The acting world’s treating Spencer Boldman pretty good these days.
Not only does he star in the new Disney Channel original movie "Zapped," but his Disney XD series "Lab Rats" has been ordered for a fourth season. That’s not bad for a guy who had to be tricked into auditioning for his first acting role.
"I had a ton of energy when I was in school, but I was shy. Mrs. Fenton tricked me into auditioning for a play.
I don’t know if she was just desperate to have a dude in the play or she saw something in me. But she was such an advocate for me and I am really thankful for that because I’m not shy anymore," Boldman says.
Since being lured into acting when he was 12 — with the lead role in William Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" — the 21-year-old Texas actor has rolled up numerous acting credits, including the series "iCarly" and "I’m in the Band," plus the feature film "21 Jump Street."
In Boldman’s latest work, "Zapped," fellow Disney star Zendaya ("Shake It Up") plays a girl whose well-ordered life is shaken when her mother remarries and she finds herself part of a family composed of messy boys. Salvation comes from a smartphone app that magically controls boys. Boldman plays Jackson, the confident guy at school who stands apart from everyone else.
The made-for-cable film also stars Chanelle Peloso, Emilia McCarthy and Adam DiMarco.
Premieres 8 p.m. Friday on the Disney Channel
Boldman was able to bring his own high school experiences — ranging from theater to playing lacrosse — to the film. That’s why he feels the "Zapped" role is far closer to who he really is than the role he plays on "Lab Rats."
"What is so great about being under the Disney umbrella is that when you do other projects, they make sure the character is completely different from what you have been doing," Boldman says. "I look for something different in each role I play. In ‘Zapped,’ I’m playing an intellect with strong beliefs who does things against the norm. That is a role that’s fun to do."
Boldman’s role on "Lab Rats" is the ultra-strong and fun-loving Adam, the eldest of the three bionic teenagers who are trying to adjust to normal lives. The series also stars Billy Unger, Kelli Berglund, Tyrel Jackson Williams and Hal Sparks.
It’s been exhausting playing the character for three seasons because the series blends comedy, action and special effects, but Boldman sees the show as a wonderful foundation to learn about acting and the business side of the job.
One of the easiest parts of making "Zapped" was working with Zendaya. The pair already knew each other because they both have starred on Disney TV shows.
"It was cool to get to do this project with her because we both think it’s a throwback to the kind of movies Disney used to make with a strong story and some very funny parts," Boldman says.
If Boldman could have a magic app on his phone, it would be one that he could use to create any food he wants with a few taps or to be able to teleport. The quick transportation would have been a help when he was working on "Lab Rats" and "Zapped."
Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee