Hello, my name is Addison Wood. I live in Atlanta and I'm nine years old. I recently had the chance to meet and interview author Jeff Kinney and stars Robert Capron and Zachary Gordon, who were in town for a special screening of the new movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid, based on The New York Times best-selling book by Jeff Kinney.
The books are about Greg Heffley (Gordon) and his friend Rowley (Capron), who are trying to get through middle school. In the book, Greg's family is a little bit out of touch with the world. His mom, especially, thinks Greg is still a kid, and doesn't really get what kids think. Her idea of cool is out of date: all she can think about is her own childhood, not the new generation.
Greg is trying to be cool, but ends up being less and less popular, getting into a lot of trouble, but in a very funny way. He can be mean sometimes, but the audience still roots for him. The book has a great sense of humor and captures what it feels like to be a kid wanting to grow up, but growing up is happening too slowly. It is a great description of how kids feel. It's good for all ages, even parents can read it. You should also see the new movie. I really loved it. The movie had so much detail and the actors did an awesome job. They had great responses to my questions: I loved meeting them because they were all so funny. Diary of a Wimpy Kid will be in theaters March 19. The movie is rated PG, mostly for rude humor and language.
Addison: Had you read the books before making the movie?
Zachary: Yes, I read the books and loved them. I told my Mom I wanted to make a movie about it. But four months later I got a call from my agent, "Hey Zach. I have this perfect role for you: Greg Heffley." You know, I was a little bit bummed out because I wanted to make the movie. But I was psyched because I had the opportunity to go out for him and I thought I was a pretty good match for him.
Robert: When I first auditioned I thought I'm never going to get it because there were about 50 kids in there in all different shapes and sizes. I remember thinking to myself, "this is over!" But I got it and I was so happy!
Addison: What's your favorite Wimpy Kid book?
Zachary: Probably the first one. Because I like the first of every book. It's what starts the whole series.
Robert: Probably the first one would be my favorite too, like Zach said, it kicks it off. Although I don't mean any disrespect to your other books, Jeff.
Jeff: Are you saying my writing talent is going down and down, and I'm just rehashing? My favorite book I think will always be the first one, because it was the first one.
Addison: Who is your favorite Diary of a Wimpy Kid character?
Zachary: I like Greg of course, but I actually like Chirag (Karan Brar). I mean, he's so innocent and he's just trying to help people out. But he is the smallest kid in school and I feel bad for him.
Jeff: I like Greg and Rowley but I have a soft spot in my heart for Rowley. He's just an innocent kid. He's not in a rush to grow up. And I can respect that.
Robert: I really like Fregley, just because he's so out of it: [Robert imitates a scene from the film] "Do you want to see my secret freckle?"
Addison: Did you go to school during the making of the movie?
Zachary: Yeah, even when we had a five minute break, we had to go to school. What was really sad was when everybody had some time to play or was just hanging out and stuff and playing games, we had to go to school.
Addison: Was it scary doing the topless scene? [Note: this is the scene where Greg and Rowley have to play skins in a game of shirts-versus-skins football]
Robert: Ohhhhh! That's the first time anybody asks me that.
Zachary: It was just like wearing a bathing suit, so I was like, "I'm fine, I'm cool with this."
Robert: You didn't have to squeeze your belly button and talk with it! I felt so weird.
Addison: How did you come up with the idea for the cheese touch?
Jeff: When I was a kid there used to be such a thing as cooties. And the way you didn't get cooties was by crossing your fingers. And I thought it would be cool to have the nuclear cooties, where if you got it, you were just an outcast in your school.
Addison: How has middle school changed since you were a kid?
Jeff: I feel like it's gotten safer. I've visited some middle schools in the last few years. It feels like the teachers are on top of things. Back when I was in middle school it didn't feel that way. It felt like a dangerous place.
Addison: On a scale of 1 to 10, what would you rate the book?
Zachary: I would give it a 412. It's a funny book. It made me laugh, like 70 times.
Robert: But you wouldn't give it a 413? How could you?! I'd probably give it an 11 out of 10.
Addison: What are some of your favorite books?
Jeff: I like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. Freckle Juice. Those are good books. How about you guys?
Zachary: I love this book called The Candy Shop Wars. It will always be my second favorite book.
Jeff: I just bought it for my son, based on your recommendation.
Zachary: It's about these kids who go on an adventure and do mythical battles with candy and it's really cool. And I also love the Percy Jackson series.
Robert: Ahh, you took mine! I really like the Percy Jackson. And I really like Harry Potter, of course that's almost unbeatable, except for your books.
Jeff: Of course. Thank you.
Addison: Dork Diaries: Is it OK with you or does it make you mad?
Robert: I got to be honest. Every time I go into Barnes and Noble or Borders, I always see stuff like Dork Diaries. It's a rip off!
Zachary: I would say no. No way! I would stick with Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Because it's about a kid, Greg Heffley, who's starting his first year of middle school. I think adults can relate to it because everybody has a part of Greg inside of them. Greg is everybody's worst parts.
Jeff: I haven't read it, But I think anything that gets kids to read is OK.
Addison: Will there ever be a Poptropica: The Motion Picture?
Jeff: That's a good question. Maybe. Right now we like being in control of our own stories. But I think there will definitely be Poptropica books. So we think we have some stories to tell there as well.
Robert: I didn't know that! I'm a huge fan of Poptropica and I just found out he's writing books about it!