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Walker Scobell's meteoric rise to fame is the stuff of dreams. In the space of two short years, he transformed from an actor with zero credits on IMDb to starring as the titular character in Disney+'s "Percy Jackson and the Olympians." In addition to this highly coveted gig, his first two films saw him share the screen with the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Garner, Michael Peña, and Zoe Saldaña. Talk about movies bursting with some serious star power!
Despite his initial successes being more than many actors achieve in a lifetime, the ambitious Scobell continues to look ahead and aim even higher. He has made no secret of the type of films he would like to add to his resume and he also has the backing of several Hollywood heavy hitters to vouch for his talents. Considering his rapid ascension in the entertainment industry, a wise man wouldn't bet against Scobell attaining all the lofty goals he has set out for himself before too long.
From his close relationship with Reynolds and filmmaker Shawn Levy to how "Percy Jackson" author Rick Riordan believes he's pitch-perfect for the part, let's find out more about who Scobell is and how he took the industry by storm in such a short time.
Walker Scobell is incredibly close to his mother
Walker Scobell comes from a military family, as his father, Pete, served as a Navy SEAL, and the Scobells moved around a lot in his youth depending on where Pete needed to be deployed at the time. In past interviews, Scobell has spoken positively about his relationship with his parents, especially his mother, Heather.
Speaking toJ-14 Magazine, Scobell revealed how his mother didn't always travel with him when he left for productions, but she would make sure to check up on him regularly to see how he was doing. He added how even if there was a major time zone difference between them, his mother would wait up until late to text him before he went to sleep.
"Every time I go on a trip without her, she texts me like every second, asking if I'm okay and that she misses me," he said. "She's the best."
He almost missed out on his big breakout role
While many actors toil in numerous films or television shows before finding their breakout roles, Walker Scobell achieved his success right out of the gate. In Shawn Levy's "The Adam Project," Scobell plays 12-year-old Adam Reed who encounters the future version of himself, played by Ryan Reynolds. Released on Netflix, the film debuted at No. 1 on the streaming service and became the platform's third-best debut in its first week of release. At the same time, many critics sang Scobell's praise, dubbing him a star in the making.
However, if it weren't for delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Scobell might have missed out on this part entirely, as revealed by casting director Carmen Cuba. Cuba explained how she auditioned 376 children to find the perfect person to play the young Adam, and Reynolds tested with five other actors. Much like other productions at the time, though, the pandemic halted progress on "The Adam Project" for a few months. Eventually, in August 2020, work picked up again and Cuba received a self-taped audition by Scobell. The casting director was duly impressed by what she saw, especially since Scobell had no professional acting experience at the time.
Not even three weeks later, she organized a chemistry test between Scobell and Reynolds, and the rest is history.
Ryan Reynolds gave Scobell a surprising tip
Watch any interview featuring Walker Scobell and Ryan Reynolds and one thing's certain: the pair loved the experience of working together on "The Adam Project." As the two leads of the film, they shared a bond playing different timeline versions of the same character; however, Reynolds recognized another real-life similarity as both he and Scobell ventured into the acting world at roughly the same young age.
As a result, Reynolds took him under his wing in a big brother type of role, imparting general guidance and acting advice for Scobell. In an interview with Netflix Tudum, Scobell revealed the nature of the help that Reynolds provided him. "He told me to keep my head screwed on tight," he said. "He taught me a bunch of things, like how to say things differently — he taught me how to scream."
Scobell added how he had difficulty screaming on command for "The Adam Project," so Reynolds gave him a handy tip to get into the zone: to imagine himself in a football field while trying to get his father's attention on the other side. From there on, Scobell belted out like a pro.
Scobell and Ryan Reynolds were allowed to improv on The Adam Project
When a director works with an actor like Ryan Reynolds, it's a good idea to give the actor the time and space to improvise on set. Anyone who has watched the "Deadpool" bloopers knows Reynolds loves to play around with his lines to find the funniest moments, so it's best to leave him to his own device and watch the magic unfold. Having worked with the actor on 2021's "Free Guy," director Shawn Levy gave Reynolds the freedom to improvise on "The Adam Project," too.
However, when Walker Scobell walked on set, he wowed his co-star and director with his dead-on impressions of Reynolds. As a result, the director knew he would also need to give Scobell the opportunity to adlib his lines and feed off his co-star. Levy sat back and watched as Scobell matched Reynolds line by line, never being left behind by the seasoned actor.
"I didn't need to worry about that," Levy told TheWrap, "so we could flow with improv and feed the kid lines, which we did 50 times a day, but he would always spit it out the way Ryan would because he was such an avid fan of Ryan's coming into the process."
His first-ever scene with Owen Wilson was a kid's dream
After starring with Ryan Reynolds in "The Adam Project," Walker Scobell followed by appearing alongside Owen Wilson in Paramount+'s "Secret Headquarters." The film sees Wilson portray Jack Kincaid, who is secretly the superhero known as the Guard. While his heroics keep the world safe, they also keep him away from his son, Charlie (Scobell), but this all changes when Charlie and his friends discover Jack's hidden lair and secrets.
