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Interview: Drake Bell (Bad Kids of Crestview Academy)

Drake Bell is a talented actor, musician, and just an all around awesome guy. Probably best known for his stint on the hit TV show Drake & Josh, Bell also has a pretty impressive acting resume that includes a ton of voice work on shows (such as Ultimate Spider-Man)  and a number of movies. He has also appeared in several movies of late and when he isn’t busy with his acting career you will find him making music and performing at concerts all over the country as he is also a very accomplished musician. I was lucky enough to speak to him recently about his early career, his appearance in the new horror film Bad Kids of Crestview Academy, and several other topics.

Todd Martin: So what was your first acting gig?

Drake Bell: It was for Whirlpool Appliances when I was five-years-old. It was a tough gig as all I had to do was sit on a tree stump and eat popsicles! I got some of it on my shirt and my mother in the commercial had to wash my shirt in one of the Whirlpool washers. It was a lot of fun.

I guess my big acting job that brought me into everyone’s living room though was playing Drake on Drake & Josh. I was on The Amanda Show before that and both were great experiences. I also got to play John Cusack’s son in High Fidelity back in 2000 and that was pretty cool too.

TM: What would you say was your favorite work of your own?

DB: That’s a tough one but I guess I’ll have to go with playing Drake on Drake & Josh. It was always so much fun working with Josh Peck and we have a great time together. I’ve always been a big fan of buddy comedies that involved such great couples such as Abbott and Costello, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. I think that Josh and I made a great team and I like to think that we are up there with all the great duos that made such great buddy comedy films!

TM: Tell us a little bit about your character in Bad Kids of Crestview Academy.

DB: I play Ben and he’s a different character than I usually play. I’m ordinarily the charming guy and I wouldn’t necessarily say that about Ben. I think that he spent a little too much time in his basement on his laptop and should have interacted more with actual people! He’s a bit of a sleazy guy but I enjoyed playing the part as it was a fun character. I got to work with Sammi Hanratty (who plays Siouxsie) who I’ve known for years and worked with on an episode of Drake & Josh several years ago. I loved doing my scenes with her for this movie and it was a lot of fun.

TM: Who are some of your influences?

DB: Bob Hope, Gene Wilder, Elvis, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, the list goes on and on. I have to say that I Charlie Chaplin would have to be at the top of the list because the man could do it all. I really admire people that sing, dance, act and do a number of other things while they are making movies or television shows. I really respect people such as George Clooney and Ben Affleck as well as anyone else that not only acts but also produces, writes, edits, directs, and does pretty much everything in the business. I think that the industry needs more people like this in it!

TM: What is your favorite movie of all time?

DB: That’s a tough one as well but I guess I have to go with The Graduate and The Godfather as I love them both equally.

TM: What is the scariest movie of all time?

DB: Hmm. I know a lot of people would say The Exorcist, The Birds, or similar films but as much as I like those films I am more into psychological horror. I really like horror films like The Sixth Sense and think that The Others (with Nicole Kidman) is one of the greatest movies in a long time. Love the twist and think that it is just a great film! I also love slasher flicks as well and even though they don’t really scare me I still enjoy them and think that they are a lot of fun.

TM: Is there anything you’d like to add or anyone you’d like to give a shout out too? Any upcoming project you’d like to discuss?

DB: Well I’m working on some new music and just wanted to mention #whereswalter. You can also check out the Drake Bell You Tube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/DrakeBellLive for some neat stuff as well as the Drake & Josh You Tube channel as well.

Just wanted to thank Mr. Bell for taking the time to speak to me!

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