Freddie takes pilot's seat in WC.
CITY -- Freddie Prinze Jr. was not the high school prom king.
Despite all appearances to the contrary, it's only the role that
he plays in "She's All That." The 23-year-old actor
and son of the late "Chico and the Man" star Freddie
Prinze has only recently become teenage royalty, due to his roles
in films such as "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and
"The House of Yes."
was a dork in high school. I barely even got to go to the prom,"
said the dark-haired idol. "Everybody thought I was this
weird guy because I had this strange imagination that nobody quite
understood. I would pretend that I was a superhero, so they didn't
really talk to me that much. I didn't have too many dance opportunities."
the casual observer, it's not surprising to hear that Prinze was
into comic books or video games. Hunched up in his chair and talking
non-stop about all sorts of topics, Prinze's energy and youthful
exuberance are impossible to miss. One rightfully assumes that
Prinze still imagines himself as some sort of superhero.
then, I was considered weird and a freak," said the actor.
"Now, I'm considered artistic, and I do the exact same thing
that I was doing back then."
difference lies in Prinze's dedication to his craft. Coming off
an unsuccessful high school experience in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
Prinze decided that he would give acting a try and moved to L.A.
He took lessons from two coaches, and several auditions later,
earned a breakthrough role playing Parker Posey's equally dysfunctional
sibling in "The House of Yes."
followed "The House of Yes" with a role as Jennifer
Love Hewitt's boyfriend in the ultra-successful horror hit "I
Know What You Did Last Summer," as well as last fall's sequel.
Besides Hewitt, Prinze has appeared opposite Claire Danes in "To
Gillian on Her 37th Birthday," and will star again with "She's
All That" co-star Matthew Lillard in the upcoming "Wing
Commander." All of these achievements he takes in stride,
with a healthy sense of gratitude.
is what I did when I was a little kid. I just didn't know it was
called acting," said Prinze. "Since I don't get to say
thanks to everybody, I want to be a part of movies like this,
because they're something that I believe in and they really speak
to my generation. It's my way of saying 'thank you, this is a
movie for you. This is something that I was able to be a part
of because of you."
the gracious actor, Prinze also compliments his cast and crew
and doesn't shy away from praising their accomplishments. Although
most actors hype their product because they're supposed to do
it, Prinze seems to genuinely mean what he thinks and says about
"She's All That."
never had more fun on a movie. I'm not trying to sound egotistical,
but out of the few films that I've made, this is the best one.
I've never been more proud of a film," said the actor. "It
wasn't about walking on eggshells. It was about making a movie
that everybody believed in."
movie, like the adolescent films of John Hughes, said Prinze,
simply "works." The actor, who shares his character's
tremendous likability, relates the film's success in simple terms.
o.k. to not know what you want to do with your life. Everybody
has felt like that," said the actor. "And everybody
has looked in the mirror and maybe not liked the way they look.
I know I have. That's why you're willing to believe these characters
and the journey they go on."
the movie's appeal, it's easy to understand why a writer who had
interviewed Prinze and his father labeled them both as "sweet."
The young actor is not only open to talking about himself, but
he's willing to field questions about his dad, and he talks positively
about his legacy.
lot of people think that because of the nature of his death that
I'm going to be really sensitive about it," said Prinze.
"But I'm proud of my dad. I'm not going to dwell on the bad
stuff. My father made a lot of people laugh, and made a lot of
people love him through laughter. That's the hardest thing to
do in the world, and I'm so proud of him. I have no feelings of
shame or guilt. When people do talk to me about him, I listen."
© 1999 Hoosier Times Magazine. All rights reserved.