From a young actor's perspective, "Secret Headquarters" is a dream job since it's jam-packed with an abundance of gadgetry and superheroes. For Scobell, his first scene with Wilson didn't feature them flying or flinging shields, but it was every bit as fun. "The first scene we did, we had to play this baseball game on the Nintendo Switch," Scobell told Moviefone. "It was really fun, and we had to eat a bunch of pizza for the scene. That was pretty good bonding for that, I think."
Being paid to eat pizza and play Nintendo Switch with Owen Wilson ... where does one sign up for these types of jobs nowadays?
Walker Scobell kept messaging Shawn Levy about Deadpool 3
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Even though he might have been a bit too young to watch the R-rated "Deadpool" movies upon release, that didn't stop Walker Scobell from doing so — multiple times, actually. He memorized the lines from the films, dazzling "The Adam Project" cast and crew with his ability to reenact Wade Wilson's vulgar but hilarious monologues. Undoubtedly, it left a lasting impression on both Ryan Reynolds and director Shawn Levy, who went on to film "Deadpool 3" after wrapping up "The Adam Project."
Levy revealed that Scobell stayed in touch with him after they worked together, dropping hints about being included in the Merc with the Mouth's next movie. "Walker is adorable because he not-so-subtly keeps sending me pictures of Deadpool," Levy told E! News. "He's very overtly giving me casting ideas. I'll just say Ryan and I both adore Walker and we feel like we met him at this magical time between childhood and adolescence."
He was a massive fan of Percy Jackson
As a fandom, there's nothing worse than hearing an actor lacks any knowledge of the property they're starring in or the character they're playing. The very least the performer can do is familiarize themself with the source material and show a little respect to the people who created it. Fortunately, for "Percy Jackson" fans, Walker Scobell has been a major fan of Rick Riordan's fantasy series and watched all the movies, which star Logan Lerman as Percy, even before he had the opportunity to audition for the part. "I started reading the books in third grade," Scobell told the New York Post. "I've read them seven times, including while we were filming."
This also put the actor in a unique position to identify if the television series did justice to the novels or not. For Scobell, he sees the show's version of the characters as being closer to the way Riordan originally envisioned them and how they would react in a natural way. The actor also views many similarities between his and Percy's personality, especially in how they use humor to deal with and overcome challenging situations in life.
Rick Riordan thinks Scobell is the perfect Percy Jackson
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"Percy Jackson" author Rick Riordan hasn't hidden his disdain for the film adaptations of his novels. Throughout the years, he criticized both the scripts and execution of the films, considering them to do injustice to his life's work. Riordan got another chance to see it done right, though, as he went on to board the Disney+ series as a co-showrunner and producer. This time, he had a seat at the head of the table to provide his input on how the story should be.
Of course, "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" would also require the right actor to portray Percy. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Riordan explained how challenging it is since the book is told in a first-person perspective. However, he said Walker Scobell nailed the part through his facial expressions, actions, and dialogue. "Walker has that sense of alchemy," Riordan stated. "Everybody says this about him when they watch him perform: this kid is a superstar. The screen loves him, and he is so good and so natural and so dedicated at everything."
Riordan also revealed that he gave Scobell an advance copy of "The Sun and the Star," which is written by Riordan and Mark Oshiro, since the actor loves the "Percy Jackson" universe and wanted to read it before it had been released.
He couldn't stop giggling while filming Percy Jackson
With the main cast of "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" being teenagers, it's expected they would have a lot of fun filming the series. Whether they were laughing together or at each other, the giggles didn't stop on set. And even though Walker Scobell has prior experience in films that utilize CGI and special effects, he couldn't help but lose himself in laughter when he took a look around and realized what he was doing in the moment.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Scobell explained how the minotaur fight, which takes place in the first episode titled "I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher," was the most difficult to film — but it was also the funniest.
"You can't really see me smiling because it was raining so much," he said. "But it was hard to get used to fighting a guy in a skin-tight suit and holding a minotaur's head." As challenging as the sequence might have been, Scobell couldn't stop laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the pre-CGI scene in front of him.
One Percy Jackson scene stood out to him
As a series, "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" more than excels in providing a number of unforgettable and thrilling action-packed scenes. From fighting a hulking minotaur to avoiding Medusa's sinister stare, Percy and his friends embark on quite the adventure that forces them to face terrifying adversaries. But who's the biggest winner here? The audience, who receives a stellar fantasy show that feels like a gift from the gods.
As much fun as it looked on screen, it was the same behind the camera. Walker Scobell explained to ComicBook.com how he was reminded of Logan Lerman's advice to enjoy the experience when he filmed a scene with Ares, who is played by pro wrestler Adam Copeland.
