Owen Vaccaro stars opposite megastars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in their new movie, "Daddy's Home," and the 10-year-old didn't break a sweat acting in such a major motion picture.
"I feel that theater is more nerve-wracking than filming," the confident young actor told Headlines & Global News in an exclusive interview. "I'm used to theater, so it wasn't as bad because you get a lot of takes."
"Daddy's Home" stars Ferrell as a conservative, straight-laced stepfather whose world is turned upside down when his wife's (Linda Cardellini) wild and fun-loving ex-husband (Wahlberg) rolls back into town to visit their two kids, son Dylan (Vaccaro) and daughter Megan (Scarlett Estevez).
Playing a timid and shy little boy in the movie, Vaccaro said that he let loose and enjoyed his time on set. He and his co-star Estevez would have dance parties, watch movies and take full advantage of craft services. He consumed a lot of Doritos chips, candy and mints - none of which made him sick by some miracle!
The Georgia native faced his toughest challenges filming when he had to stifle his laughter during a scene or cry on command. Vaccaro told HNGN that Wahlberg had him cracking up the most, especially since the two worked together more than Vaccaro did with Ferrell, who spent a lot of time also serving as a producer.
Vaccaro's favorite scene to shoot included Wahlberg and Ferrell when their characters try to one-up each other while tucking the kids into bed. But the funny back and forth between the two grown men wasn't the best thing about the scene for their young co-star.
"We got to wear pajamas all day," Vaccaro raved.
The entire experience has been a whirlwind for Vaccaro and his entire family, who traveled to New York City for the first time to attend the "Daddy's Home" premiere. The incredible opportunity is not lost on any of them.
"It's so crazy. I feel like it's not really happening, quite honestly," Vaccaro's mother, Alli, told HNGN. "[His father and I] tell Owen, it's such an adventure he's taken us on. We're not actors. We don't do anything in this [business], so it's been super cool."
Vaccaro is already finished filming on his next feature film, "Mother's Day," from director Garry Marshall. He plays the son of Sarah Chalke and Cameron Esposito, who made "really good moms."
"It was really fun working with them. They are great people," he said about Chalke and Esposito.
The "Mother's Day" shoot took Vaccaro to New Orleans, the city from which his father hails. His dad acted as a tour guide for the family around the city and introduced Vaccaro to his first beignet, a popular pastry in the Big Easy.
The actor's on-set teacher also provided him with a little extra New Orleans education in between their regularly scheduled schoolwork. Vaccaro said that he loved their visit to a Mardi Gras museum and a butterfly house.
Now, Vaccaro is back in Georgia attending his regular school. He spends his days playing with his little brother, jumping on his trampoline and playing video games. His favorite is "Minecraft," although he enjoys an all-night "Rock Band" jam.
"I'm still a normal kid," Vaccaro said. His friends still see him that way too and not as some big Hollywood star. "It's not going to change with them."