Acting Up: Walker Scobell (2024)

The Snapshot:

Walker Scobell plays a 12-year-old who teams up with his future self to save humanity in the sweet, genre-bending sci-fi action comedy film, The Adam Project.

(The film premiered on March 11th on Netflix.)

The Performance:

In terms of stellar performances by kids, it appears we have another Sam from Love Actually on our hands. Meet Walker Scobell from The Adam Project – who looks like a star in the making.

When we first meet the young Adam (Scobell), he’s getting the sh*t kicked out of him – not by love – but by the same school bully, yet again. It’s 2022 and unfortunately, Adam’s ability to cut down his bullies with a snarky comment only leads to further pummeling. That is, with his back against a wall, Adam responds the bully’s comment “I’m going to enjoy this…” with:

“Who talks like that? Did you order a bully kit starter pack on Amazon or something?”

It’s the kind of thing Deadpool would toss out there in the middle of a fight before finishing off his opponent. But not so much for Adam, who takes the beating, per usual, and as a precursor to meeting his future self (Reynolds), a fighter pilot from 2050 who lands in his family’s outhouse with a gunshot wound. He’s from the future and young Adam has no idea who he is…

At first.

Watching big Adam’s repartee with his younger self is like watching a therapy session in real-time – well worth the price of subscription. A version of: ‘What would you say to your 12-year-old self if you had the chance?’ Except, big Adam doesn’t like his younger self so much or his “very punchable face.” Yet, the more time they spend talking initially, the more young Adam wises up.

The moment when Scobell’s Adam puts the pieces together of who he’s talking to – after they match the same scars and realize they’re both wearing their father’s exact same watch – we see young Adam’s grasp what’s happening and it’s a priceless Hollywood moment. A sentimental scene in a film that’s full of them – a novelty considering its sci-fi, action-film stripes. And that’s what sets The Adam Project apart from many one-note action films. There are themes about how we relate to ourselves and our parents (or don’t) – a splash of that father/son magic from Field of Dreams mixed in with what made Back to the Future such a good multi-generational film.

Also – Scobell. It’s rare you see a child performance that is such a plus-plus for a film. As young Adam, Scobell gives this film a great counterpart to Reynolds’ comedic energy and brilliance, catching you off-guard with a hearty realness that goes beyond anything merely serviceable.

Throw in the plot point where the two of them collectively attempt to make peace with their absentee father (Mark Ruffalo), who’s made a key breakthrough relating to time travel, and this film reminds you why cinema exists: to entertain, to thrill and maybe even to make us cry.

The Career:

As his IMDb bio would have it, the now 13-year-old Scobell comes from a military family that has led him to move around a bit, living everywhere from sunny California to hilly Colorado.

As someone who’s always liked to make people laugh, Scobell decided to pursue a career in acting, working on his craft after a trip to Cali. But here’s the kicker: As a fan of superhero movies, Scobell was reportedly obsessed with Deadpool from age 7 and spent countless hours mimicking Ryan Reynolds from that film – before he ultimately got a chance to play him.

It’s a relevant detail that, according to the film’s director Shawn Levy, benefitted the film immensely. “[Scobell] shows up on set and he gets to co-star with his hero, whose rhythms and inflections he has literally ingested for half of his very young life,” says Levy. “We never needed to teach Walker how to say and do things the ‘Ryan Reynolds way.’ He already knew how.”

It can’t be a picnic to cast the 12-year-old version of Ryan Reynolds: a young actor who can match Reynolds’ whip-smart, sarcasm, humor and general likeability that makes most men want to be him. But casting director Carmen Cuba, who “auditioned 376 kids in her search for the perfect actor to fill those shoes” says Scobell nailed it according to this story on the Netflix blog Tudum.

Something you’re actually able to see – since Netflix posted Scobell’s audition tape for the role of young Adam to show how good he actually was during his callback. In finding their man, they were all able to preserve the big ol’ heart for this film – the kind that usually fills its black hole-sized emotional void with crash-bang visual effects that make people forget how to feel.

As for Scobell, now that he has a time-travel epic under his belt in The Adam Project, the future looks bright. Other than doing one of the funnier mac-and-cheese spots you’ll ever see (thanks to a partnership between Reynolds’ advertising firm Maximum Effort and Kraft), Scobell is about to embark on a career that should lead to interesting places. Speaking of, his next film is Secret Headquarters, co-starring Owen Wilson, where Scobell will play a kid who discovers a secret space under his home that may just belong to a superhero – who also may just be his estranged father.

Looking to get your big break? Sign up or login to Casting Networks and land your next acting role today!

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Gregg Rosenzweig has been a writer, creative director and managing editor for various entertainment clients, ad agencies and digital media companies over the past 20 years. He is also a partner in the talent management/production company, The Rosenzweig Group.

Acting Up: Walker Scobell (2024)


Does Ryan Reynolds like Walker Scobell? ›

That kind of fan. In an interview for The Adam Project press notes, Reynolds affectionately called his young co-star “a little punk,” going on to say, “He watched Deadpool 2 600,000 times. He knows every word to both movies. So, Walker just came in and didn't need to do anything.

Does Walker Scobell have a twin brother? ›

He has an older sister and younger brother. Scobell lived in Colorado until the family moved to Fairview, Pennsylvania, where his parents grew up.

Does Walker Scobell like Percy Jackson? ›

How Percy Jackson Star Walker Scobell Brought 'The Lightning Thief' to Life. The 14-year-old star sits down with Teen Vogue to talk about the faithfulness of the new Disney+ adaptation of the beloved YA series. Walker Scobell may be the biggest Percy Jackson fan on the planet.

What is Walker Scobell doing now? ›

Disney+ announces second season of 'Percy Jackson' starring Fairview teen Walker Scobell. Whether you're a fan of Percy Jackson or the Fairview Township teen who plays the demigod, Disney+ has good news for you. Walker Scobell, 15, will return to the role as Disney+ announced Feb.

Who did Ryan Reynolds fall in love with? ›

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have a swoon-worthy romance. The couple first met on the set of Green Lantern in 2010 but didn't develop a romantic relationship until a year later.

Does Walker Scobell go to public school? ›

Walker Scobell shares his experience of attending public school in Pennsylvania and how it impacts his day-to-day life. Find out how he handles fans approaching him and why he loves talking about his favorite books, including Percy Jackson.

How old was Walker Scobell when filming Percy Jackson? ›

As such, they needed to change Percy Jackson's age in the books to match closer with Logan Lerman's physical appearance. Since Walker Scobell was 13 at the time of filming, he could realistically play a 12-year-old boy. As such, the Percy Jackson TV show will match up with the books.

Does Walker Scobell have a mom? ›

But now he's back to work, promoting the start of the series in which he stars as the demigod title character. Walker told the Erie Times-News, via an email from his mother, Heather Scobell, that he was "very excited" for "Percy Jackson" to begin airing.

Why doesn t T.J. Miller like Ryan Reynolds? ›

Miller alleged that Reynolds treated him like his character, Weasel, and was "horrifically mean."

Who was Ryan Reynolds engaged to? ›

Personal life. Reynolds began dating singer Alanis Morissette in 2002, and they announced their engagement in June 2004.

Who did Ryan Reynolds date before Blake? ›

Ryan Reynolds is married to Blake Lively. They have four kids together. Before Blake, Ryan dated Alanis Morrissette, Scarlett Johansson, and Charlize Theron to name a few.


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