At age ten Jacob Hopkins has already an impressive list of television credits to his name. He played Alexander Drew in HBO’s True Blood, is a new cast member on ABC’s The Goldbergs (airing on Tuesdays 9/8c), voices Gumball Watterson on Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball, and is in a new Lifetime movie called Missing at 17. The young actor recently answered Celebrity Baby Scoop’s questions on his current projects and latest interests.
CTS: You’ve had quite an acting career for your age! When did you know you wanted to be an actor? How did you get your start?
JH: It’s something I fell into when I was five years old. I was running errands with my Dad one day and he used to be an actor. One of the errands was stopping by his agents office, and one of the agents asked my Dad “Who is this and does he want to act?” I thought it sounded fun, so I told the agent I did. She set up an appointment for me to meet with them and it went well, so I got an agent and started acting. I’ve been having fun ever since!
CTS: You have a new movie premiering on Lifetime called Missing at 17. What character do you play in the movie? Do you have a favorite scene in this movie you’d like to share with our readers?
JH: Yes, it airs October 19th at 8pm. I play Andrew White and I am the younger brother of Candace White played by Ayla Kell. Candace finds out she is adopted and runs away, then goes missing. It becomes a mad hunt to try to find her and gets a little scary when she ends up with some people that aren’t so nice. My character is a computer whiz and I get to help my mom in finding her. Actually, my favorite scene is something I can’t say yet, because the movie hasn’t come out! It involves being with my movie family in a happy place in the movie!
CTS: You played Vampire Authority member Alexander Drew on the fifth season of HBO’s True Blood. What was it like playing a vampire?
JH: Playing a vampire was awesome! I got to have fangs made especially to fit me – which was such a cool process! I wore white make-up, red coloring around my eyes, nails, and on my mouth. Then of course, being a part of the Vampire Authority, I got to wear really nice suits! Alexander had two sides to him and a hidden agenda. He was meant to be super old, but obviously looked really young, so I was very feisty! I had an amazing time on True Blood!
CTS: So you’re the new kid on the block on the new ABC comedy The Goldberg’s. Tell us a little about the show and your role. Are you enjoying doing a sitcom?
JH: Oh my gosh, being on The Goldbergs has been so wonderful! Everyone is so great! I play 12 year old Chad Kremp. He’s preppy and cool on the outside and a geek on the inside. He becomes instant best friends with Adam Goldberg, played by Sean Giambrone. My mother wants to end our friendship because she doesn’t want the Goldberg’s behavior rubbing off on me, but seriously, who wouldn’t want to hang out with the Goldbergs? They are each loveable in their own way. I really am enjoying doing a sitcom…I love comedy and everyone on this show is so hilarious! I feel very lucky to be a part of it. I love watching the show too. My entire family are fans!
CTS: Just recently you were cast as the new voice of Gumball Watterson on Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball. Was voicing a cartoon character something you had wanted to do? What special skills do you need to do this type of work?
JH: Yes, I am and loving it! I have wanted to do voice overs for a while and being the voice of Gumball is a dream come true! I am a big fan of the show and it’s so wild to actually be the voice of Gumball. It’s important to have clarity in your words, but at the same time really have them flow naturally. For Gumball, he talks a lot! He talks fast, so timing is super important. He also has a bit of an attitude, an ego, so that’s so fun to play. There are times when I get to do other voices being Gumball…he can be a bit of a ham! Pitch, tone, and diction are super important. Things are bigger then life in animation, so that kind of energy really has to come out too.
CTS: Besides acting, what other things are you into? Is it true you’re a black belt in Tae Kwan Do?
JH: Yes, I am a black belt in Tae Kwan Do! It is something I’ve worked toward for two years. I want to keep going because I feel like it’s just the beginning. I also spar and go to competitions! The first time I went to a competition, I felt like I was walking into a ”Karate Kid” movie. I love competing! I also love to draw, and I am huge Marvel fan too.
CTS: With such a busy career, is it hard to find free time to hang out with your family and friends?
JH: Well, my family is really important to me. My parents make sure I have some down time, we take weekend trips to different places to have fun. I go hiking with my Dad and brother almost every weekend, play video games, go to ball games, and things like that. Finding time with friends can sometimes be more of a challenge, but somehow I find the time even if it’s a last minute thing.
CTS: Some young actors have had a difficult time adjusting to living in the limelight. Are you worried about that at all? What or who keeps you grounded?
JH: No, because I know my parents keep me grounded and really help me prepare for things. I’m really blessed because I have such a big support system.
CTS: What’s up next for you? Any other new projects to share?
JH: Well, I’m recording Gumball every week. My episodes start airing in Spring 2014. I’m looking forward to Missing at 17, which airs October 19th on Lifetime. My episode of The Goldbergs is airing this season too! Also, I have a couple things I’m in the mix for as well, so we shall see!