TODAY   |  March 16, 2010

‘Wimpy Kid’ comes to life

Jeff Kinney, author of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” talks about bringing his stick-figure drawings to life on the big screen with the help of actors Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron, who breathe life into the lead roles.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it.

>>> if you've got tweens or young kids you may want to head to the movies this friday. because the " diary of a wimpy kid " book series are going hollywood . the cartoon stick figures from the book are now on the big screen in human form .

>>> zach gordon plays greg hepley. this is so -- we saw the movie over the weekend and, jeff , a lot of authors you talk to are not so thrilled when they see the movie up on the big screen . i would think you've got to be pretty pleased with this.

>> i'm really happy. i entered into this as a collaboration with the studios and producers. i stayed with the movie from the beginning until the end. it was really an education and pleasure for me.

>> a lot of books you imagine what the character looks like. greg and rowley are stick figures , cartoons in your books. do you think these guys look like your stick figure cartoons?

>> i think rowley looks like his character. but everybody had a different idea of what they would look like but i think zach brought the personality of greg to life.

>> zach , i understand you were a little disappointed when you heard the movie was coming out. how come?

>> well, actually after i read the book, i told my mom i wanted to produce a movie about this book, direct it, star in it, write it. i wanted to do everything possible to make a movie about this book.

>> but at least you're starring in it. that's not so bad.

>> you know? it's good. it's all good.

>> it's all good? and robert, what about you? what is it like playing the best friend ? kind of the sidekick.

>> if you only know, jeff has been teasing me all the time because zach 's on the poster and i'm not. jeff 's always going like, well, this isn't the post-only club.

>> oh, wow!

>> i actually like rowley because he gets to do all this fun stuff. he's doing a big flip going over --

>> do you do your own stunts in the movie?

>> no, they actually use a stunt double but they do use me for a scene. you saw the movie, right?

>> yeah.

>> do you remember when i was going around like --

>> when you're flying through the air.

>> i did that.

>> did you that.

>> yeah. they pulled me like 16 feet in the air and act out as if i was falling. i always wanted to be in an action movie so that like got me closer to.

>> there were some special effects . there's one scene in the bathroom where you -- with your brother. you're at the toilet. and where you really doing that or did they have something hooked up there?

>> well, they actually had a wire that was connected to one of the special effects guys. had he this bucket of water, they colored it yellow so it looked like it was -- you know what.

>> you know what.

>> they attached it to my pants. and it sounded like it, too.

>> this sounds like something that would be great to just walk around with.

>> you know?

>> a new toy.

>> you go to school, "back away, people! i got a secret weapon ." you know what happened to my older brother.

>> that's right. when you see this movie , what do you want people to come away from it when they go to see this movie ?

>> i want them to come away with a laugh. i think what the movie really brings to the story that my book didn't bring is the emotional part. is that you really come to care about these two guys and their friendship and i think that only a movie can do that. i want them to be moved, actually.

>> there's some great supporting actors in this. steve zaun who plays your dad is kind of goofy.

>> the movie's so well cast. there is not a single person in it that shouldn't be.

>> i'm just really thrilled. i'm so happy for you. you were one of our first " book club for kids" books. we've also got "the wimpy kid " book movie diary.

>>> coming up next, a 15-minute exercise routine you can fit in any time. no gym required. unless you're rowley and