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Behind Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Actors, author talk to Scholastic Kid Reporter

By Christopher Gathers Campbell | March 17 , 2010
Kid Reporter Christopher Campbell (from left) with the stars of <i>Diary of a Wimpy Kid</i> Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron and the author of the book, Jeff Kinney. (Photo courtesy Christopher Campbell)
Kid Reporter Christopher Campbell (from left) with the stars of Diary of a Wimpy Kid Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron and the author of the book, Jeff Kinney. (Photo courtesy Christopher Campbell)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid the movie opens in theaters nationwide on Friday. On a rainy Monday in New York, author Jeff Kinney and the main actors of the movie, Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron, held a press day to talk to reporters—including this one!

I had a couple of fun questions for the actors. For instance, I wanted to know if any of them were wimpy when they were in middle school.

"Well, I'm not really a wimpy kid," said Gordan, who plays the lead character. "Although, I'm small and thin like Greg."

Author Jeff Kinney had some advice for kids who experience bullying in school.

"I think that they should tell adults about the bullying," Kinney said. Bullying is one of many main parts of the book and movie. It's also a big issue in middle school. Don't feel bad about telling, says Kinney. It's important to get help.

I had heard a rumor that originally the Wimpy books were intended for adults, so I asked Kinney about that.

"I really had meant for these books to be for adults, kind of looking back on their own childhood," he said.

His ultimate goal of writing/drawing a funny book was realized either way.

"I wanted to write a story about all of the funny parts of growing up, and none of the serious parts," he said. "I decided to write a book about what it's really like to be a kid, or at least what it was like for me."

The actors and author all told me that they learned something while making this bestselling book into a movie. Gordon says he's learned that you need to treat people how you want to be treated. Good lesson to know!

"I learned that storytelling in movies is really different from storytelling in books," Kinney said.

Certainly turning a cross between a comic book and a novel into a live-action movie must have been a challenge. It's certainly a challenge he and director Thor Freudenthal met. I saw the movie this week before it opened and it's terrific!

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