| Kevin Zegers: Meet The Next Tom Cruise
Feb 2001 issue(on sale Dec 00)
photography and interview by Ann Bogart
Actors like Tom Cruise come along maybe once every 10 years. Like Madonna, Tom seems to be able to adapt with the times, change his looks and style and always remain on top of his game. That he's a great looking guy with loads of talent is not quite besides the point, but it certainly isn't everything. While there are loads of talented and handsome young actors out there - Freddie, Ryan, Matt, Ben, Leo, Josh, et al, none have approached the world wide superstar status of Tom Cruise. Someone's got to grab the matinee idol reigns for when Tom turns 40 and starts playing more husband and dad roles.
We think we've found him. Kevin Zegers, a 16-year-old Canadian actor, is charismatic, talented and, as we found, extremely likable. He's also, as you can see from these photos, rather easy on the eyes. He even looks a bit like a younger you-know-who. You probably recognize Kevin from his starring roles in Disney's Air Bud movie series or from his numerous guest appearances on shows like The X-Files, So Weird and Goosebumps. To date he's been in 13 movies and nine made for TV movies. He's currently starring on NBC's primetime drama, Titans. Our money's on him.
TC: Who is your starring character on Titans?
KZ: I play Ethan Benchley.
TC: What is your personality like?
KZ: Well, his Mom died, and his Dad beat him up, so he's not totally...uh...wholesome.
TC: He's kind of like a "tough-guy"?
KZ: Sort of, a little bit. When he moves in with his rich aunt, he kind of soaks it up, a little bit, because he's never been in that kind of environment. He's a little bit of a bad-ass. Just a little bit.
TC: That sort of describes his family situation. Does the character have any siblings?
TC: What about you. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
KZ: Two sisters.
TC: Since Titans features a lot of romantic story lines, does your character have a love interest yet?
KZ: No, not right now. But I heard they're casting for one soon.
TC: So, how did you get the part? Can you describe what the audition was like?
KZ: I actually didn't have to audition for this.
TC: Wow, that's cool. They just cast you. Had they seen you on something else?
KZ: Yeah. I did another pilot for Mr. Spelling, and I guess he just wanted me to do this one.
TC: Great. How long had you been acting up to that point?
KZ: Hmmm, since I was six, so almost 10 years.
TC: Have you done movies and television?
KZ: I've never had a regular role on a TV show, but I have done some guest spots. I've done mostly movies to this point.
TC: How do you like the pace of TV? It's much faster than making a movie. Do you like that, or is it nicer to have things go a little bit slower?
KZ: Well, I like that everything's always changing, different episodes and stuff. So, I like the fast pace of the TV show.
TC: That's good. So, are there older actors or actresses who have particularly inspired you?
KZ: Victoria Principal's really nice.
TC: Is she on your show?
KZ: Yeah. She's been really helpful in introducing me to everyone, kind of getting me to the same level as everyone. She's been the coolest person on the show. Lot's of people I've worked with have taught me things since I was little.
TC: Do you have any upcoming films or projects, other than Titans?
KZ: AirBud 3 comes out on video soon.
TC: Are you reading any scripts you're interested in right now?
KZ: Right now, I'm kind of focused on the show, so I don't have a lot of time.
TC: You have to go to school on the set, too, don't you?
TC: You're from Toronto, Canada, right? How are you adjusting to life in Los Angeles?
KZ: I like it here. I like the weather.
TC: Do you have any particular favorite TV shows, other than your own?
KZ: I mostly watch sports. I don't usually change the channel from ESPN.
TC: Any favorites? Hockey, since you're from Canada?
KZ: Hockey, baseball, basketball. Mostly those three. Football, too.
TC: Who are your favorite actor and actress?
KZ: Actor - Anthony Hopkins. Actress - Jodi Foster.
TC: What's your favorite kind of music, or bands? Do you have any favorite bands?
KZ: Um, it switches from day to day. I'm kind of into the whole rap thing right now, like Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and all that kind of stuff.
TC: All the kind of bad-ass ones. Oh, well! Well, you've got to be honest and say what you like...
KZ: That's what I like about them...they don't care what people really think. Not that that's what I feel, but, all the power to them if they want to talk that way or act that way.
TC: Well, that's fair. It's like, you don't have to agree with what they say, but you have to accept the fact that they...
KZ: Say, what's on their minds and how they really feel.
TC: That's freedom for you. What amendment is that?
KZ: I think it's the third...I'm not sure...I'm not even American.
TC: So, what are your favorite foods?
KZ: Actually, Subway is my favorite food. Subway, and I like Jamba Juice - their drinks. I also like Fetuccini, steak, basic stuff. Pizza pockets are great, too.
TC: Aren't those frozen?
KZ: Yeah, you get them in the frozen food section and you just put them in the microwave.
TC: Do you have any favorite books or authors?
KZ: I don't read much, but my favorite book would be Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voight. It's about a kid growing up, and his Mom dies. It's kind of a coming-of-age type of story.
TC: Sounds like your character on the show.
KZ: There you go.
TC: So, what's your birthday, and your sign?
KZ: September 19th. I just turned 16. I'm a Virgo.
TC: What are your hobbies and interests, apart from acting?
KZ: I golf a lot. I work out a lot. I like to go watch sports as much as I can. Since I can't do it when I'm working, I like to watch people do it as much as I can.
TC: Do you think you'll go to college?
KZ: Yes, definitely. I'm going to study to be either a teacher or a doctor.
TC: Those are both very worthy fields. What's your favorite vacation spot or, a place that you'd really like to go to?
KZ: I'd like to go to Hawaii. I've been there once, but just flying through. Australia's really nice. That's definitely my favorite place. I wish I could have gone for the Olympics. That would have been so nice! The Olympics are supposed to come to Toronto in 2008 though.
TC: Do you have any favorite holiday memories?
KZ: The Christmas I came back from Australia was the nicest, probably. I got home Christmas Eve day, and it was just kind of nice to be home. I'd been there for three months working on the movie Komodo. It hasn't come out yet.
TC: It's nice that you had that great memory about coming home to your family. It wasn't like, a great gift you got.
KZ: No, it's not a gift. Gifts don't matter.