Samuel Caruana, 11, is a child actor who attended Lansing Elementary School.
1. Samuel when did you first begin acting and what inspired you to want to be an actor?
"I booked my first job at 2 years old. It was a video for babies but it wasn't until I fell in love with Star Wars that I decided I really wanted to be an actor for the rest of my life.
2. You have recently acted in the Biography Channel's series Killer Kids and on the ABC series, The Neighbors. You will also be featured in the Nickelodeon series Victorious. What sorts of characters do you play in these series?
In Killer Kids, I co-star as Samuel Salazar Jr. He's the younger brother of the Killer. Ronald Salazar. So I play the nice kid.
On The Neighbors, I guest star as Carl, who is on the soccer team coached by the alien mom, Jackie Joyner Kersey, (played by Toks Olagundoye) and the human father , Marty Weaver (played by Louie Venito)
In Victorious, I guest star as Hector a Mexican boy dressed as a mouse. That's all I can say about this episode, until it airs. :) but I can say the cast and crew of all these shows were and are amazing to work with. They are extremely professional and talented! This is the link to my IMDb page in case anyone wants to view some of my on set photos http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0419469/.
3. You were personally cast by Academy Award winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC and director Frederic Goodich, ASC as the lead in Kick Start Theft. Was there a lot of pressure to play the lead role and how do you prepare for this kind of acting challenge?
No pressure at all. That was a wonderful opportunity and one I will not ever forget. Mr. Goodich and Mr. Zsigmond are at the top of their class and the best at their craft, and although they were exacting, meaning they knew what they wanted from me each day. They were really wonderful about explaining each shot and each scene, and their direction was always on point & easy to follow. If you look at the stills, you can see how every scene looks like a work of art. A painting. It's a really beautiful film and I am so proud to have been a part of it. My preparation for this role was making sure I kept in mind, my character was just a kid. Could' ve been me. If I were homeless . So I kept that in mind. asking myself how I would feel, react and be; if I were homeless and in " Kierky's " shoes. Plus this film was inspired by Vittorio de Sica's neo-realist film Bicycle Thieves (1948) so I watched that film. For Kick Start Theft there was no script and the film is silent so strong improvisational skills really were necessary and that made the experience that much more incredible. The cast was great and I learned a lot and the freedom offered to me by Mr. Zsigmond and Mr. Goodich, during this film was a truly an honor.
Page 2 of 2 - 4. You attended Lansing Elementary School. How did going to school in Lansing help you to become the success that you are today?
My teacher at Lansing, who I am still in touch with by the way, was the best teacher I ever had! Mrs. Michelle Forge is her name. She really loves what she does and she's kinda like magic. The way she got an entire class learning and enjoying school, and our education. We were like a family more than a class. It was while, I was a student, in Mrs. Forge's 2nd grade class, that I directed my first video. I was 7 years old and our class created a filmmaking project. We did all the writing, recording, hair make-up...everything and we made a video. This project was really educational too, we learned not only about filmmaking but about working together as classmates and that, I think, was Mrs. Forge's main intention.
5. Do you plan to continue acting and if so what sorts of roles do you see yourself playing in 10 years?
Oh yes. I love acting so if God is willing, I will still be acting in 10 years. Well, some of my favorite actors are: Javier Bardem, Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington, Peter Dinklage and Sidney Poitier. I would love to have the opportunity to continue acting, forever ! I am currently studying Shakespeare and I hope someday, I shall have a resume half as brilliant as the talented actors, I just mentioned.
Bonus question: What is the hardest part of acting and what is the most rewarding part?
Hardest part is getting up early . Early morning call times are the hardest part. I love sleeping.
I think the most rewarding part would be the blessing of working with a diverse talented group of people and being an 11 year old kid spending my day surrounded by creative brilliance, that's a pretty awesome reward.