Shalom Life | April 24, 2014

Top 20 Under 40 Los Angeles- Zachary Gordon

This ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ star is the youngest talent to land on our list.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: August 21st, 2012 in Culture » Film » Interviews

Top 20 Under 40 Los Angeles- Zachary Gordon

In celebration of Shalom Life’s new Los Angeles office, we have decided to take our popular “Top 20 Under 40” series on the road.

Over the next 20 days, Shalom Life will showcase 20 individuals of diverse talents and backgrounds that have made a significant contribution to their field both locally and globally. From entrepreneurs to philanthropists, entertainers to chefs, this list places a spotlight on a small sampling of the spectacular, innovative, and passionate Jews that call Los Angeles home.

Top 20 Under 40- Zachary Gordon

Age: 14

Born and raised in Oak Park, California, 14-year-old Zachary Gordon has already made a name for himself in the incredibly competitive Hollywood market. Best known for his role as Greg Heffley in all three film adaptations of Jeff Kinney’s ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ books, Gordon has a rich and promising career ahead.

Gordon knew he wanted to pursue acting from a very young age, landing his first big screen role in 2007’s ‘Georgia Rule’, earning a “Young Artist Award” for best supporting actor.

“I wanted to act from the time I was very young (about 4). I was a very precocious little boy and lots of people used to tell my mom that I should be on TV and it kind of stuck in my head. My Mom wasn’t crazy about the idea and tried to put it off as long as she could, but I was very persistent and she eventually gave in,” Gordon shared with Shalom Life.

Gordon has guest starred in many television series including ‘All of Us’, ‘How I Met Your Mother’, ‘Desperate Housewives’, and ‘24’, and voiced animated characters in feature length films such as ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2’.

“As a young person, I would have to say I’ve had many great accomplishments to date. If someone told me 6 years ago that I would have been a part of so many different projects, I would have found it hard to believe. I am proud of every role I have done, both on camera and in voice over.”

‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ and ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules’ both grossed over $144 million worldwide and opened to number one success at the box office, but the films’ financial success did not match Gordon’s excitement for having the opportunity to star in the movies based on some of his favorite books.

“I read the books before I even knew there was going to be a movie. I was so excited about them that I told my Mom I wanted to make them into movies. A few months later, my agent told me that I had an audition for Greg in Diary of A Wimpy Kid. Although I was disappointed that Fox was going to make the movie (instead of me), I was glad that I had the opportunity to go out for the role.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid was my first starring role and was different from all of my other roles in that I had to carry the movies, so it was a heavy responsibility. I am probably most proud of my ability to handle the expectations that go along with a role like that.”

Gordon loves acting, but would like to eventually delve into other facets of the movie business.

“I have many things I would like to accomplish in my lifetime. I want to continue acting; however, I would also like to write and direct in the future. One of my long range goals would be to write, direct and star in my own movie. It’s pretty ambitious, but I believe that it is possible.”

Gordon is not only a versatile and talented actor, but a humanitarian.

“There are many charities that I support. One of them is Lollipop Theatre Network. They screen movies in hospitals for children who are too ill to get to the theatres, and I visit on the days they screen and spend time with the kids. It really makes me appreciate all I have in my life. I am also a Star Power Ambassador for Starlight Children’s Foundation, an organization that helps seriously ill kids & their families cope with pain, fear & isolation through entertainment, education & family activities,” Gordon shared.

Gordon is not your average teenage boy. He is mature, wise beyond his years, passionate, and focused. When asked how he’d like to be remembered, he simply responded, “a humble and generous person who inspired many people to do good deeds and follow their dreams.”

Finally, Gordon is proud of his Jewish heritage, currently studying for the Bar Mitzvah he missed due to scheduling conflicts.

“Because of my crazy schedule and being out of town so much filming , I didn’t get to have my Bar Mitzvah last year, so I am currently studying for it.

My grandparents were Holocaust survivors, so I have heard many amazing stories about their struggles to survive. When I think about all they went through and how strong they were, it makes me proud and grateful to be Jewish."

Click over to Page 2 to learn some fun facts about Zachary Gordon!

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