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Justin Berfield Interview with Agoura Hills Patch

Justin Berfield in 2008

Justin Berfield (Reese) recently gave an interview to Agoura Hills Patch, where he talks about his life and the transition from child actor in Unhappily Ever After and Malcolm to producer in his new role in Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced.

We also hear mention of Virgin Produced’s first feature release, Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro, which opens later this month.

Having starred in two television sitcoms (Unhappily Ever After and Malcolm in the Middle) all before this Agoura Hills native’s 20th birthday, Justin Berfield is undoubtedly one of the city’s most notable hometown stars.

His recent accomplishment of becoming a partner with world-renown mogul Sir Richard Branson at his film and television company VIRGIN Produced certainly solidifies Berfield as one of the reigning forces working in entertainment today.

Although he is very busy traveling and working most of the time, the now Calabasas resident set aside some time to chat with Patch and lend some insight into his life as a young actor-turned-media juggernaut.

Describing himself as a “pretty simple” guy, Berfield, who turned 25 on Feb. 25, has undeniably achieved some “pretty extraordinary” feats. An acclaimed actor, producer, and industry guru, who calls one of the most successful men in the world his “partner,” is not too shabby for having just turned a quarter-century old.

Agoura Hills Patch: Did you enjoy growing up in Agoura Hills? 

Justin Berfield: I really enjoyed growing up in Agoura Hills, because it was a big enough city that there was always something going on, but it also had the charm where you really got to know the people that worked in the community. It felt like a small town, although it really isn’t.

Patch: At which Agoura Hills establishments would you frequently get stopped to sign autographs or pose for photos?

Berfield: No particular place really stands out to me except for maybe the theaters or at the nearby Calabasas Commons. I think my peers pretty much knew the job I did, and since we all grew up together, it never was that big of a deal for anyone. I think people in our area are used to having actors around. Agoura isn’t that far from Los Angeles and there certainly were and are bigger “names” around town than me. 

Patch: Do you have a favorite memory from Agoura High School? How were you involved at school?

Berfield: I was home schooled throughout high school and only got the opportunity to attend classes at Agoura High for a couple months before Malcolm in the Middle took off. Although I wasn’t able to join clubs, I enjoyed going to the football games every Friday. It was always a good opportunity for me to get together with the friends I couldn’t see during the week because of work.

Patch: How would you spend an ideal day in Agoura Hills? Do you come back to visit often?   

Berfield: As a little kid, I would spend my days investigating the many creeks and parks around the community. Being so close to Malibu, I would often times head out that way with my dad and go fishing. As I got older, I spent most evenings, as every teenager does, with friends at the Agoura movie theater or around the shopping centers along Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Kanan Road. I live in Calabasas now, so I am back there often. 

Patch: Has transitioning from “child star” to a more mature actor and producer been a smooth process?

Berfield: I’d say so, because I got my start behind the camera just before Malcolm in the Middle was ending. Since then, it has gone pretty smoothly. I started a company, J2TV, and now I am a partner in Sir Richard Branson’s film/television company, VIRGIN Produced.

Patch: What have been your personal career highlights?

Berfield: The point when I realized that I had been on two shows that syndicated to over 100 episodes, and that I felt fulfilled as an actor and decided to try my hand at producing. I think people constantly are looking for fulfilment, and nothing is ever good enough, but I feel fortunate enough to have had the journey I have had so far.

Patch: What is your dream project and dream actor or actress to collaborate with in the future? 

Berfield: I’d have to say anything that would involve Tom Hanks. He is truly an inspiration, both as an actor and producer. 

Patch: A lot of ‘Young Hollywood’ seems to find themselves in trouble more often than not, yet you’ve managed to stay out of trouble and keep a wonderful reputation for yourself. What do you attribute this to? 

Berfield: I always had supportive parents and a good group of people around me. It’s really about who you surround yourself with. Too many times, people are surrounded by those on their payroll. Those aren’t the best people to look out for you, because they’ll never tell you ‘no.’ I typically do not take advice from people who I pay, and most people who find themselves in trouble do just the opposite. Living in Agoura and Calabasas has probably helped a great deal as well.

Patch: What advice can you offer Agoura Hills residents who are looking to get into the entertainment industry? 

Berfield: Local theater is a great way to get into the business. There are a lot of great opportunities out there locally, but also don’t be afraid to ask questions. Information is power, and the more you know, the more you will be better poised to help yourself deliver on your own personal goals instead of relying on others.

Patch: What do you do in your spare time, when you’re not busy working as an actor and producer? 

Berfield: Hiking with my dogs, hanging with my friends, traveling abroad and enjoying time around town with family. I am a pretty simple guy.

Check out the latest flick Berfield worked on with Virgin Produced, “Limitless,” starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert DeNiro, when it hits theatres Mar. 18, 2011.

Source: Agoura Hills Patch

March 4th, 2011 (2) Comments - Post a Comment

You Hang Up Relaunch Website, Gear Up for Debut Album

Frankie Muniz with bandmates in 'You Hang Up'

Frankie Muniz’s band You Hang Up have recently relaunched their website and continue to prepare for the release of their debut album.

On the new site, you can listen to samples of tracks from the new album and there’s even a new email list you can sign up for to get updates on the band.

Hey Everyone,
Check out the sneak preview of our upcoming release, we put together short clips of 4 different songs that will be featured on the new disc. We can’t wait for you guys to hear it. We’ll also be announcing a whole bunch of shows in the near future…stay tuned

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Take a look at their new website, sign up for the newsletter; and you can also check out the material they’ve already released on iTunes and on Amazon (US, UK, affiliate links).

