An interview with Cedarwood Elementary's Karan Brar, who has a key role in the movie version of Jeff Kinney's best-selling novel for young readers, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid."
The first thing I notice about 11-year-old local actor Karan Brar’s voice is that it doesn’t have the lilting, Indian accent of Chirag Gupta, his character in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” Chirag sounds more like Karan’s gracious dad, a native of India, while Karan — born in Redmond and raised in Bothell — has the same pre-adolescent mellifluousness of a million other boys in this region.
Karan, a student at Cedarwood Elementary, seems slightly overwhelmed by rising media attention over his supporting role in the big-screen adaptation of author Jeff Kinney’s novel for young readers. But he’s pleased to know he makes an impression in just a few scenes, playing a kid who has a very funny and direct way of bottom-lining everything for classmates.
Q: How did you get the role of Chirag?
A: I was one of 9,000 kids who auditioned, and then there was a three-month gap when I didn’t hear anything. Then I heard I was one of nine, then four, kids left, and I had to meet face-to-face with Thor (Freudenthal, the film’s director) and the producers. I was quite nervous, and not sure if I’d done anything right.
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Q: How was making the movie?
A: I had never been on that kind of huge set. It was shocking, but I got used to it. Thor was a great director. He’s fine with mistakes, he doesn’t get mad, he would show us what to do and review our lines and placing. I had so much fun with the rest of the kids, it was 30 days with friends. Robert (Capron, excellent as the hero’s sidekick) and I would go to the pool, do cool stuff.
Q: You’re going to middle school next year, like your character does in the film. How do you think kids at school will look at you after they see you in “Wimpy Kid?”
A: That’s really hard to answer. I won’t be a different person.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I auditioned for (Tim Burton’s) “Frankenweenie,” and in the summer, I’ll relax at home. Unless I go do another movie.
Tom Keogh: firstname.lastname@example.org