'The Vampire's Assistant's' Chris Massoglia Keeps it Real

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Chris Massoglia loves sports (soccer and baseball, in particular) and values his friends and family just like any other high school teenager. However, the mellow Minnesota native isn't your average 17-year-old kid -- Chris is the star of Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, the highly anticipated adaptation of Darren Shan's popular book series.

In The Vampire's Assistant, Chris plays Darren, a typical teen whose whole life changes when he checks out a traveling freak show at the local theater. Getting more than he bargained for, Darren is transformed into a vampire and finds himself in the middle of a war between the vampires and the Vampanese. Eek!

Being the lead in a major motion picture might inflate the egos of some people, but Chris has his budding film career in check, remaining humble, yet completely excited for the future. Here, the heartthrob opens up to JSYK about the special effects in the film, his all-star castmates and how he's totally ready for what fame may have in store. The Vampire's Assistant opens in theaters on Friday, October 23!

JSYK: Were you a fan of Darren Shan's books before getting the lead role?

Chris Massoglia: The Vampire's Assistant is actually based on the first three books combined and there are 12 books in the series. I haven't read all the books just cause I don't want to get ahead of the story, but I've definitely looked at them.

JSYK: You got to work with some big names in Hollywood for this film. Who were you most excited to play opposite?

Chris: When I first heard who was playing all the characters, I was really excited to meet Ken Watanabe. I think he's a cool actor and I was really excited to work with him, and John C. Reilly, too -- I'm a big fan of all his movies. It was really cool getting to work with him.
JSYK: Were the costumes as creepy in real life or is it mostly just special effects?

Chris: The costumes were actually really, really cool. There weren't that many CGI characters. The concept of the Cirque du Freak is all these different characters that have all these freaky abilities, and so some characters just have CGI built around the character. Orlando Jones's character – he played Alexander Ribs – is super super skinny, and doesn't have any ribs, so you can see all his internal organs. That was all CGI. Jane Krakowski's character she can grow her arms back after they've been chopped off, and that was obviously CGI, but there are some characters that wore special effects makeup or prosthetic makeup. Patrick Fugit, who played Snake Boy, is totally green and scaly everywhere. It was all prosthetic makeup, and it looked really good. Mr. Tiny was in a fat suit and he had all prosthetic makeup on his chin and face to make him look more chubby. That was cool because he's a really skinny person in real life, so it's kind of weird to see him walk around with a fat head on.

Watch the 'Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant' Trailer

JSYK: You were named one of Variety's "10 Actors to Watch" last year. Do you feel like you're under pressure to live up to that?

Chris: No, I don't think so. It was really cool to get that and everything, but I think people can watch this movie and see [for themselves] what they think. I think that's really what the article is about – like, watch for this kid in this movie. I think people will be really happy.

JSYK: As a kid, you went to the regional Little League World Series repping Minnesota. Is baseball still a big part of your life?

Chris: Baseball is definitely still a big part of my life. I play high school baseball now in Minneapolis. It's a lot of fun. I mean, we're not amazing, but it's fun and it's decently competitive, which is nice, and I get to play a lot so it's cool.

JSYK: What else do you do in your spare time?

Chris: Right now, I'm playing soccer, which takes up a lot of time, and I'm going to school online. I'd be a senior in high school right now. There's this really cool program in Minnesota called post-secondary education, and if you're a junior or senior in high school and you have a 2.0 GPA, then you can go to college for free and take up to 15 credits at any college in Minnesota, so that's what I'm doing now. Between acting and sports and school, I stay pretty busy.

JSYK: You play the young, good-looking vampire in this movie. Are you prepared for fame? What if you hit Robert Pattinson status?

Chris: I don't think anyone can really be prepared for that until it's happened because they just don't know how abnormal that is. But I think having good friends and people who I've really established solid friendships with really helps because I can be really real with people at the same time. Then it's not a totally random weird situation where I have tons of people that I don't even know wanting to be my friend. So yeah, I think I'm prepared for it as much as anyone can be.

Read Our Exclusive Q&A With Jessica Carlson From The Vampire's Assistant


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