Prattville – Hundreds of children of all ages lined up to get an autograph and catch a glimpse of Grayson Russell, the adorable eleven-year-old actor who came to the Prattville Carmike Cinema Friday night for the premiere of his latest film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Four theater screens were available to accommodate the large crowd who bought tickets at the window to see the comedy.
The movie is based on Jeff Kinney’s New York Times bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and chronicles the adventures of wise-cracking middle school student Greg Heffley, who must somehow survive the scariest time of anyone’s life: middle school.
Many of the fans at the theater were very familiar with the books by the children’s author.
“I have read all of the books and love the drawings,” said Ethan Arnold, who will be celebrating his 10th birthday in about a week.
Brent Robinson, a ten-year-old, also has read all about Heffley’s exploits.
“The books are really funny,” he said. “I hear there’s extra scenes from the books in the movie.”
Eleven-year-old Matt Deavers had not seen Russell in other films, but did remember that he appeared in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, starring Will Ferrell, and was looking forward to his appearance in the movie.
Russell, who plays Fregley, Heffley’s weird classmate in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, signed posters and posed for photos for over an hour until the very last person in line had a memento of the evening.
Our Prattville spoke with him for a few minutes before he joined his family inside the theater and the young actor stated that he enjoyed the people involved in making the film.
“It was such a good group to work with, the entire cast … from the directors to the grips,” said Russell. “They were all really nice and that’s what I think I liked most about filming the movie.”
When asked what Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights) is really like, Russell replied that the comedian is actually very quiet and humble, and that he reserved his zany antics for the filming of the scenes.
“He didn’t cut up on the set … but he was really funny in the movie,” Russell said.
Russell and his parents drove down from their home in Clanton on Friday to spend the day in Prattville and ate lunch with Mayor Jim Byard Jr. at The Legends at Capitol Hill in the city.
The youngster is also known to Alabamians as the boy famous for the phrase, “You’ll be grinnin’ when you buy from McKinnon,” in various McKinnon Motors commercials. He recently appeared in I’m in the Band, a new Disney series and can be seen in the independent film The Rainbow Tribe.
Article by Melissa Parker
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