Interview with Josh Peck

On breaking out of his kid-friendly typecast in The Wackness.

Since 2004, Josh Peck has been coming into American homes on television as one half of the title characters in the Nickelodeon show, Drake & JoshThat's dope, son.. But as any 19-year-old actor who has made his living on kids' programming will tell you, there comes a time when you have to break that family-friendly mode. And break it Peck does in this weekend's The Wackness, an indie dramedy by writer/director Jonathan Levine (All the Boys Love Mandy Lane) in which he plays a troubled teenager who pays for his therapist in pot.

"Coming off something like Drake & Josh -- which I was very proud of, but was for a very select audience -- I mean, you’re in people’s homes everyday on TV and they rerun it all the time. It’s easy for people to only get used to seeing you in only one respect," Peck explains. "I just didn’t want to be typecast. I wanted to have the freedom to do the things I wanted to do. And, to continue to do things that make kids happy and then when I had a chance to do something I felt passionate about, to do that as well."

Winner of the Audience Award for Dramatic Film at this year's Sundance Film Festival, The Wackness is firmly ensconced in 1994 New York -- that is to say, the height of Rudy Giuliani's bittersweet tenure as mayor of New York City. "I remember Giuliani coming in and just cleaning up the city," Peck says. "I remember one day that Times Square was a place my mom wouldn’t take me and the next I was buying Pokemon cards in the height of it."... Read More


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