FEATURE | Drake Bell
I’d played a little bit of drums before. I was really into music and I was already a huge fan of The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Who, all of that stuff. When I got to work with him it was just so amazing. I had to learn to play guitar for the movie and he played the guitar keeper in the movie. And it was just so awesome. When we were hanging out on set, he was just such a cool dude, he’d be like, “Hey mate, come here, come here! Let me show you something!” This was the fi rst time I’d ever learned to play guitar, [and I was] sitting there with Roger Daltrey for two months, getting my fi rst chops.
That sounds like something you’d see in a movie.
Yeah, completely! It was just so cool, the stories he had to tell and everything. It was just so great.
An enormous portion of your fanbase live in Mexico. What is the reception to you like when you tour or make an appearance there?
It’s incredible, it’s out of control. The fans are just amazing. They’re BIG fans out there. The music, like The Beatles, pop music, melodic power pop – they’re just huge fans of it. So, when we go down there it’s out of control. [We play] huge, 20,000 seat arenas. It’s amazing. [Those are] some of the most fun to go down and do.
Is there any kind of a language barrier when you go down there? Or do they understand you pretty well?
Well, yeah, there is [a language barrier]. I sometimes speak a little Spanish onstage. Once I’m in the country, I kind of pick it back up, you know, I’ve been there enough. But yeah, there defi nitely is a little bit of a language barrier. But we travel all over; Brazil, Switzerland, Germany, so wherever we are there’s always that, but that’s what’s fun about traveling.
Moving on to your fi lm and TV work, you co-starred with Josh Peck, Miranda Cosgrove and Yvette Nicole Brown in the enormously successful Nickelodeon show “Drake & Josh” which lasted from 2004-2007. Do you still get to see or talk to them often?
Yeah, I actually talk to them all the time. I talked to Josh yesterday and Miranda not too long ago. It’s like a family. We stay in touch, it’s really cool.
You guys were such a great ensemble cast, it’s cool to know that you guys are friends outside of it.
Yeah, they’re awesome. And I talk to Dan [Schneider] all the time, we’re really good friends. I mean, everybody, like Jerry Trainor, who played Crazy Steve on “Drake & Josh.” The studio is just down the street from my house, I just drive down the street and I’m at the “iCarly” or “Victorious” set, hanging out with everybody. The whole Nickelodeon family is really small and everybody is friends with everybody. We all just kind of keep in contact. Everyone is really cool.
You’ve appeared in several fi lms for Nickelodeon (“Drake & Josh,” “Grow Up, Timmy Turner!”) as well
Is there a particular director or actor that you’d love to work with someday?
I’d love to work with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Johnny Depp, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, there’s tons of people I’d love to work with. Directors, I’d love to work with Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Charlie Kaufman. I mean, Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt [as well], I’d love to work with tons of people!
Speaking of people that you have worked with, you got to work with comedy legend Leslie Nielsen on “Superhero Movie.” What was it like to work with him, especially in a movie that was very much in the same vein as “Airplane!” and the “Naked Gun” series?
Working with Leslie was awesome. He was one of the people I grew up wanting to work with. I loved “The Naked Gun” and “Airplane!” growing up, so getting to work with Leslie on something like that, it couldn’t have been cooler. And Leslie was just a laugh a minute. You know, he wasn’t even there to work, he was just there to play. He was a really cool dude.
Speaking of superheroes, I hear that you’ll be voic- ing Peter Parker on the upcoming show “Ultimate Spider-Man.” Have you started work on it yet?
Yeah, we actually fi nished the fi rst season, and it’s incredible. It’s really, really cool. The animation is some of the coolest animation I’ve seen, the scripts are funny, the writing is great and the cast is incredible. They’ve got a dynamite cast. For example, J.K. Simmons who plays J. Jonah Jameson in the movies with Tobey Maguire is going to voice the character on the show. The actor who plays Agent Coulson in all the Marvel fi lms is actually playing Agent Coulson in the cartoon, Chi McBride is playing Nick Fury. It’s just a really incredible cast and it’s going to be really, really, REALLY cool.
When is that due to air? Next year, 2012.
Getting back to your infl uences, “End It Good” off of “It’s Only Time” references classic Hollywood fi gures like Howard Hughes, BeBe Daniels, Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis and Burns and Allen. It’s one of my favorite songs of yours because of the combina- tion of silent fi lm references and the very ‘20s and ‘30s reminiscent music. Do you consider yourself a
TWITTER Be sure to follow Drake on Twitter (@DrakeBell) and
FACEBOOK ‘Like’ him on Facebook (facebook.com/bell.drake
as several major releases (“Yours, Mine & Ours,” “College,” “Superhero Movie”). You clearly love working in both fi lm and the music industry. Do you consider yourself primarily a musician or an actor?
I just like to entertain people. I like playing music and I like acting and I like being funny. I like being in a sitcom. I love playing in a 20,000-seat arena. I love being in a recording studio. I love being on location for a movie...I just love entertainment. I grew up on the Frank Sinatras and the Dean Martins, guys who, when you can entertain, you can do it all. So, I just always saw myself as wanting to be an entertainer.
fi lm buff, or do you fi nd yourself drawn to silent and early fi lm?
Oh absolutely, if you came over to my house, all the posters on the walls are all silent movies. I love Chaplin and Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton and BeBe Daniels and Mildred Davis, all of those are actually in the song, that’s funny. I love classic fi lms. That’s what I grew up on, that’s my heart.
That’s so cool, I mean, I’m a fi lm buff myself, espe- cially silent and early fi lm, so that was always one of my favorite songs from your albums, just for all those little references.
Oh, awesome. Thank you! And clearly you got the references, that’s great.
What is next for you? Any big projects coming up?
Right now I’m just kind of laying low, working on a bunch of new music and hopefully doing some more stuff with Nick. I just did a fi lm for them in Canada and I did the “Fairly Odd Movie” that came out not too long ago, so I’ve just been keeping pretty busy. I just got off the press tour for that movie and the EP, so now I’m just chilling out until the next thing comes along. But I think I’m hopefully doing something pretty cool with Nick here pretty soon.
Awesome, well we’ll defi nitely keep an eye out for that!
Very cool. cn
Check out our review of “A Reminder” by using this QR code, or by visiting collegenews. com/article/a_reminder_ drake_bell
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