"At one point I get tossed in a puddle and I was soaking wet," Scobell said. "I got down on the ground and I rolled through it once to get wet. I stood up and I looked around and we were on a beach, on the volume stage, Adam 'Edge' Copeland was standing in front of me. I had Riptide in my hand and I was just thinking that this is what I was waiting for the whole production."
Walker Scobell wants to be an Avenger
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Walker Scobell's first movie, "The Adam Project," saw him star alongside Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, and Zoe Saldaña. For any comic book movie fan, that's him appearing next to Deadpool, Hulk, Elektra, and Gamora. Expectedly, like nearly everyone else on the planet, Scobell is well-versed in all things related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and considers himself more than a casual admirer of superhero films.
In fact, he declared to PopSugar that his biggest goal as an actor is to join Earth's Mightiest Heroes at some point, and he loved sharing the screen with those who have had the opportunity already. "My dream job is to act as an Avenger," he said. "Every time I turned around [on 'The Adam Project' set], there's another superhero behind me. It was like a dream come true ... They were so nice to me and treated me like I wasn't just a kid."
Considering how the MCU continues to expand and grow out its universe with every new film and television series, it isn't outside the realm of possibility to see Scobell become an Avenger someday. Marvel Studios started to carve out its Young Avengers team with the likes of Kamala Khan and Cassie Lang, so there's always the chance the powers-that-be could find a spot for another talented young actor.
He would say yes to The Legend of Zelda movie
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In 2023, news broke that a live-action film based on "The Legend of Zelda" would officially go ahead with "The Maze Runner" director Wes Ball helming the project. Expectedly, the online chatter buzzed around who would play the pivotal role of Link. After everyone got the memes out of their system by suggesting Tom Holland, a few other serious contenders were mentioned, including Walker Scobell. It's easy to see the link — pardon the pun — especially since Scobell plays a fantasy hero in "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" and also bears a striking resemblance to the elfish Hylian.
Now, while fan-favorite castings dominate social media platforms and often never result in anything materializing, Variety asked Scobell if he would be open to playing Link if approached. He said: "If they came to me, I'd definitely consider it, 100%."
Scobell revealed he is also familiar with the video games, but there's a bigger "Legend of Zelda" fan in his household. "I have played 'Breath of the Wild,'" he said. "I haven't played the new one, 'Tears of the Kingdom,' but my dad loves 'Legend of Zelda.' He played the games when he was younger."
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Analyzing the Concepts in the Article
This article discusses the rise to fame of actor Walker Scobell and his involvement in various movies, including "The Adam Project" and the upcoming "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series on Disney+. Let's explore some of the concepts mentioned in the article:
- Walker Scobell's rapid rise to fame: The article highlights how Scobell went from having zero credits on IMDb to starring in high-profile projects within a span of two years.
- Working with A-list actors: Scobell had the opportunity to share the screen with renowned actors such as Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Garner, Michael Peña, and Zoe Saldaña in his first two films.
- Relationship with Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy: Scobell developed a close bond and received guidance from Ryan Reynolds, who took him under his wing, and director Shawn Levy, who worked with him on "The Adam Project."
- Casting process for "The Adam Project": The casting director auditioned hundreds of children and eventually selected Scobell for the role of young Adam Reed, who encounters an older version of himself played by Ryan Reynolds.
- Improv and chemistry with Ryan Reynolds: Scobell and Reynolds had a strong on-screen chemistry, and Scobell impressed the director with his ability to improvise and match Reynolds' performance.
- Working with Owen Wilson: Scobell acted alongside Owen Wilson in "Secret Headquarters," where they bonded over fun scenes like playing a baseball game on the Nintendo Switch and eating pizza.
- Scobell's interest in "Deadpool" and potential involvement in "Deadpool 3": Scobell's fascination with the "Deadpool" movies and his ability to reenact scenes caught the attention of director Shawn Levy, hinting at a possible role in "Deadpool 3."
- Scobell's passion for the "Percy Jackson" series: Scobell was a fan of the "Percy Jackson" books and movies even before auditioning for the role of Percy, and he sees similarities between himself and the character.
- Rick Riordan's approval of Scobell as Percy Jackson: Rick Riordan, the author of the "Percy Jackson" series, praised Scobell's portrayal of Percy, stating that he captured the character's essence through his expressions, actions, and dialogue.
- Fun moments on the set of "Percy Jackson": Scobell shared his experiences of filming fun and challenging scenes, including fighting a minotaur and filming a scene with pro wrestler Adam Copeland.
- Scobell's aspirations to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Scobell expressed his desire to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe and become an Avenger, inspired by his experience working with superhero actors in "The Adam Project."
- Interest in a "Legend of Zelda" movie: Scobell expressed openness to the idea of playing the role of Link in a live-action adaptation of "The Legend of Zelda" video game series.
Please note that while I have provided a summary of the concepts mentioned in the article, I have access to the actual content of the article.