If you haven't heard of Diary of a Wimpy Kid or its series of books by author, Jeff Kinney then you either have been living under a rock or haven't had grade school kids within 100 feet of you. Wimpy Kid is one of the biggest middle grade book series ever and now they are making a motion picture. Get ready for it to break some records. I had the opportunity to interview Wimpy Kid star, Rachael Harris about her new movie and more.
For those who haven't read the "Wimpy" series, what's it about? Tell us a little bit about your character.
The Wimpy Series is a series of books written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. The first book (which the movie is based on) follows Greg Heffley (played by Zach Gordon), through his transition to and through his first year of middle school. We watch Greg deal with a slew of awkward situations -- fitting in, dealing with well meaning but embarrassing parents, popularity, wrestling 'units', the school play, and trying to avoid the 'cheese touch' at all costs. It's a realistic look at being a boy in middle school and how truly trying, heartbreaking and hilarious that can be.
Susan is a stay-at-home mom who loves her three boys and at times can be a bit overbearing. She doles out advice to her children that a 40-year-old would appreciate, but that makes an 11-year-old feel like dying. It's the kind of stuff that would be helpful, but is disastrous for his popularity. She's a mother to not only her boys, but to her childlike, shutdown husband, Frank (Steve Zahn). If anything she cares too much about all her boys and finds herself disappointed over and over again at the choices they make. She often wonders, "What can I do to help?" when she would most likely be better off if she could let things go and allow things to work themselves out. Like every mother..:)
Have you met the author of the book series?
Yes! Jeff Kinney is tall and has a great smile, but don't be fooled, he's as slick as they come. A real player. And how he came up with a book that appeals to kids ages 8-13 baffles me. He's an unbelievably kind man with a great family. A thrill for us on set was that he would draw pictures of Greg and family that were personalized for a lot of us in the cast and crew. Super generous, sweet and very funny.
How did it feel to be chosen for the part?
I was just so excited to get to play someone who people don't duck and run from for once. Getting to bring to life this rather familiar mother, that a lot if us can relate to, was exciting if not a bit daunting. In the book, she's a cartoon character and the challenge was to soften her edges a bit and make her real and relatable without loosing her edge.
What do you like to do for fun?
Obsess about interviews that will run on the Huffington Post, bake pies, listen to Pandora, read biographies, watch bad TV, watch American Idol (notice I didn't include that with bad TV, I know, I know...) hike Griffith Park, laugh so hard it hurts, dance like no one's watching and kiss in the rain.. wait.. what?
What are you working on next?
I've recently done a bunch of fun guest stars... I filmed the season finale of Gary Unmarried in which I got to "get busy" with Rob Riggle, then "got busy" with Lizzy Caplan on Party Down and sort of "got busy" with Don Lake , Bob Balaban and Ed Begley Jr. in a commercial for the US Census. So, I guess you could say I've been a very busy girl.