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Inside "Mean Creek" with Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor Morgan and Josh Peck


Josh Peck stars in Mean Creek

Josh Peck in "Mean Creek"

Photo © Paramount Classics
Josh, did you base George on anybody in particular?
JOSH PECK – My father (laughing) No. I can’t really think of anyone that was like that. I mean, I knew a lot of antagonizing kids when I was sort of growing up in elementary school. They’re usually the most insecure people - the people that sort of make fun of you. But, really, I just got lucky because when I read the script, it kind of just popped into my head.

A friend of mine said, when he was actually telling me something about acting, he’s just like, “When you read a book and you’re playing all the characters, did you ever say, ‘Oh that wasn’t believable?’” You know, like when you’re reading it and you’re doing the characters voices in your head, you never say that to yourself. So I kind of heard George in my head. I just sort of heard where he was coming from and I thought I could bring some truthfulness to him. I just went into it excited.

Have you been able to do regular high school?
JOSH PECK – I went for a couple of months. The kids were cool and everything but I was in a movie called “Snow Day” so I got Snow Boy a lot. And the kids were very creative. Basically, it just didn’t work out with the schedule and everything. I was sort of always on set or doing something, so it was just easier to go to a homeschool setting. But no food fights or anything, so that sort of sucks.

What’s next for you?
TREVOR MORGAN – I’m in the middle of a Julianne Moore/Woody Harrelson project that I’m still filming. Before that I got off of a movie with Paul Newman and Ed Harris – and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

How’s that going?
TREVOR MORGAN - There was a bunch of talk… First they thought it was only going to be a Showtime movie. Then they thought, “Well, we might release it in theaters because it’s going to be such a long movie.” And now I believe, the latest I’ve heard, is that it’s going to be coming out in 2005 and it’s going to be in a mini-series type thing. Like sort of how they did the “Band of Brothers.”

What’s it called?
TREVOR MORGAN – It’s called “Empire Falls.” It’s based off of the Richard Russo book. I believe, from what I understand, Paul Newman read the book when it first came out and just got it made. Just basically got people to do it.

What was it like working with Paul Newman?
TREVOR MORGAN – Amazing. I’m the biggest Paul Newman fan. I’ve had a poster of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” of like that famous freeze frame at the end where they’ve got the guns. And it was so weird being around him. Swear to God, he would look at everyone while they’re saying their lines. Now, during the middle of like the time that I’m not speaking, “I can do this. I can do this.” Then every single time they would get to my line it would be like, “Oh my God. Cool Hand Luke is watching me.” And then just silence. I wouldn’t be able to do anything.

JOSH PECK - And he didn’t get me a bottle of salad dressing signed by Mr. Newman. You are no friend of mine.

TREVOR MORGAN - It was sad. I was surprised I wasn’t fired off the set.

Josh, what’s next for you?
JOSH PECK – Night manager at your local Jamba Juice (laughing). Free wheat grass shots on Tuesday. No. Just doing my show on Nickelodeon. New episodes start in September.

SCOTT MECHLOWICZ – By God, Jamba Juice. That was sweet (laughing).

I hear you are a good rapper.
JOSH PECK - I’m quite gifted in that sense. Look out, because I’m coming out. That’s a dream of mine to be on Def Poetry Jam, only because I love the show and I want to dress like Mos Def because I think he’s the coolest guy ever. And I really love his music. But yeah, I just like to go out there and free-style so we’ll see what happens.

Were you really performing stand-up at 8?
JOSH PECK – Like 9. It was sort of like my end to getting a manager and an agent. Just having a Jewish mother was instant material. I would just kind of make fun of her and stuff that happens in my life and at school.

Were you 9 years old and doing nightclub comedy?
JOSH PECK – Yeah. I remember looking in Backstage magazine for this advertisement for an agent. I was in New York and this sort of your quintessential kind of slubby agent guy – and I go in there and I meet with him and he says, “Well, you have to get a comedy act together because I have these kids doing comedy.” I’m like, “Alright.” So I put it together and I started doing Caroline’s Comedy Club and Stand-Up New York and it snowballed. But it was this great thing that I sort of had on the side. It teaches you a lot. I mean, it’s such a tough existence being a working comedian trying to make your way. I loved it.

How old were you before you got heckled?
JOSH PECK - Some guy called me gay once. Other than that, I’ve never been heckled too bad.

Not when you were 9.
JOSH PECK – No, I was like 12 (laughing).

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