Former teen idol Joseph Lawrence is growing tired of the media obsessing about his decision to pull a Deborah Gibson and now go by Joseph, as opposed to just Joey. In fact, contrary to reports, the 24-year-old ex-Blossom star insists that his moniker actually hasn't changed.
"Joseph's my name," Lawrence tells TV Guide Online. "I was born that... it's on my birth certificate. It was Joseph before it was Joey and they just changed it when I was a kid because they thought [since] I was playing characters named Joey, it might be better for recognition purposes."
So why go back to the original spelling now? "I'm named after my dad and I always said that's what I want to see up on the big screen," says the star of Urban Legends: The Final Cut, a sequel to the 1998 film, opening Friday. "I basically am just using my name. People can call me whatever they want, I could care less. But when I see it up on the screen, it's Joseph."
And if reverting back to Joseph further distances him from his sitcom days, well, even better. Although he says he's "proud" of his work on Blossom, Lawrence admits that he still has to remind people he's not really Mayim Bialik's dim-witted older brother. "I think I did my job a little too well [because] people think I'm a bumbling dope," he sighs. "But that's okay. It's a work in progress for me and I'm on my way to doing other things."
Those other things include auditioning for film roles and developing a project that would star his two younger sibs, Matt and Andy. And as far as his music career, which he launched during his Blossom days, "that's always on the back burner," he says. "I've got to just stick with one thing until it works and then at some point I might experiment with music again."
For now, he's just anxious to see his full name in lights marquee lights, that is. "I'm really excited about one day being in those movies that everyone can't wait to see," he says. "Every time I see a movie with Tom Cruise or Mel Gibson or Harrison Ford, I'm sitting in there as a fan going 'I have to do this.' One day I really want to be up there."
Chat live with Joseph Lawrence tonight at 8 pm/ET.