Cole Allen can currently be seen starring in not one, but two roles on the hit Showtime series Kidding. At just 13 years old, Cole appears alongside Jim Carrey as Will and Phil Pickles in the Golden Globe nominated cable series about a television host working his way through family grief.
We spoke with Cole about how it’s been to act in a duo role, working alongside his cast and crew, and what he does and does not want to see in a third season.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Cole Allen below:
What would you say initially motivated you to pursue acting as a career? Was there anyone who influenced or inspired you?
I kind of fell into acting. My older sister started doing commercials and short films when she was 7 and I often tagged along to her auditions. One time a local casting director asked if I wanted to audition too–and from then on I loved it.
Can you tell us a little about your role as Will and Phil Pickles in Kidding and what viewers can expect from them as a character?
I have really loved getting to play both Will and Phil Pickles in Kidding. In the first season, you mostly see Will as he is dealing with the recent death of his twin and his parents splitting up. Will is figuring out how to be in the world without his brother and he starts acting out with bad behavior. There’s one line where he tells his friend that most people look at him like he’s a ghost because he’s walking around with Phil’s face. As the season goes on you learn more about the kind of kid Phil was when he was alive. It turns out he wasn’t easy to like, and that caused a lot of conflict between him and his dad. In the second season, Will is moving further through his grief and is focused more on his relationship with his parents. He takes some big risks to try and keep everyone together–and I think by the end of season two he has more reason to be hopeful.
How has it been to tackle a duo role like this? Do you find it challenging? Is there anything special you need to do to prepare for your roles?
One of the best parts about working on Kidding is the amazing writers. I am always so excited to read the scripts and see all the tiny tie-ins and Easter eggs that connect the episodes. The character development is just as impressive so I’ve been fortunate to have Will and Phil feel really complete even just on the page. But when it comes to playing two totally different characters I start by thinking about each twin’s motivations and characteristics. Then I think about the way they express themselves–Phil is often scowling and sarcastic, while Will tries to be super snarly but is ultimately much more approachable. It’s been really fun to exaggerate characteristics for one twin that I might downplay for the other–especially when they are both in the same scene together.
It must be amazing to work alongside such a talented cast and crew. How has that experience been for you?
It’s been amazing! I was initially a little nervous about working with such incredible actors and directors, but from the very first day everyone has treated me like a professional and been so kind. I have learned so much from every person I’ve worked with on Kidding. I couldn’t ask for a better experience.
Should Kidding return for a third season, what are your hopes for your character as the series progresses?
Oh man, I have so many hopes for Will. I think what I loved most about season 2 was Will’s rediscovery of magic and how that played into his relationship with his parents. I would love to see that theme explored more in future seasons. Or maybe see what life could have been like for Will if Phil had never died. There’s a lot of story left to tell!
What would you love to get the chance to do or see in an upcoming episode?
I really love doing stunts. I have been lucky to work with stunt coordinator Shauna Duggins on past episodes of Kidding and I would be thrilled to get to do some more stunt work with her. I also love the Puppet Time sets. It would be awesome to get to work with all the puppets–but I’m not a singer so I would not like to have to sing!
So many of us are stuck inside nowadays and Kidding is a great show to stream. What are some of your favorite movies and series to binge on a night in?
I am huge fan of Marvel movies and the Gotham series. I also love Umbrella Academy. Really, I love most things that have their roots in comic books.
Finally, what else are you working on? What can fans look forward to from you next?
I recently finished work on a beautiful independent film called “I’m on Fire” directed by Michael Spiccia. It tells the story of a boy growing up in a dysfunctional Italian-American family in the early 1980s. We shot in some amazing locations in the high desert and the wardrobe was all kinds of retro-cool. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
Thank you so much to Cole Allen for taking the time to answer some questions for us!
Be sure to check out Kidding currently airing on Showtime.