Interview with Atticus Shaffer
Atticus Shaffer is best known for playing the youngest Heck child, Brick Heck, on ABC’s hit comedy, The Middle, opposite comedy greats, Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn. Atticus is a huge gamer and if he wasn’t acting, we think he’d make a fabulous journalist or politician. We also asked him who he’d have dinner with if he could have dinner with anyone and his answer was amazing. He added even more people than last time, but we seriously would love to join him and his guests at the dinner table. We love him for that answer alone, and for being the lovable, funny man that he is. Read on to find out more about this talented actor.
GLITTER: You started on The Middle when you were young. What have you learned growing up in the business?
ATTICUS: Yes, I was eight years old when I started and will be seventeen in a couple months, so I have learned quite a lot in over half my life growing up in the industry. One of the greatest lessons is the sense of responsibility of having a job, but one that depends on more than just you, or in this case me. It is a crew and production of hundreds of people counting on you; to be on time, do your work efficiently, be prepared and so on. That teaches a lot. Also, that patience is required as this business can sometimes have a lot of hurry-up-and-wait moments. But, of course, there are the millions of details it takes to create a show or film or animation project that you learn about. Quite frankly, this experience has been better than any book you could possibly read on the subject of film making, as I have seen a large portion of the work involved unfold before my eyes.
GLITTER: Have you ever considered being on the other side of the camera? Either as a writer or a director?
ATTICUS: Oh, I have and that is my future plan. At some point I want to go to college and enroll in film making so that I may study to be a film writer/director. J I’m very excited about that actually. I have loved to perform, and still would like to expand on my career in animation or as a character actor theatrically, as acting is playing a character in a story. But, being a director, you are more like the narrator of the story. I want to tell more stories.
GLITTER: What is the funniest memory you have from the show?
ATTICUS: There are so many moments, over the years, which I thought were funny. We have an amazing crew working here on The Middle, and they are some of the most awesome, witty and down-to-earth group of people I could ever work with. So, one memory does stand out for me and is my favorite of all memories. There was an episode where we were filming a Red Lobster restaurant scene where the Hecks were eating, and a girl who played their waitress was the one handing us glasses of water in the scene. Also involved in the story, was a soldier returning home from duty and the whole restaurant of people would shout, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” Well, in between takes, this same waitress, as she was picking up the tray of waters, accidentally lost her grip and all the glasses of water spilled on our table! She had such a look of shock and fear. But, our prop guy who was standing there, too, instead of getting upset or mad, just started yelling, “U.S.A! U.S.A!” I joined in and the rest of the crew followed and then the background and it was amazing! For me, it was probably the funniest and most patriotic moments we have had on set!
GLITTER: Last time we asked you who you’d love to have over for dinner, you said that you’d like to have Jesus Christ, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Robin Williams for comic relief. Would you add anyone else to the mix?
ATTICUS: I actually have thought of this list, from time to time, and asked myself the same question. To aid Mr. Williams in comic relief, I would invite one of my favorite comedians, John Pinette. Then, because I love words of encouragement and which have a poetic nature to them, I would also invite C.S. Lewis and Ralph Waldo Emerson. They are two of my favorite authors/poets of all time, and I have some of their quotes on my fridge at home. Their words give me great strength spiritually. Finally, I would invite the Gipper himself, Ronald Reagan.
GLITTER: If you weren’t acting, would you ever consider a role in politics or as a journalist?
ATTICUS: Wow, my answer with Ronald Reagan seems kind of coincidental. But, seriously, both professions are admirable, and require a special person, of a good heart, whose agenda is meant for the betterment of our society. I do a lot of research and I try to keep up with the current events of our nation and the world, most of which are obviously political. It can be very overwhelming at times though, and it is amazing the lengths journalists will go through to get the news to the world. Being a leader, referring to politics, is a major responsibility, and not one to be taken lightly ever. It’s not a child saying, “I want to grow up to be president.” It is being a leader, centered in responsibility and wisdom, who is connected to listening and responding to the people of our nation, as well as to the world. It’s the wisdom…it’s all about wisdom. Both are appealing to learn about, but I don’t see myself in these particular positions. However, all of us carry a sense of responsibility, and we can all seek wisdom. So, in a sense, we can all share information and help lead others to a better understanding and to a better life.
GLITTER: We also understand that you’re a huge gamer. What are some of your favorite games to play?
ATTICUS: Ah…a shift to a lighter topic…YES…I am a HUGE zombie nerd! Therefore, I love zombie video games such as Dying Light, The Last of Us, and the Dead Island series which are some of my favorites. I also love military history video games, so the Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Medal of Honor games are also favorites.
GLITTER: What about stop motion animated movies do you love the most?
ATTICUS: As a self taught animator, (and by NO means an expert…I want to improve.) I find it fun and intriguing to be able to actually feel the creation in my hands. It’s like a form of art to me. I have a vision in my head and I need to put all the pieces into place and move them incrementally to achieve the final result. There is this incredible sense of accomplishment because of all the time you invest in making your animation come alive.
GLITTER: What’s next on the horizon for you?
ATTICUS: I’m extremely excited to be involved in a new Disney animated series that is going to be released sometime in the Fall/Winter of this year. Cannot give much more than that until it is announced. Also, I am in a few episodes of a new TV Dreamworks series that will also be released sometime this year.
GLITTER: How can you fans follow you?
ATTICUS: Fans are welcome to follow me on my Facebook page, The Official Atticus Shaffer Fan Page. They can also follow me on Twitter @AtticusShaffer2, and my YouTube channel AtticusShafferVlog. Thank you!!!