Most known for his role in the tween hit television show 'Drake and Josh' on Nickelodeon, Drake Bell is no stranger to the screen. One of his earliest roles was starring opposite Tom Cruise in 'Jerry Maguire' and now Bell is a leading man and the star of a new film, 'Superhero Movie', which spoofs such movies as Spider-Man, Batman and X-Men. Comics2Film sat down with Bell to talk to him about his latest role, what it was like to play somewhat of a superhero, his musical inspiration, and what Tracy Morgan is really like to work with.
Comics2Film: Can you talk a little bit about your role as Rick Riker/ Dragonfly and how you got it?
Drake Bell: It's spoofing the Peter Parker character in Spider-Man. We spoof Batman, Superman, Fantastic Four, X-Men, pretty much everyone, but the main storyline is Spider-Man. The Director and the Producer have kids who were fans of Drake and Josh and it's in that vain of physical comedy. The movie is very slapsticky and it felt like a good fit.
C2F: What was it like on set?
Drake: We would be shooting twenty-hour days and it would be two in the morning and Tracy Morgan, well we wouldn't be able to shoot because Tracy Morgan is a walking stand up routine. He's on the money every time. The camera crews and everyone are on the floor. It's two in the morning and we're trying to get the shot and even the focus puller couldn't focus because Tracy was just on. Leslie Nielsen was great. He's so funny; he still has the fart machine. The Director will be talking to him seriously and Leslie will make a fart noise. He doesn't snicker or laugh; he just does it.
C2F: As you mentioned your character is based on Peter Parker from Spider-Man. Were you a fan of the movie or the Spider-Man comics?
Drake: More the comics than the movies. I have always loved superheroes. I love Batman. I've always been a fan. I loved the Savage Dragon growing up.
C2F: Any movies based on comics you are looking forward to?
Drake: Definitely Dark Knight of course. I can't wait to see that.
C2F: You've done an extensive amount of television obviously. Prior to Drake and Josh you were also on the Amanda Show. Now your doing more films do you have a preference of television over film or film over television?
Drake: I mean I love television, but they are completely separate worlds. Even if you are working on 24 that is shot like a film. You are there every week; you have your stuff down. Going into a movie every time you're going in blind and you're hoping that you get a group of people that works well enough together that you come out with something that you're not embarrassed of. That's what the goal is.
C2F: Well clearly you have been acting for a really long time; how did you get your start?
Drake: I started at about five years old. I was the rambunctious kid around the house, always entertaining and always singing and dancing and just trying to be funny. I loved old movies even at that age would prefer at eight years old to watch a black and white movie to something new. I just loved the idea of Hollywood and movie stars and being able to come here and do that. I got into it and didn't know what I was doing, but I got here.
C2F: Can you talk about any projects coming up? I know Superhero is coming out on March 28th, but what else are you working on?
Drake: There is a film called College I just finished that is much more in the vain of Porkeys and Animal House. It's 18 and older audience and I am working on my new record right now. I am in the midst of that right now.
C2F: How long have you been playing and doing music for?
Drake: I've been playing since I was about 12. I put an independent record out in 2005 and I am signed with Universal/ Motown and now I'm working on a new one. Just finished a tour last summer with Corbin Bleu and Aly& AJ, but it's not really that type of music. It's much more Beatles and Queen influenced, the Beach Boys and people like that. Rufus Wainwright, Ben Folds and people like that.
C2F: I love Rufus Wainwright I just saw him at the Wiltern!
Drake: I didn't see him recently, but I saw him at the Wiltern and he was amazing.
C2F: Are you planning on touring?
Drake: Yea definitely. I have some dates this summer just to go out and play and work on new material. I have about twenty dates this summer and then will be doing a full fledged tour next year when the record comes out once it's recently.
On a side note, I could have gone on and on about music with Drake for at least an hour to probably the chagrin of his Manager, but this being C2F and not Rolling Stone I realized I should get back to the appropriate line of questioning.
C2F: In terms of your television background are you looking to delve back into TV?
Drake: I love television. I would love to develop a television show and star in one. I have done television for so long ya know that's what I know mostly. I love movies. Movies are great, but it's always a bummer because when you leave you're done. When the wrap party happens it's like bye. I made all these new friends and now I have to go shoot in Singapore or New Orleans and I'm never going to see these people again. TV you get to see the same people every day and you have the wrap party and they you get to see those people again in three months. It's like high school. You get to build yourself a little home.
C2F: Speaking of high school, your fan base has grown as you have grown. How has that been for you to go through that transition? How has it been for you to grow with your fans?
Drake: I think it's great. It's not like I have to break out and do some adult thing now. I just keep doing what I'm doing. My fans and I we're all growing up together.
C2F: So the movie comes out on March 28?
Drake: Yes the 28th
C2F: Well I for one am very much looking forward to seeing it. It looks hilarious.
Check out the very talented, and very adorable Drake Bell in Superhero Movie when it opens in theaters across the country on March 28.