Peter Pan had to grow up after all.
Jeremy Sumpter, best known for his role of Peter Pan, is no longer the kid we once knew. In the new movie The Squeeze, the 26-year-old actor plays Augie, a talented humbled golfer who finds himself in trouble when he gets caught up in the middle of some big-time gamblers. Jeremy talked with us about his golfing skills and how he's matured since his Neverland days.
C: What intrigued you about this film?
JS: "The thing is, this movie came out at the right time for me. I love golf. I've been golfing for 15 years. All I was doing was playing golf every single day, sometimes two rounds a day. My agent called and said 'Jeremy, they're doing a golf movie. Are you interested?' And I was like 'Uh yeah.' So they sent me the script and I read it and called them to get me a meeting with Terry Jastrow [director], but I wanted it to be on a golf course. I knew if it was on the golf course, I could seal the deal."
C: We had no idea you're such a pro! How did you get into the sport?
JS: "When I was in Australia doing Peter Pan, there was a golf course that lit up at night and I'd go play golf after I was working all day. I'd play 9 holes and I was like 'This is awesome' and that's where I really started playing."
C: Speaking of Peter Pan, that was back in 2003 - but that is also where most people recognize you from. How do you choose your roles now?
JS: "I'm a man now. I'm 26 years old. I played the kid who never grew up, the coolest kid in the world back then. Now in The Squeeze, I play Augie, a young man who looks after his mom and sister and he's in love with a girl who's probably going to end up as his wife soon. I've matured in a lot of ways in how I portray myself as an actor. Back then I read the scripts and I just did it. I was perfect for Peter Pan, out of 400,000 kids I was the one who got it. I was pretty much born to play that role. I put myself in a lot of the roles I play."
C: Augie got himself into some trouble because of gambling. Are you a big gambler?
JS: "Not too much. I go out to Vegas and I'll play some Blackjack, hold'em and slot machines maybe. I'm not into it too much. I'll go on the golf course and bet 20 bucks with my friends so we can play sports and just have something more than a match."
C: Since you're a golfer in real life, what were some challenges you encountered during filming?
JS: "There were challenges with hitting the golf shots I needed to hit. Terry would be like 'Jeremy, I need you to hit it right here, can you hit it right here?' I'm like 'Yeah, I can hit it right here.' And I'll miss it by a foot and he's like 'No Jeremy, you're too far off.' He gave me a circle the size of a bowl I had to land it in every time. All the shots you see in the film were mine."
Don't forget to check out all of Jeremy's shots in The Squeeze! Out in theaters and VOD on April 17.