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Celeb Scoop: Lucas Cruikshank

By It's My Life on October 21, 2011 1:02 PM | No TrackBacks

lucas-cruikshank.jpgA year ago, we had an awesome chat with Lucas Cruikshank, aka Fred Figglehorn of YouTube fame, right before "Fred: The Movie" made a big splash on Nickelodeon. Now, Fred is back in "Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred," which premieres tomorrow night, Saturday, October 22 at 8pm ET/PT. As if we didn't love the title on its own, this new Fred adventure also stars "Modern Family"'s Ariel Winter as Talia and "Victorious"'s Daniella Monet as Bertha.

Lucas checked in with us recently, talking about his new movie, the lessons we can learn from Fred and how this loveably annoying character came out of his struggles to deal with middle school bullying.

IML: Hey, Lucas! It's great to chat with you again. So tell us a little bit about "Fred 2"!

Lucas: "Fred 2" is a continuation of the first Fred movie, and he's still the same obnoxious Fred. It was really fun to shoot, but weird because it has a Halloween vibe and we had to shoot it in spring! I was so happy with the script and the director, and things came together really well. In this story, Fred has a neighbor who moves in next door to him, and he's really suspicious of the guy. He thinks the neighbor is up to no good and he tries to convince everyone else. It's just Fred getting himself into another mess!

IML: How have things changed for you in the last year, since the first "Fred" movie came out, became a huge hit, and knocked Fred into a different orbit of popularity?

Lucas: I was so grateful to all the fans who loved the first "Fred" movie, and a lot of people discovered Fred that way. It makes me so happy when kids come up to me and say they love the movie. It's just cool how we were able to transition it from the Internet to a more mainstream audience. In terms of my life, my life hasn't changed too much. I don't notice if the fandom has become more intense, because I feel like I live in a little bubble in my small town in Nebraska. I've known everyone here since I was born. I'm just Lucas to them and it's no big deal for them to see me!

IML: Do you feel more pressure to do things you haven't done before with Fred? Do you have to keep giving him new challenges?

Lucas: I don't ever want to bore the fans and do the same old thing. That's why on the Internet recently I've been trying new things. Fred has a Web show called "Figgle Chat" which is Fred's Internet talk show where he asks guests really obnoxious questions, and that's a way for fans to see him in a format online that's not video blogging. I definitely want to try new things and keep it all fresh, and keep the fans excited and engaged.

IML: Last year we talked about why Fred is so appealing. You said it was because people like to root for the underdog and Fred never gives up on what he wants. He's so persistent, and that's kind of inspiring! Do you think he's influenced kids and teens in a positive way, in addition to just making them laugh?

Lucas: I think as a character, Fred is obviously different. Fred could, if he wanted to, just hide who he really is and go to school and pretend he's Kevin and Judy and all of them. But instead, he is who he is. He doesn't change himself for anyone. And I think that's a good thing for all of us to see. We're always trying to be what is "normal" and we're so scared of what our peers will think of us if we do something we want to do and don't know if everyone will approve of it. So I think that's a good lesson to put out there.

IML: It is nice to see Fred just keep doing his thing, no matter what people think! At this point, it's been a few years since you created Fred. Do you feel like you have a split personality sometimes?

Lucas: Yeah, I'm actually surprised that I don't have a mental disorder by now! I feel like most of the world knows me by a name that's not my own. It's the weirdest thing. What helps is that when I go to my school in my hometown, nobody really talks about Fred and I like it like that. I still feel weird when people talk about Fred at school. I don't want to be viewed as an entertainer or an actor. I don't take it personally that some younger viewers don't even know that there is a Lucas -- they think Fred is a real person.

IML: Has Fred helped you, as Lucas?

Lucas: Definitely. In middle school, I was always kind of a loser in my class. I was really shy and weird, and I only had a couple of friends. That's when I started making videos, and I think it was a way I could just turn all that negativity off. I coped with the bullying by making people laugh and doing comedy, and getting totally engulfed in the comedy world. It was something to do and not worry about the pressures of people at school. I could just make videos and be creative.

IML: And we're glad you did! Okay, here's a fun Halloween question before we let you go. What was the most memorable Halloween costume?

Lucas: I would usually dress up as something funny. But one year, for a change I dressed up as something scary -- I don't remember exactly what it was, a demon or something like that. That was totally the most memorable because I wouldn't take myself seriously but that night I did, and I feel like it was the one time in my life when I was actually scary!

IML: Thanks, Lucas! Good luck with the movie...and Happy Halloween!

Lucas: Thank you!

Learn more about "Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred" at www.nick.com/




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