(more…)

February 19th, 2011 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

Kenneth Mars (Otto) Dies at 75

Kenneth Mars as Otto in Season 5, Episode 10 -- 'Hot Tub'

Kenneth Mars, who played Otto Manküsser in Malcolm in the Middle, has died at the age of 75 at his home in Grenada Hills. According to the Washington Examiner, a statement from his family said he died of pancreatic cancer on Saturday 12th February 2011.

We of course know Kenneth as Otto, Francis’ boss at the ranch (‘The Grotto’) in seasons 4 and 5 of Malcolm in the Middle, where he played alongside Meagan Fay as Otto’s wife Gretchen. Mars also played in Mel Brooks’ films The Producers and Young Frankenstein, where he developed his style for his somewhat over-the-top German accent. He also made appearances in LA Law and Diagnosis Murder and provided many voices for animations on TV and on film, including The Little Mermaid and The Land Before Time.

Kenneth Mars as Franz Liebkind in Mel Brooks' 'The Producers'

Kenneth Mars — 1935 – 2011

Mars is survived by his two daughters, Susannah Mars Johnson and Rebecca Mars Tipton and has six grandchildren.

Source: BBC News, Washington Examiner

February 15th, 2011 (11) Comments - Post a Comment

Frankie Muniz at the Phoenix Suns Celebrity Shootout 2011

Just last week, Frankie Muniz (Malcolm) took part in the Phoenix Suns Celebrity Shootout 2011. It’s not the first time Frankie has participated in a celebrity basketball event for charity — he in fact participated in the very same event last year, as well as having previously taken part in a similar celebrity basketball game way back in 2004.

Check out some before and after video of the event from Fox Sports Arizona, as well as a gallery of photos from the event.

The event raised money for Phoenix Suns Charities.

Source: Sun ‘N’ Gun, Fox Sports Arizona

February 5th, 2011 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

Trailer for Frankie Muniz’s Pizza Man Released

It has been quite some time since we last heard about Frankie Muniz’s Pizza Man project, but a trailer for the movie was released just a few days ago.

More details on the movie and release information when it is available.

January 27th, 2011 (2) Comments - Post a Comment

Malcolm in the Middle Now Airing on FIVER in the UK

Malcolm in the Middle Season 1 promo image

For viewers in the UK, the first season of Malcolm in the Middle is now airing on FIVER. Most recently the show has only aired on Sky to subscription viewers, so its transmission on a free-to-air channel means that anyone in the UK with Freeview, Freesat and other non-subscription services can catch the show.

The Pilot episode of Season 1 aired yesterday, while episode 2 (Red Dress) airs tonight, Tuesday 4th January 2011 at 6:30pm on FIVER.

Unfortunately, it appears that the show is not included on the Demand Five video-on-demand service, so set your video recorders!

FIVER is available on Freeview Channel 30, Sky Channel 176 and Virgin Media Channel 151.

January 4th, 2011 (2) Comments - Post a Comment

Malcolm France’s Video Chat with Bryan Cranston [Video]

Back on the 13th March 2010, our friends at Malcolm France had a live video chat with Bryan Cranston (Hal). The chat was hosted by Antoine of Malcolm France and followed a similar questions and answers format to our chats with Bryan and Chris Masterson (Francis).

The chat lasted for more than two hours as Bryan answered questions on Malcolm in the Middle, his new show Breaking Bad and many other topics.

A full video recording of the chat is available below.

Thanks to Malcolm France for allowing us to republish the chat here!

January 1st, 2011 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

Bryan Cranston Nominated for Screen Actors Guild Award

Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad

No stranger to award nominations (or wins!) now, Bryan Cranston was recently announced as a nominee for the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.

For this award, he is up against Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire, Michael C. Hall as Dexter‘s title character, Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men and Hugh Laurie’s Dr. House.

The award ceremony for the SAG Awards will be live across the US on Sunday, January 30th 2011 at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast on TNT and TBS.

Source: SAG Awards PR, AMCTV Blogs

December 19th, 2010 (1) Comments - Post a Comment

Jane Kaczmarek’s ‘Clothes Off Our Back’ Still Going Strong

Jane Kaczmarek

Jane Kaczmarek (Lois)’s charity that she co-founded with ex-husband Bradley Whitford, Clothes Off Our Back is still going strong, now into eight years of operation.

For the uninitiated, Clothes Off Our Back is a charity where celebrity attire is donated and then auctioned to raise funds for a number of charities, including Feeding America, Malaria No More and more.

Unfortunately, we have just missed the auction for a Breaking Bad DVD, autographed by Bryan Cranston and the rest of the cast, but there are still more items up for auction, including clothing worn by none other than Justin Bieber, shirts from Jerry Lewis and stuffed bears signed by young celebrities.

You can bid on any of these items to support the charities, or if celebrity clothing is not your thing, you can still make a donation to their cause.

December 19th, 2010 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

Happy 25th Birthday Frankie Muniz

Happy birthday from all at the VC to Frankie Muniz, who is 25 years old today (5th December 2010)!

Frankie Muniz

Thanks to Kelly rr on our forums for finding and uploading this, rather old, photo of Frankie!

Frankie Muniz recently, playing his custom SJC Drums

More recently, of course, Frankie has been continuing to drum for You Hang Up, who released a new single since Frankie joined the band, have been on tour and are now suggesting they are working on a full-length album.

Once again, happy birthday from all of us here to Frankie!

December 5th, 2010 (3) Comments - Post a Comment


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