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Two Simbas Roar from
The Company Acting Studio

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 toys.

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.

Colin Ford

Colin 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 King franchise.

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?
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 on film?
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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