At an open casting call in Chicago, a cute 14-year-old drummer called Kevin Clark was plucked from obscurity and given a co-starring role in Jack Black's new film, School of Rock (opening tomorrow). Though this was his first time on a movie set, the young scene-stealer quickly learned that, in showbiz, looks can be deceiving.
"I'm a freshman in high school, and I play a fifth grader," Clark laughs. "People have seen the sneak preview and said, 'They made you look young.' I sound like Mickey Mouse in the movie and my voice is really high."
He took part in more Hollywood magic during the film's musical numbers. Clark and the other kids played their own instruments, but pre-recorded the song tracks and just pretended to perform during filming. "It is kind of hard to fake playing drums," the energetic teen admits, "because you still have to go full power and show that you are actually playing. But when they did a close-up of the drums, I actually got to take the pads off and play loud and show off for the crowd."
Too bad his first taste of celebrity has left a bad taste in this smart-alecky youngster's mouth. "There are these kids [at school], and I don't know if I even know their names," Clark says, "but they are like, 'Hey, I saw your trailer and stuff. I read up about you online, and I read that when you were 3-years-old, you hurt your leg.' I'm like, 'Who are you? Get away from me.'"
When he's not, um, warmly greeting his fans, Clark plays in his school's jazz band. We just wonder if his classmates know what he thinks of 'em! "For some kids, [music] is a way if you are not good at English and math or if you are not popular to feel good and be good at something," he says. "Bands are good if you are not cool. If you are a geek, then you can go and be in that and be friends with all the other geeks that don't have friends."