Leo Howard can act and kick your butt all at the same time and he’s only almost 14 years old.
Leo is best known for his Disney XD show with former Hannah Montana star Jason Earles, called Kickin’ It. But not only does he have a show, Leo is also a black belt in Shorin Ryu martial arts and has held three championships before he turned nine.
This coming August, Leo is set to star in a new film about Conan the Barbarian, simply called Conan. He plays Conan as a child in the film and in his exclusive interview with GlobalGrind, Leo sits down to talk about his martial art skills and which Kardashian sister he likes the most. Read on for more!
GloablGrind: You’re the new Conan, you’re young Conan, the barbarian who only needs one name. The trailer looks amazing, how was it lifting that big giant sword?
Leo Howard: Believe it or not, it was bamboo, but don’t tell anybody. It was fantastic playing Conan, it was such an experience to go out of the country and be this barbaric human savage child for a month or so. It was a blast and definitely a great experience.
What this your first time doing an acting role? How can you describe acting in the past?
It takes place in kind of a medieval time, I’ve never acted in a movie in a time like that. So I guess it was a little bit different, but I just followed the guy who played my dad, Ron Pearlman, who is a phenomenal actor and I just kinda followed his lead.
In the trailer there’s a part where the whole basis of the movie is revenge. In your real personal life, was there ever a time you wanted to get revenge on someone? And if so, what was it?
In my life? Not terribly, you know. I have never wanted to act revenge on someone. Of course there is times. When I first came out with the show Leo’s Little Big Show, these cruel, cruel children wrote online the stupidest stuff like, c’mon man, it’s not cool. They’re writing stuff online that’s totally not true, that they know nothing to base the facts on. I did get a little annoyed, I guess, about that. But that’s always gonna happen, I guess that’s a sign of success right?
Also, another sign of success is all these fake Twitter accounts. You recently joined Twitter. How do those phonies make you feel?
When they treat the fans good and everything, it’s annoying but not as annoying. Because I’m glad to be on there now because I feel like it’s really deceiving. When I look at what the fans are saying to them, I know I really need to get one. It does get annoying, definitely. When I first saw them I was really, really upset but then I just kind of got used to it.
Earlier you mentioned your show, Leo’s Little Big Show. There’s an interesting clip that we saw of you doing a rap for Toy Story 3. Are you a huge fan of hip-hop?
Believe it or not, for five or six years, I loved hip-hop. Now recently I just started playing guitar so my music taste changed completely over from hip-hop to like ’80s, rock and roll and all of that. I still like hip-hop but I’m more into the rock and roll now.
Why do you think you’ve grown out of hip-hop?
Because I was playing the guitar, definitely and I was just more interested in the types of music that I was playing.
Who are some of your favorite rappers or some of your favorite rockers now?
Let’s see favorite rappers, I love Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, all of them, the big guys. I even liked Wiz Khalifa, but now, I love Led Zeppelin, Van Halen is like my favorite. So stuff like that now. Total 180.
If you could cover one song with your group or band what would it be?
On the guitar? “Hot For Teacher” by Van Halen, hands down. Or “Eruption” by Van Halen, that would be amazing.
We also noticed on Twitter that you retweet or follow Kevin Hart.
What’s your favorite Kevin Hart joke? Do you have one?
I don’t have one. Pretty much everything he says is funny. So I love one of his alter egos which is Chocolate Drop the rapper, cracks me up, he’s so funny.
If you had an alter ego, who would it be?
Definitely a superhero, but in a joking way. I wouldn’t want to be crazy obsessed with the superhero. You know?
You have a new show, Kickin’ It. How is it working with the guy who used to play Miley Cyrus’ brother? Is he cool?
He’s unbelievable. He’s probably one of the funniest human beings I’ve ever met. Jason is so freakin’ hysterical, he’s so funny, he’s just so good at what he does. He’s professional and just the dynamics of all of us in the cast really compliment each other. So I really enjoy working with everyone on set.
You have a reading later today, right?
Can you describe your table reading, how they go down? Is it fun-filled stuff?
Absolutely, more in the beginning it was more serious than this, but now we’re getting into the groove of the whole table reading thing. Just by now, which we’re on the last three episodes of the first season, now we’re staring to get into the groove so we could really start playing around. One of the things we did on set which is not even table reading, it’s called improv, where you just go off on your own in a scene and joke, and as long as it’s funny, it’s OK to do. There’s always that kinda competition who can improv the funniest and Jason wins that every time.
We saw you in New York when you guys did the up front and you came on and did this great three or four minute karate dance thing. How draining is that for you?
I wasn’t very in shape in New York, so it was very draining, but I’m doing it again this summer somewhere and my goal is to be more in shape than I was last time. I got through it fine last time, but it was very taxing.
During Conan the Barbarian, can you explain or describe your most challenging stunt that you did in that movie?
Believe it or not, the most challenging stunt was when I fell in the water. In the scene, you’ll see I’m fighting with Ron Pearlman over ice. So we’re standing on ice and he breaks the ice and I fall in the ice. So you’d think that it would be fake, right?
So I did fall into the ice and that was pretty tough. Luckily, everyone on the set was great about it. They had towels and heaters. It was good. But the most challenging acting stunt was when my father died I had to cry and you know, yell. It’s a little bit different because, the director is phenomenal, he has this taste that I was like OK … and then I saw it a couple of weeks ago and I was like, wow, he’s so right. When you cry, he wants you to scream and let it out. So it does look really good on film.
The trailer looks amazing too.
Thank you. It comes out August 19th. I’m super excited.
You’re 14, right?
13. Turning 14 in six days.
Oh, Happy Birthday!
So we have a very challenging question for you. It’s a fun question, but it’s very challenging and probably the most difficult question we asked the whole interview. If you can choose between Kylie and Kendall Jenner, which one would you choose?
Kylie? The Kardashian sisters?
Oh, Kylie and what’s the other one?
You know what I’m going to look them up right now, because I’m not a TV person. Kendall? K-E-N-D-A-L-L (types into them into his phone)
Sorry, this dang 3G man (Laughs). Jenner, OK and who’s the other?
Kylie Jenner. K-Y-L-I-E
Cool. (Pause) Kylie, I’m sorry.
Cool, why Kylie? She’s more attractive?
I think so, I’m really into brunettes. Either one of them, they’re both beautiful.
How about the older Kardashian sisters?
Kim, without a doubt huh?
Of course. Without a doubt, I do like Kourtney, but Kim, it’s hard to beat Kim.
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