Orange County School of the Arts

Interview with David Henrie and Jakob Salvati from ‘Little Boy’

Set in the turbulent times of World War II, “Little Boy” presents to us the story of 8-year-old Pepper Flynt Busbee, a boy with eyes that want to drink in the world, as if to make up for what he lacks in height. Even though his father is drafted in the war, Pepper continues to plow into life headfirst with his philosophy that if he believes hard enough, he can do anything, including bringing his father back. With the help of Mr. Hashimoto, an old softhearted grouch, the little boy in question embarks on a quest to complete a list of good deeds to miraculously end the war. [Read full review here:] The film stars 25-year-old David Henrie as Pepper’s older brother London and 12-year-old Jakob Salvati as Pepper.

The “Wizards of Waverly Place” star gives us details about his new film, “Little Boy”

Q: How is playing London different from any other character you played and how did you get into character?

David : This character is different from anything my fans have seen me do before, because this role is dramatic. It was difficult to get into character and also intimidating because I was working with Oscar nominated actors. I’m proud of my work, however tough it was–I was prepared, focused and gave it my all.

Q: You said in an interview that you wept when you first read the script in a coffee house. What was the one takeaway from the movie that has stuck with you since then?

David: The thing that stuck with me is that if you challenge yourself and believe in the impossible then extraordinary things are possible in your life. It was very motivating and it’s a film that sticks with you for life.

Q: Why is the message of the movie so universal, even from the eyes of an 8-year-old?

David: It’s universal because every boy loves and misses his father…especially if he goes off to war. The film also shows the depth of love this boy has, which I think we can all relate to. The message of family is very powerful.

Q: In the movie, Pepper believes in an impossible dream and moves mountains with his faith. What is your ultimate dream or purpose?

David: My ultimate dream is to use my talents to help people.

Q: If you could travel back in time and meet the 17-year-old David at the beginning of his Wizards of Waverly Place career, what would be the advice you would give to your younger self?

David: Wow. Um, I would tell myself to think bigger than me and my career. Also, put others first and learn to trust more.

Q:  What is something your fans may not know about you?
David: I’m a big hockey fan!

Q: How did you get into the role of Pepper?

Jakob: I just thought about what I needed to do and focused on that. From there, everything came naturally. Pepper resembles me in many ways which made it easier to prepare for the role, not to mention that my mom is a great acting coach!

Q: Why is the message of the movie so relatable, even from the eyes of an 8-year-old?

Jakob: People need hope and Little Boy represents real life and it is very relatable.

Q: In the movie, Pepper believes in an impossible dream and moves mountains with his faith. What is your ultimate dream?

Jakob: My dream is to grow up acting, dancing, singing, preaching, and just having fun with this adventure!

Q:  Pepper looks up to the magician Ben Eagle. Who are some of your inspirations and why?

Jakob: I look up to my father because he raised me in an amazing way. His father raised him in an amazing way too.

Q: Pepper’s relationships with the other characters grow throughout the movie. What was it like working with the cast of Little Boy?

Jakob: A privilege because I got to meet so many famous people that I’ve always looked up to.