cub Scout pack and began attending the meetings. I was involved in one of the best Cub Scout packs ever, where I learned so much, made so many friends, and participated in all of the activities. I transitioned from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts with my den and was able to attend for about a year. Scouting needs a lot of dedication and time invested, to do it right and, unfortunately because of work, I could not commit the time to continue with Boy Scouts. It's very sad, but I have amazing memories with my scouting.

Anything else you'd like to say?

Please adopt from local pet rescues and shelters, (we love our large rescue family) and be responsible pet parents. Hello, Half Way to Home Rescue in Mojave and God bless you for all your hard work in saving our best friends! Also, I am involved in a Disney television animation project that has yet to be announced, that I am very proud to be a part of. I LOVE my voice acting! Keep a look out! :)