Zackary Arthur may be young, but he’s already built up quite the resume. At just 9-years-old, Zack has starred in dozens of short films and commercials, including spots for Honda, Toys “R” Us, Kaiser, Rabbids Invasion, Burlington Coat Factory and voice-over spots for Build-A-Bear. He also appeared in Disney’s Best Friends Whenever and in the CBS pilot The Half of It and he now plays the Pals Club President in the new PALS series and is featured in the Emmy and Golden Globe winning Amazon television series Transparent.
As if that’s not enough, Zack is set to make his first major motion picture debut as ‘Sam Sullivan‘ in The 5th Wave on January 22nd. He plays Chloe Grace Moretz‘s younger brother who she is desperately trying to save as increasingly deadly alien attacks start to decimate Earth. The highly anticipated box office hit is based on the first book in a trilogy by New York Times best-selling author Rick Yancey.
CelebSecrets4U caught up with Zack to find out more about The 5th Wave and his role as Sam Sullivan. He talked about his favorite memory on set, how he relates to his character and what it was like working with Chloe. Plus, he mentions a little secret about an on-set crush — make sure to check out our Q&A with Zack below!
Catch The 5th Wave in theaters January 22, 2016.
CS4U: Could you tell us a bit about The 5th Wave and your character Sammy Sullivan?
Zackary Arthur: “The 5th Wave is a best selling book by an amazing writer named Rick Yancey. Then the cool producers at Sony Pictures made it into a movie. It is about an alien invasion in the present time so it is ‘right now’ and everything could ‘really actually happen.’ The aliens are inside of the people so everyone looks human. Then Cassie, (my sister- who is Chloe Grace Moretz) takes care of me because our parents die. I play Cassie’s brother, Sammy. She calls me “Sams.” I actually have two names in the movie because after Cassie and I get separated because I forgot Bear – I end up in Squad 53 because they take the kids and turn them into an army to destroy the rest of the humans on the Earth. In Squad 53, I meet ‘Zombie/Ben Parish’ who is played by Nick Robinson. He makes sure I stay safe and is the leader of the squad. He is like my big brother in the film and he takes care of me until Cassie finds me. Then they both save me. Sammy is a normal boy that loves his mom, dad, and his sister. He is fun and has a teddy bear named ‘Bear.’ Bear is very important to Sammy and is basically a very important role in the story. When Sammy becomes Nugget he gets a little bit more tough but actually he is still Sammy and even tells Zombie that his real name is Sam Sullivan. That’s important because the ‘Others’ (aliens) are trying to brainwash all of the kids and make them forget about their lives before the ‘waves.'”
CS4U: Are you anything like your character Sammy?
Zackary Arthur: “Yes! I am a lot like Sammy in real life. In fact, when my mom got the call for the audition she read the description for the role and went out to get the book right after she read it. She read the entire book and didn’t even sleep and the next day. She had me learn the lines and said just be myself because I am just like ‘Sammy.’ She took notes on who everyone was in the story and the next morning we started working on the audition. It was really fun and a lot of work but I can relate to the character because I have an older sister that looks like the character Cassie and I just kept pretending it was her during the audition.”
CS4U: You are also featured in Transparent. Are there any differences between shooting a movie verses a television show?
Zackary Arthur: “There are so many differences. One thing is that we filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. It was far and we filmed most of the scenes outside in nature. We were there for over four months and it was cool to get to know a new city and Atlanta was pretty, especially by a place called Stone Mountain. That was really pretty. Also, a movie you have more time to do it. We only film a few scenes a day in a movie and there are more people in the movie than in any other TV show I have worked on.”
CS4U: What was it like working with Chloe Moretz and Nick Robinson? Do you have any fun memories from shooting?
Zackary Arthur: “Chloe Grace Moretz is amazing and funny. She is very professional and so is Nick Robinson. He was a really cool guy. They treated me like their real little brother so it was really comfortable even on the first day. We would do fun handshakes, dance around and just have fun but we had a lot of work to do so I got to watch them and see how great they are as actors. I have a lot of fun memories during filming. It was fun to be in an action type of film and I got to really do some of the action. It was fun to do the obstacle course and hard too. It was a good work out. OH! Working with the Squad 53 was also super fun and they all would tickle me all of the time. Alex Roe (Evan) taught me cool soccer tricks one day when we weren’t busy and we played soccer and basketball. That was super fun and Jake Yancey was awesome too. (That is Rick Yancey’s son.) Everyone that worked on the film including the producers, directors, and crew were really nice and worked really hard. I learned so much from them and they all taught me about everything because I want to be a film maker when I grow up. I learned about sound, producing, lighting, working the different cameras, special effects, wardrobe/hair/make-up. and watched everyone do their jobs. I wanted to do all of the jobs with them.”
CS4U: What was your favorite scene to film in The 5th Wave?
Zackary Arthur: “Every scene was super great to film, but my favorite scene with Chloe was when she sings to me and then the other favorite scene was when she finds me and we run through the bombs. The earthquake and Tsunami were pretty awesome too!”
CS4U: Since our website is called CelebSecrets4U, do you have any secrets or hidden talents that you could share with our readers?
Zackary Arthur: “Well, I like to dance and sing on my Hoverboard and I really like to dance and sing anytime. I like to climb trees and can climb really high pretty fast. That’s why rock walls are fun. My brother Aiden is an actor too and we like to play with our bikes, ride razors, play baseball and soccer and play with our dogs. We also like writing our own movies together and filming on our iPads. He is one year older than me. One secret I have is that I have a little crush on someone I have worked with on two tv shows. Whoooo hoooo… Don’t tell anyone – it’s a secret. ha ha. That’s ok you can tell your readers but that’s all. Thanks for interviewing me and you all are awesome. I hope you can see The Fifth Wave as soon as it opens!”