Producer Devon Bostick talks ‘Seasick Sailor’

Devon Bostick, whose acting credits include the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” film franchise, recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about the new short film he is producing called “Seasick Sailor.”

In “Seasick Sailor,” which wrapped production last week, Keir Gilchrist plays a teenager who spends his days stocking shelves at the local drugstore – that is, when he is not killing people for a boss that he has never met. Over the course of the story, we see him try to balance the growing responsibilities of this unorthodox job while trying desperately to establish a real connection with someone else like an adjusted young adult.

Question: Audiences know you as an actor but your role in this project is as a producer. What was it about this project that appealed to that side of you?

Answer: My friend Torre [Catalano] wrote it and directed it. He handed me the script and I loved it. I have worked with a bunch of great actors over the years and I had always wanted to put them all together in something. This seemed perfect. So, yeah, I am producing it and I might make a cameo here and there but I was really just trying to get the greatest group together on something that is artistic, has a lot of integrity and is something that we wanted to do.

Q: The cast includes Keir Gilchrist, Martha MacIssac, Emily Osment, Brandon Jay McLaren, Martin Starr and Fran Kranz among many others. How did you get everyone together for this project? And was working around everyone’s schedules at all difficult?

A: The cast that we got for this is wild. And it all happened because everyone is sort of friends. But it is also thanks in part to the connections we have all built up from different people while working on different sets. Yeah, the schedules were tough, but we really want to work with certain people. We just really wanted to get together and work on something that was artistic and different.

Q: So what is your reaction to the producer job after having come out the other side?

A: This is the first time that I am fully producing a project of this size. I have associate produced before but that was not nearly the same amount of responsibility. It is a whirlwind. It is really euphoric to see all of these people come together to try and make these words come alive. Just the thought that everyone came together to do this and it is all coming together is heavenly – but also nerve-racking.

Q: Your talent seems so natural. It almost feels as though the film industry must be in your blood. After all, both of your parents are in the business. So when did the bug bite you, so to speak?

A: I actually joined a theater camp in first grade. I didn’t really have very many friends in this new area and one of my friends asked me to join. So I did that for 5 years and, as I grew older, I found out what my mom did for a living and I was like, “How do I do this for real?” I started working at age 10 and it has been crazy. But I am really blessed and thankful to have my parents in the industry to pass down their wisdom. And now I am doing it on my own.

Q: You know, you are only 21 years old. You have experienced quite a lot of success for someone so young. And now you can add “producer” to your resume. So what drives you? And what is next?

A: I do not really think about age. I am just sort of trying to get as much done before I get old and can’t. I have been writing since 11th grade and have a few features that have almost gotten off the ground. I really want one of my features to come to life. That was one of the reasons we started doing this short film. We got so close, had such a great cast and almost got funding but it fell through. So Torre wrote this in frustration from sort of a dark place about struggling to balance the work that you have to do with the work that you want to do. I would really like to try to work on more things like this – something that I truly believe in – with my friends.

Q: You were spectacular as Rodrick in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” film franchise. Will we be seeing him again? Please say that there will be a fourth film in the franchise…

A: I have to be honest with you. I do not think so – just because the kids really up over the span of those 3 years. There are a bunch of books and they are all so great but we had that three-picture thing going and once those finished the “wimpy kid” was growing hair under his armpits and his voice dropped to just about where mine is right now. It was very scary to see my movie brother grow up like that this fast. But it was such an amazing experience. I wish that we could have done more but I think that they all grew up very quickly.

Q: Speaking of voices, you have an amazing one as heard with your on-screen band Loded Diper. Do you spend any time singing for a real band of your own?

A: That’s really funny. No, I don’t. But I have always wanted to start a joke one. I always say, “Thank goodness ‘Wimpy Kid’ was a comedy because my singing in that was more humorous than professional.”

Q: Finally, in addition to the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” film franchise, you have also appeared in “Saw IV” and several television series – including “Flashpoint,” “The Listener” and “Rookie Blue.” Do you have a favorite genre to work in?

A: I have always been down to test what I can do and push the limits of my acting. I have always wanted to try new genres and stuff – but I love comedy. I grew up on comedy and I love having a good time and making people laugh. But it is also really nice to switch it around and make people think and feel some darker emotions. I just like doing all kinds of stuff in film and television and making magical stuff happen.

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and BreakRadioShow.com that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at joseph.airdo@gmail.com.

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