Meet Buddy Handleson

TFK chats with the young star of Nick@Nite’s new comedy Wendell & Vinnie

Feb 16, 2013 | By Kelli Plasket
COURTESY NICKELODEON

 

The cast of Wendell & Vinnie: Nicole Sullivan, Jerry Trainor, Buddy Handleson and Haley Strode.

Actor Buddy Handleson, 13, has had guest roles on many shows, including Shake It Up! and Hannah Montana. Now, he’s taking the lead in Nick@Nite’s new comedy series Wendell & Vinnie. Buddy plays Wendell, a smart and quirky kid who lives with his Uncle Vinnie, a bachelor who loves comic books and video games. Vinnie is played by Jerry Trainor, a comedian best known for his role as Carly’s funny older brother Spencer on Nickelodeon’s iCarly. The show premieres Saturday, February 16 at 8:00p.m. Eastern Time on Nick@Nite. Recently, TFK spoke with Buddy about the show, working with Trainor and his experience filming an “egg scene.”

TFK:

What is your character Wendell like?

BUDDY:

Wendell is very smart, quirky and comfortable with himself. He’s not like other kids, but he doesn’t really care because he enjoys being out there and smart and being himself.

TFK:

How does he relate toVinnie?

BUDDY:

His relationship with Vinnie is kind of just building up right now. They are pretty close in the beginning, but they have to learn from each other. They’re complete polar opposites. Wendell is an adult in a kid’s body, and Vinnie is a kid in an adult’s body, so they are figuring out how to cooperate with each other and live with each other.

TFK:

What kind of adventures or situations do Wendell and Vinnie get into in the show?

BUDDY:

In one of the episodes, I get detention because Vinnie wants to meet the vice principal. He forces me to get in trouble. I get detention, but that wasn’t part of the plan. The plan was just that I get in trouble, and he sees the vice principal again. There is another one where I am trying to build a garden and he helps me but at first he is a little hesitant.

TFK:

A photo on Twitter shows you after an “egg in the face” scene. Can you talk a little about that?

BUDDY:

Oh, gosh, that scene. Yeah, that scene was fun to film—the first time. After that… It was a magic episode, so [in the scene] I am trying to crush an egg in my hand, but the trick doesn’t work because the egg is still there in my hand, so I crush the egg. A guy behind the camera—one of our prop guys—was going to splash me with egg yolk in a cup. I did not expect it to be slimy or cold. It was so—oh gosh, I shudder. I was flinching before they even tossed the egg, so it didn’t look real. So they said they were going to do a countdown [from “3” to “1,” but on “3”] they tossed the egg, and I was not expecting that at all.

TFK:

Do you think you are more like Wendell, or more like Vinnie?

BUDDY:

I am a mix in between, I think, because Vinnie likes video games and to watch TV [like me], but then he’s really [into] sports and stuff. I’m not really into sports that much; I’m not really athletic. Wendell is smart and he likes to learn, and I like to learn too, so I’m kind of in the middle.

TFK:

What is Jerry Trainor like?

BUDDY:

He is as funny as he seems on TV. He’s very loud, which is a plus because that teaches me to be louder also. He’s very funny on set.

TFK:

What’s the best comedy or acting tip you’ve picked up so far from working on the show?

BUDDY:

I think just being on the show, I can’t even tell that I’m learning. I can’t tell if I’m getting louder when I’m saying my lines, if I’m getting better comedic timing. It just kind of happens, but I do think probably being louder would be the biggest thing because on many other shows that I did, people always said, “We can’t hear you out here. You need to be louder!” So the show has really helped me on that, too.

TFK:

Have there been any funny pranks on set so far? I read that you like to do something called the Taser?

BUDDY:

The Taser is not really a prank, it’s more like a scare. You walk up behind someone and  poke two fingers in their ribs. In one interview, Jerry described it as very violent. It’s not that violent! But you just poke them in the sides, and it makes them jump.

TFK:

How do you balance school with life on set?

BUDDY:

School on set can be difficult at times, but I do manage mainly because of the help of everyone else. [The showrunners] try to plan everything out so that the other actors can get their scenes done [while] I get all my school work done, and then we can go into my scenes.

TFK:

You mentioned you like to learn just like Wendell, so what’s your favorite subject?

BUDDY:

My favorite subject right now is history. We are learning about abolishing slavery and about women’s rights. Usually, my favorite is science.

TFK:

Can you share five fun facts about yourself with our readers?

BUDDY:

Sure. My favorite soda is Dr. Pepper. I have an Instagram and Twitter [account] if you want to follow me there: Budster925. I like to play video games, but probably not as much as Vinnie does. I like to go to school—not as much as Wendell does. And I like baseball. [My favorite team is] the San Francisco Giants.