Q&A: Disney Star Jake T. Austin Talks Life After "Wizards"

By Megan Walsh-Boyle

Talk about ending on a high note! Having charmed audiences for five seasons as the dim-witted but adorable goofball youngest member of the Russo clan on the Disney Channel hit Wizards of Waverly Place, Jake T. Austin closes that chapter in his career by being nominated as Favorite TV Actor at this year’s 2013 Kids’ Choice Awards. We asked the 18-year-old star about the honor and what’s next now that Wizards is done.

Congratulations on the nomination! Thank you so much! I was really excited to hear about it and it’s a huge honor to be selected. I’m glad kids were watching and enjoying what we were doing on [Wizards]. This is the first time I’m getting nominated. I’ve attended the show before and it’s a cool experience and being nominated is really awesome.

Is there anyone you are hoping to meet at the ceremony on March 23? The athletes at the event are who I look forward to seeing. Hopefully players like Joe Johnson and some Los Angeles guys will make it out there.?

Your Wizards costar Selena Gomez is also nominated. After the success of the March 15 reunion special [The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex drew 5.9 million viewers] any chance you’ll be getting together to film another one? I would definitely be open to itI would love to do that! Getting to work with someone as talented as Selena is a great opportunity for me. We all try to stay in touch. It’s hard with our schedules to get everyone in the same place, but whenever we’re all in the same city we try to make it a point.

Word is you have a new series coming up… The Fosters premieres June 3 on ABC Family. It’s an hour drama that’s executive produced by Jennifer Lopez. It basically follows the misadventures of a same-sex couple and their foster children.

What kind of situations will this family face? The show covers real-life situations and it’s heavy on drama, but can be light at times.

Who do you play? I play Jesus Foster, who has a biological twin sister [portrayed by Cierra Ramirez of The Secret Life of the American Teenager] and they have been abandoned by their biological mother. He’s a protective older brother. He’s dealing with the ups and downs of home life and school.

It sounds like The Fosters will give you a chance to stretch as an actor and show fans another side of you… It’s definitely a stretch away from Wizards, but hopefully it’s a way to grow as an actor. Being able to work with an actress like Teri Polo is really cool and is making me better as an actor. I’m loving being in the business. Every day for me is a new lesson. I feel very blessed. I’ve been fortunate.

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