Second Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie opens Friday
Imagine smearing toothpaste secretly inside an innocent-looking Oreo cookie and laughing as your hapless victim takes a nibble. Or maybe pouring salt into a water bottle and snickering as its owner tries to quench his thirst.
Those are the kind of tricks teenager Rodrick Heffley often plays on his younger brother Greg in author Jeff Kinney's wildly popular kids' series Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It's also some of the real-life pranks the actors played on the set of the movie version of the second book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.
"It was like we really were brothers," said actor Devon Bostick, 19, who plays Rodrick.
The off-the-set pranks were great practice, bringing the on-screen jokes alive, said the actors during a recent New York City press event to promote the movie. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules opens nationwide on Friday, March 25.
Watching 13-year-old Zach Gordon (Greg), 12-year-old Robert Capron (Greg's best friend Rowley), and Bostick interact during the interview was almost as funny as watching the movie!
After the success of the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, Gordon, Bostick, and Capron plunged into working on the second movie in the series. In this hilarious sequel, Greg, the title's wimpy kid, is the main victim of his older brother Rodrick's torture.
In an attempt at family peace, their mother Susan comes up with the brilliant idea. For each hour they can bond rather than battle, they get "Mom$," which can be cashed in for real money. So Rodrick and Greg attempt to become loving brothers. You have to see it to believe it! Especially the scene where Rodrick tries to teach Greg how to play the drums.
"It was fun doing tricks and going full out, smashing the cymbals," said Bostick. "I learned the drums three weeks before the filming, so it wasn't just using the computers to have me playing drums."
|Actor Devon Bostick, who plays Rodrick in the movie series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, talks to Scholastic News Kid Reporter Krithi Ram-Junnarkar. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules opens in theaters March 25. (Photo courtesy Krithi Ram-Junnarkar)|
The film did get a little help from computers, though. In a scene in which Greg and Rowley are tossed around in the back of Rodrick's van during a very rough-and-tumble ride, a technician used a computer to shake a van perched on a hydraulic arm.
"It was my favorite scene," said Capron. "How Rodrick got his driver's license is a mystery to me."
As you can probably guess, a bond does begin to form between Greg and his brother. It might even remind you of your own brothers and sisters. That's certainly where the author got a lot of his ideas.
"I take some funny experiences from my childhood," said Kinney, who has written four books in the series so far.
The movie does not follow the book exactly, but still captures the story of the sibling rivalry.
"To change a bunch of different ideas into a storyline must be difficult, but it really paid off," said Bostick, adding that there is much more to Rodrick than his mean tricks. "Playing a bully is easy. I've played a bully in [other films], but Rodrick is much more than a bully. I didn't play Rodrick as a bully, I played him as an older brother."
Kinney originally intended Diary of a Wimpy Kid to be a book for adults.
"I meant it for people to look back at their middle school days with nostalgia," Kinney said. "But it turns out it made a good kid's book as there is no message."
Bostick, however, sees it differently.
"The book might not have a message, but the movie sure does," he said. "It's that your brother might be annoying, but he is part of the family, and you love him."
Check out Kid Reporter Fred Hechinger's video interview with Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney!
And for more stories and interviews about the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and movies, check out the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Special Report!
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