In the past five years, Nicholas Elia has been featured in 17 commercials, 7 movies and 3 TV shows, one of which was Supernatural where he had a guest starring role. Now Nicholas is walking the red carpet as part of the cast of the blockbuster movie Speed Racer — and did I mention he’s only ten years old?
Busier than most adults I know, Nicholas took time out from filming, school, and chores at home, to answer a few of my questions, starting with his appearance on Supernatural.
In the episode titled, “The Kids are Alright,” Nicholas played Ben, aka mini-Dean. It all begins when Dean (Jensen Ackles) looks up an old girlfriend while investigating a series of strange deaths in a charming suburban neighborhood. While he’s ready to face off with whatever monster is causing the trouble, he’s not quite so ready to discover his former lady love has a child with strikingly familiar mannerisms. Biological son or not, Dean gets quite attached to the boy which makes for an angst-filled ending when Ben is replaced by a creepy changeling child.
CYN: I thought you were great in Supernatural.
NICHOLAS: Thank you.
CYN: Did you have to work with Jensen to “look” like mini-Dean in the episode?
NICHOLAS: Not really, but I did have to wear kind of the same clothes. That is really all they did. I guess it was really good casting.
CYN: This was a pretty creepy episode. Do you get spooked easily? Do you like to watch scary movies?
NICHOLAS: Yes I do get spooked easily and I do like watching scary movies a tiny bit.
CYN: You had to play Normal Ben and Evil Ben. Which did you like better?
NICHOLAS: I liked being evil kid Ben because it is kind of fun being the bad guy. When I went up in flames, that was shot on a green screen.
Nicholas is a bit of a green screen expert these days, as are all of his cast-mates in the new live-action movie Speed Racer. Shot on an enormous green soundstage in Berlin, Speed Racer is like watching a cartoon come to life. All of the backgrounds are digital, so there’s nothing Speed and his pals can’t do. It’s bright, it’s colorful and it’s action packed. Nicholas plays Young Speed Racer who spends his days dreaming of becoming a race car driver when he should be paying attention in school.
NICHOLAS TALKS SPEED
CYN: What was it like to do all that green screen work in Speed Racer?
NICHOLAS: You have to have a lot of imagination because when you are on green screen you have no idea what the director is seeing.
CYN: The film was directed by The Wachowski Brothers. What were they like?
NICHOLAS: They were super fun to work with and kept me laughing the whole way through. They taught me so much about shooting a movie. You must have a sense of humor.
CYN: Speed Racer is going to be a huge movie. How do you feel about the whole red carpet, getting your picture taken, signing autographs thing?
NICHOLAS: I feel a little bit nervous because this is my first time doing any of this. With so many interviewers wanting my attention, it is kind of overwhelming.
Overwhelming? You wouldn’t know it to look at him. The weekend after we chatted, Nicholas attended the Los Angeles premiere of Speed Racer. He looked like a pro on that red-carpet, posing for pictures with the lovely Miss Ariel Winter (Young Trixie).
NICHOLAS GETS ABSURD
What are your favorite cartoons or comic books?
The Bone series is my favorite comic book and I love all cartoons.
What’s something you have now that you think you’ll keep forever?
My movie posters that I have been in and special pictures from different shoots.
What’s your favorite video game?
If you had $200 to spend on anything at all. What would you buy?
Anything that catches my eye, like a cell phone ( my parents say NO WAY)
Tell me something you’re proud of.
Going to Berlin and being the only Canadian to be cast in this movie [Speed Racer] was amazing for me.
What’s the best thing about being an actor?
Meeting all my role models, because one day you can count on me being a famous director
Catch Nicholas on the big screen in Speed Racer, which opens in theaters everywhere on May 8, 2008. If you want to catch him being “evil” on Supernatural, you can download the episode from Amazon.
If you want more behind the scenes scoop on Speed Racer, come back later this week for my interview with Snake Oiler, aka Christian Oliver.
Photo Credit: Headshot courtesy of Nicholas Elia, Supernatural photo courtesy of The CW, and Speed Racer courtesy of Warner Brothers.