Just three days after wrapping work on the third Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, Zachary Gordon had a very different — and darker — assignment. Instead of playing the lovable, gregarious schemer Greg Heffley, he had to step into the skin of Seth, a boy with a dark, mysterious connection to an ancient evil.
All in a day’s work when you sign on for an episode of R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour. Gordon’s episode, “Night of the Mummy,” premieres Saturday at 5pm on The Hub.
Gordon says the episode will show his Wimpy Kid fans a completely different side to him.
“He doesn’t really have a best friend who he talks to,” says the actor, who turns 14 next month, of his character. “He’s moving all the time, and he only has his mother to talk to. He has this fascination with Egypt, I mean he’s really into it. He’s kind of alone, and that’s all he can really do. … When he talks about ancient Egypt, he’s not just talking, that’s his life. He’s not really social.”
Seth is convinced he shares a strange connection with the new pharaoh exhibit in town. His mother, who works at the museum where it’s being shown, tries to reassure him, but something seems amiss about her, too. When strange things start to happen in and around the exhibit, Seth learns he just might be right.
The episode afforded Gordon the chance to dress up in ancient Egyptian clothes, an opportunity he found to be “awesome.”
Before signing on to Haunting Hour, he did have some friendly input from one of his Wimpy Kid costars. Robert Capron, who plays Rowley in the films, had also starred in a previous episode.
“I talked to Robert about it and I said, ‘Is it fun filming? Do you have fun with the producers and directors?’ He said, ‘Yeah, you should go for it. It’s awesome,'” he says. “I was really excited because I had met with the producer, Dan Angel, a couple times before, and it was just as if every time I wanted to do an episode I couldn’t because I was working or I was busy, and I was so happy that I finally had the time to do one, because I’d heard such great things about them, and they’re such awesome shows. I was really glad I could be a part of it.”
Gordon will be back on the big screen in his signature role Aug. 3 when Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days opens. It combines bits of the third and fourth books in the popular children’s book series.
Photo: Courtesy of The Hub Credit: Katie Yu