I’m mighty jealous of twenty four year old actor Zander Eckhouse: after we both graduated NYU’s film school in the class of 2009, he landed a job on a brilliant teen TV show Huge, created by my writer-crush Winnie Holzman, the creator of my all-time favorite show My So-Called Life.
However, after I managed to get over being green with envy, I asked Zander for an interview. Sadly Huge has been cancelled (like the amazing but short-lived My So-Called Life), but Zander’s career is only just taking off. He’s lined up to play Sasha Grey‘s boyfriend in the upcoming I’ll Melt With You, starring Entourage star Jeremy Piven.
How old were you when you first started acting? How did you get into it?
I started in high school… mainly out of necessity. I was making movies and I couldn’t find anybody else who wanted to waste their Friday nights dressing up in weird costumes and take orders from me. (It was way less kinky that it sounds.)
When did it become more than a hobby?
Hobby brings to mind rest and relaxation, which kind of rules acting out as ever being a hobby. Since I have no other marketable skills, let’s hope it will never become one.
When you get a part, what’s your process like, between getting the script and performing?
I put my head in a paper bag and pretend I’m invisible. Just kidding. I do get really nervous before I do anything. It’s a constant struggle to let go and trust that everything is all ready there. Acting is a very temporal artform. At the end of the day you want it to be less about trying desperately to hit every duck on the screen and more about riding the truth of each weird, freaky moment.
That was a reference to duck hunt, by the way. The Nintendo game, not the sport.
What’s a role you wish you could have played?
I just saw a movie called Top Hat again for the millionth time. Erik Rhodes plays a character who sings a song that’s been my go-to shower singing song for the past few weeks. Alberto, you’re a fine fellow. Alberto Bedini. I’m so glad you’re not skinny.
Actor or director you’d kill to work with?
You’re also a filmmaker- what inspires you?
What are you working on next?
Finishing my thesis! I had to put it on hold for the show but now NYU’s coming a-knockin’. They’re going to break my legs if I don’t finish it. Nothing like a hard deadline.
Read more of Zander’s interview on my blog, This is (not) Our Youth, and check out my review of the show Huge!