The Real Kevin Zegers

Popstar! Magazine
Nov 2001

Kevin Zegers turned 17 on September 19, but he's already logged countless hours in front of the camera -- first as a child model and as the star of many commercials in his native Canada, and later on the prime-time soap Titans and as the adorable lead in all the Air Bud movies. He started acting for the camera so long ago -- maybe that's why he registers as deeply as he does on-screen. In movies, Kevin's totally in the moment, never secretly wondering, "What do I look like? Are they buying this?"

Because he's so identified by his teen fans with his many popular roles, we picked his brain to find out more about Kevin Zegers the person. We called him up and got this self-described morning person out of bed (barely), then quizzed him on his life, his work and his romantic status.

He might have guested on So Weird, but we found out that Kevin is, well, so normal! He's also so talented. And now you'll know that much more about what he's really like.

What kind of kid were you?

I wouldn't say a brat, but I always got into stuff -- I was always touching things and breaking things on accident. I was one of those kids that accidentally pulled down all this stuff in the grocery store. I wasn't very calm. I was always wanting to do sports and stuff.

One day we were in the bank and there were these blinds that must've been 30, 40 feet high -- they ran all the way along the window. My mom was doing her banking and I pulled the whole set of blinds down right to the floor. She still mentions that every now and again whenever I touch stuff that I'm not supposed to.

Do you remember your first acting job?

I believe it was a commercial for Jeep or Cheerio's or something, a commercial in Toronto when I first turned six. I wasn't actually nervous because I don't know if I really knew what was going on at first. My mom was there and I always listen to my mom, so the director would tell her what I should do and she would tell me.

It wasn't too confusing at first with commercials -- it was always just "Stand there and smile." Once it got into lines and everything, I guess I've always felt that I could talk to directors for some reason, and even at a young age to understand them and to know what they were saying.

Was acting a big change from modeling?

Modeling is similar in some ways, but modeling is just kind of a one-day thing. With acting, you have to develop relationships and get a relationship with the director.

You seem very at home in front of the camera.

I always have been. Ever since I was young, I've never really been nervous around the camera. If someone wants to run lines in their trailer or whatever, I find that I do 10 times a better job when I'm in front of the camera. I kinda know what I want it to look like and when I see the camera I know that this is going to be seen so I make it look exactly the way that I want it to look. Sometimes when I watch the film, I almost know exactly what it's gonna look like.

What do you do with your down-time?

I golf a lot. I pretty much golf every day in the summer when I'm home. I go to the gym. I can't really sit still that long -- I don't know if I have a disease or something [laughs], but I can't just sit still and do nothing for too long of a time, so I'm usually either driving around or washing the car or something.

Do you get to keep clothes from your movie and TV shoots?

Yeah. I have so many that at times I don't know what to do with it all. But I, like do stuff to my clothes. Like I did to a pair of Armani jeans from Titans. You should put this in 'cause kids will like this (I don't know if their parents will like it, but): you cut the back pockets out -- you don't cut the seams, just inside the seams so the pockets come out -- grab a cheese grater and grate it so it frays. Then do the same with the button-fly front. You cut out the flap that covers the buttons and do the same thing with that and with the front pockets. It sounds dumb, but it looks really good.

What's your favorite stuff to wear?

Besides that, I like cashmere, so I have a couple of cashmere sweaters I love.

Readers will kill me if I don't ask -- are you dating anyone?

Not at the moment -- no.

What kinds of girls are you into?

You know what? I've never gone out with the same-looking girl. I'm not attracted to certain types. It's probably better that I give you what I don't like instead of what I do like because then it's a lot more wide open. I don't like people who are obnoxious. I don't like people that talk too terribly much. Over-talkers are a turn-off for me. I like anyone! I haven't met the person that I'm looking for so far, so it really could be anybody and I'm not gonna write off anybody.

Would you date a fan?

[Sounds intrigued] Sure.

Do fans write you often?

Yeah. My mom and my little sister actually read the fan mail and then they'll give it to me after. Some people put things in them, which is really nice. I really appreciate that.

Do you run into fans a lot?

Quite a bit after Titans. Usually they just ask if you are that person, and they'll just ask a couple questions, get an autograph. But once, I was walking with my friends at the mall and I walked out of the bathroom and a girl kinda jumped on my back. It honestly scared the living crap out of me. I thought some guy who didn't like me was gonna beat the crap out of me, but it was a girl. I wasn't upset, it just kinda scared me at first. Then after that she got her autograph and went on her way.

She never said why she did it...she could've just said, "Hello!" [Laughs]