By Edwin L. Carpenter, Editor - The Dove
Kress, “Freddie Benson” of Nickelodeon’s TV series iCarly, is appearing
in the NBC Family Movie Night presentation Game of Your Life. Nathan
turns nineteen this month and he already has an impressive list of credits,
having acted regularly for several years. He appeared in Drake and Josh,
and was the voice of Easy and Tough Pup in Babe: Pig in the City. Nathan
spoke with The Dove Foundation in a recent interview about his background and
his role in Game of Your Life. His politeness is evident from the start.
Dove: Thanks for taking the
time to do the interview.
“Absolutely, my pleasure, anytime.”
Dove: Can you tell us how you
got started in show business?
actually got started when I was very young. I was about three years old when I
first got into it, basically as soon as I learned to talk! I was a very vocal,
outspoken child. I would memorize what I saw on TV so when I was watching my
Veggie Tales, and my Barney and my Mister Rogers and my
Sesame Street, I would memorize the dialog and songs and perform them for my
family. I would ask them to put it on camera and to give me a microphone—so it
became this big show. I guess my parents kind of realized that maybe that was
something that I was to do professionally and that would be something that I’d
be interested in. So I got started and I auditioned and I got some little jobs
here and there.”
during a dry spell he briefly lost interest and got out of the business and
didn’t think about it for a time, but “I continued to do my school productions”,
he said. In fourth and fifth grades his parts got bigger and it piqued his
interest again. His mother began to home school Nathan so he could get work
again and he was back in it at age eleven. “Three years later I started
iCarly” he said.
Dove: What appealed to you
about your role in Game of Your Life?
Nathan: “When I
was first presented the idea for the movie—first off, since it’s a video game
movie, that was a huge plus to me cause I’m absolutely a video-game-guy! For a
long time I had no idea what my character was going to be. They had presented us
with this idea but they said ‘We don’t have a script yet. So as soon as we get
one, we’ll tell you.’ So there was a long period where I knew it was something
that I wanted to do but I didn’t know what on earth I was going to be doing. So
when I was finally told the character that I was going to do I was extremely
excited, because Phillip is a very dry, literal character. It’s said in the
movie that he’s irony challenged so he doesn’t get sarcasm. He takes everything
completely seriously which is a character that I’ve never really been able to
play before so I was happy to be able to do something kind of different and go
outside the box of what I’ve been used to for so many years on iCarly.”
Nathan added he
enjoyed what he called “cast chemistry” and working with his fellow cast
members. “Having an amazing cast was icing on the cake” he said.
Can you tell us more about your character?
“Style-wise, he wears nothing but black, the whole movie. When they explained
that to me I was like, ‘Wait, does that mean he’s like a goth character?!’ That
was the only thing I could think of. They were like, ‘No, he just likes to wear
black’, so maybe Phillip thought that it was slimming and that was a good style
for him. Unfortunately, we were shooting in the Atlanta summer (this past
summer) so wearing black was not really conducive to being dry. It was
absolutely worth it. I’m glad we got to go to Atlanta because we had an awesome
Nathan said the
film is currently in sound editing and he just finished final dialog recordings
for backgrounds and off-camera lines. December 2 is the air date and it was
being pieced together as we spoke with Nathan. He added that he filmed the movie
in August and September so that the turn-around time is much faster than usual.
Dove: Why is Game of Your
Life a good family film to watch?
think it’s because it strikes that very critical balance between being wholesome
but also being entertaining. Not to out these at all (other projects), but
sometimes the focus is so much on the message that it’s kind of tedious to sit
through. I think this strikes a great balance between being entertaining and the
storyline is appealing to the kids but the message is appealing to both the kids
and the parents. I think it strikes an awesome compromise so that the families
can all sit down and watch it together. Aesthetically, it’s very involved in pop
culture but not so much that the parents would be completely lost so when the
conflict arises it’s all about Zach, the main character, making his choices and
how it affects other people. That’s something that the parents can get involved
in and talk with the kids after, about what they would do in that situation and
how important it is to make the right decision and how it affects other people.
So there are a lot of different aspects to the movie that are going to appeal to
a lot of different demographics.”
Dove: What are your future
finished the previous season of iCarly in August and then we did this
movie and then in-between I have been auditioning for other projects. Nothing’s
set in stone yet. As far as we know, we are going back for another season of
iCarly in January. Now we have no idea how long that season’s going to be or
how many episodes we’re going to do but we know we’re coming back at some point.
We don’t know how many seasons we’re going to do. I guess it all kind of depends
on how often and how long the kids watch it. It’s up to the fans, I guess, but
that’s the only thing for sure right now.”
Make sure and
catch Game of Your Life airing December 2nd on NBC.
Read Dove's Review of "Game
of Your Life"