Robbie Amell, lead actor in the comedy Nine Lives, spoke exclusively to uInterview about how he got his start in acting and his close relationship with his cousin, Stephen Amell.

Robbie Amell Video Exclusive

When asked how he got into acting, Amell responded, “Very luckily. I did commercials and print work when I was young, but I played hockey five to seven days a week, so there was a period of time where I stopped doing print work and commercials altogether.”

That all changed when he got a call from his agent about an audition for Cheaper By The Dozen 2. Amell got his big break playing one of Eugene Levy’s children in the film. It Amell’s first movie audition and he spent two months in Toronto shooting the film. “I didn’t have enough lines to screw everything up, but I got to watch Eugene Levy and Bonnie Hunt and Steve Martin. I just tried to learn as much as I could. I quit hockey and got into acting and I haven’t looked back,” he told uInterview.

Acting seems to run in the family and Amell also spoke about his close relationship with his cousin Stephen Amell. Both started pursuing careers in acting separately, but at the same time. “We have a great relationship. We were really close when we were young and then there’s a seven-year age gap. He’s a little older. So he liked girls and I still liked toys and video games,” he remembered. When Stephen moved to LA shortly after Amell they became close again.

Amell also opened up about working with Kevin Spacey. “Kevin is incredibly smart. He also dominates a room like nobody I’ve met.” According to Amell, the two bonded over ping pong games. “He loves ping pong. He always travels with a ping pong table. I think we played over 100 games and I won more than he did,” he joked.

In addition to working with some of the most formidable talents in the industry, Amell has also worked with some of the furriest: cats. He fondly recounted one particular moment when one of his trained cat co-stars went rogue and flew after a pen in the middle of shooting a scene for Nine Lives.

“I’d have to be turned into something hypoallergenic like a small poodle,” he joked when asked what animal he’d rather be transformed into.

 

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Q: If you had to transform into any animal, what would it be? -

I’d be so screwed, I would be so allergic to myself. I would have to be turned into something hypoallergenic, like a small poodle.

Q: What were the challenges of having a cat as a co-star? -

You know, you’d think there would be more but they had about five cats and they were all so well trained — except one of them. There’s a scene where the cat is trained to get out of the bag I carried in and hop behind this chair and get on top of a shelf and look down on us. It had also been trained to go after a pen whenever it sees it, and that pen happened to be sitting on the table in the room we were shooting in. So, it got out of the bag, it was about to head up the shelf and it caught sight of the pen that it was supposed to go after in a different scene and it just went flying across the room, flinging a pen all over the place and Cheryl Hines, who plays my Mom, her and I are just trying super hard not to laugh. Barry really enjoys outtakes so he wouldn’t let us — he wouldn’t call cut, so we were just kinda stuck there trying not to laugh and trying to say our lines.

Q: What was it like working with Kevin Spacey? -

Kevin’s incredibly smart, that was like the first thing I noticed with him. He also dominates a room like nobody I’ve ever met. One of the first times I met him was the table read, and the whole cast was there, producers, director, and then Kevin walks in and you could hear a pin drop. Everyone was just like, ‘Kevin, it’s Kevin Spacey.’ But, he was great, we had a lot of fun, he loves ping pong, he always travels with a ping pong table. So, I think we played almost one hundred games and I won more than he did.

Q: What was it like working with your cousin, Stephen Amell? -

Well, we haven’t shot the movie yet, we did a short film called Code 8, so we’ll do the movie in May, June and July of next year. But, we have a great relationship, we were really close when we were young and then there’s a seven year age gap. He’s a little older. So, he liked girls and I still liked toys and video games. We fell out of touch a little bit and then we actually both got into acting separately just around the same time. He moved out to L.A. shortly after I did and we became great friends again.