Atticus Shaffer stars as the adorable and brilliant, Brick Heck on ABC’s family comedy, THE MIDDLE. I spoke with Atticus about his favorite memory from the show, his plans for the future, and tonight’s season finale.
You started on the middle at a pretty young age. What have you learned from the other actors on the show?
Atticus Shaffer: Not to be like them! (Laughs) No, the cool part about being a part of a TV family like this and having a show that’s not just based around one character but around many, that’s really cool. You get to see all of the different traits that the other actors do or play with and it kind of helps you to develop your own. So, to be able to be a part of a family like that for so long has been great, especially because I do other projects while I do this project. I’m learning from everything I do, and then I apply it to the next project, and the next project, and the next project, and so on and so forth.
Is there a favorite memory you have from the show?
You know, a lot of people do ask what’s my favorite episode or whatever and I cannot say just one because there have been so many. One memory though, this was really funny, the episode where we’re in a Red Lobster. You see a soldier come in and he’s reunited with his family and you see everyone start shouting USA inside of the restaurant. The girl who played our waitress in the show, she was getting all of the water that she put down after we cut. She was picking it up and the set-dressing guy was helping her. I don’t know what happened if she lost her balance or something like that but all of the water just spilled all over the table, the glasses were all over the table, the tray was flipped over, and she was so freaked out, you could see her turning beat red. Well, our set-dressing guy is one of the coolest guys out there and he just starts shouting “USA, USA, USA!” And he gets me involved, “USA, USA, USA” and then pretty soon the whole crew and cast are shouting USA. That was a really sweet moment I thought that was really cool.
You’re a fairly young actor, have you thought about your plans for the future? Would you like to continue acting or maybe go to college?
You know I have and it is a little all over the place. If I were to go to college, because this is the thing, being on a show like this in no way means that I’m rich or anything like that. I’m not, I’m still frugal, I’m very picky and choosy of what I spend my money on and for the most part I save it because I want to save it for good things for the future. When I do go to college I want it to be worth the money, I don’t want to just pay gobs and gobs of money for a piece of paper that tells me I can do what I already know how to do. I would rather get a degree in something unique and new and something that I’m going to continue with for the future but still different enough that it’s worth the money to learn about it. I definitely want to move behind the camera and I would love to do directing and writing, I also love voice over work, doing cartoons, and movies like that. So to be able to do that would be a huge blessing.
You said you would love to write. Have you ever pitched any ideas for Brick to the writers?
I actually have just this past year and next year to go into our sixth season. I have been pitching ideas to the writers of story lines I would like to see for Brick to go through. And something that can continue for the rest of the series and stuff that could just be the one or two episode type deal. But I would and I have pitched ideas. They are keeping Brick in his matter of factness but exploring his emotional side more.
You guys shot in Disney for this week’s episode. How was shooting in the park with all of the crowds and characters everywhere?
That was so much fun! I had such a blast being able to do that, one reason being that was one of the first times we were able to shoot in front of a live audience. They never shut down the park or anything like that and it was hilarious because there were a number of people that were so surprised that we were there. They would come thinking I’m going to see what’s going on in these roped areas and boom, there we are. That was really cool because I was able to interact with a bunch of fans, take pictures, shake hands, say hi, and sign stuff and I love that. I love that I am able to actually talk to them and kind of make it more of an attraction rather than “oh hey, they’re filming stay away.” No, let’s get involved with it this is cool, “do you guy have questions, do you want a picture.” That was really cool to be able to do.
So a part from the family taking a trip to Disney what else can you tell us about tonight’s episode?
It’s a two-episode one-hour season finale. The first episode is kind of their journey to Orlando to Disney World. Brick apparently for quite a while has been talking to this girl on an online video game. So he has developed a crush on this girl and he wants to meet her and she’s in North Carolina. So it’s the family going to North Carolina and then going down to Disney World.
What part of the finale are you most excited for the fans to see?
Every part about that finale is just so unique but still remaining true to the characters and how they would react. I can’t wait to hear their thoughts on everything, so that’s going to be really cool to hear their thoughts on Facebook and Twitter and all of that is going to just blow up with questions and stuff like that. So I’m very excited to see that!
You can watch a special 1 hour-long season finale of THE MIDDLE tonight on ABC at 8:00. For more information on THE MIDDLE you can visit abc.com.
Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli