By Spencer Moon
ATLANTA, GA (July 18, 2006)Two young actors from Atlanta
are both currently portraying the character of Simba from
The Lion King: one in the Broadway version of the film,
and another as the voice of Simba for a new line of Fisher-Price
Nine-year-old Colin Ford will supply the voice for the toy Simba
when the new line featuring The Lion King characters
appears in stores this fall. Justin Martin (who is a ripe old 11)
is playing the Broadway version of the adorable lion, doing four
shows a week. Their resumes (resumes for nine and eleven-year-olds
is quite a concept) would be the envy of actors three or four times
their age. And their acting credits run the gamut -- theater, feature
films, television, voice-over work, and commercials.
Read on for more information about Colin, Justin,
and The Company Acting Studio where
they both got their start.
Ford is a former student of The Company Acting Studio. Because of
Colin's success, his family has moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
To his credit, this nine-year-old has more than a dozen feature
films, more than a dozen commercials, a few television appearances
(including a skit on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno
and a guest part on Smallville), and over a dozen
voiceover jobs. He is now the "Official Voice of Simba"
for Fisher-Price toys as part of the hugely successful Lion
It was only slightly intimidating speaking to this young actor
by phone from Los Angeles.
How did you get started as an actor?
Colin: I was about
three years old. One of my mom's friends said to her that I might
make a good model. My mom asked me if I might like to be a model.
A couple months later I was with a modeling agency. I was doing
print jobs and stuff. Before I had an agent, I got a call for my
first movie which was Sweet Home Alabama (2002) (age six). I later
got with my agent.
How do you maintain school and keep such a busy work schedule?
Colin: When I'm at school, it's
kind of weird because everybody I go to school with is not used
to acting. And they will go "Colin where did you go yesterday,
you weren't here? I always have to say I was filming. So they ask
about school work and I tell them I have teachers on the set with
me. I always have school work with me to do.
Describe a special moment in your career to this point?
Colin: I have two things. Last year I
did a print ad for W Magazine with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
It was a big promotion thing for Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005).
And becoming the new voice of Simba for The Lion King--it
was very interesting becoming an animated character that was already
well known. That was a lot of fun. My voice will be used for any
upcoming projects they might have and I've done one thing for a
new toy that has Simba's voice.
Do you have any things you've read that you'd like to portray
Colin: I recently read all 12 books
of the Lemony Snicket: Series of Unfortunate Events books.
I really like the character of Claus. He was a very interesting
and smart character. He always reads books; he is a child in the
books. He is a bit older than I am. I think he is about 12.
What have you been working on recently?
Colin: I recently did a voice for an animated
film titled Who Stole Santa's Sack? [note: to be released
Christmas 2006. Co-stars include Jay Leno, Andy Griffith, Shirley
Jones, Kathy Bates, and Ed Asner-- not bad company]. I play the
character of Dart. If I could, I'd like to be Dart in real life.
Dart is an energetic reindeer. I'm a pretty energetic boy. It would
be fun to be him in real life.
I'd like to work with Reese Witherspoon again. I worked with her
on Sweet Home Alabama (2002). I look up to her. She's
a role model for me.
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