Actor Spotlight: One On One With Big Nate Star And Actor Ben Giroux

Photo Credit: Nick Rasmussen

He voices the lead character in the Nickelodeon animated series that premiered on Paramount+. The show, based on the books of the same name, follows 11-year-old Nate Wright, a rebellious sixth-grader with a never-ending need to prove his awesomeness to the world. Whether he’s dealing with disasters at home or detention at school, Nate is no stranger to a challenge. Luckily, he’s able to express himself through the cartoons he creates. The cast also includes Dove Cameron, Rob DelaneyCarolyn Hennesy, and special guest star Jack Black to name just a few.

Giroux is best-known for his portrayal of The Toddler, the main and original villain on the hit Nickelodeon series Henry Danger. After a five-season run on the show, he brought his popular character to the spin-off series Danger Force. Since its inception, the “Dangerverse” has become one of Nickelodeon’s most successful and longest-running franchises of all time.  To date, Giroux has showcased his talent on over 100 episodes of television, including a recent recurring role on the Netflix sitcom The Big Show Show as the comedic nemesis of WWE star Paul “Big Show” Wright. Other appearances include Will & Grace, NCIS, Bones, Psych, and House, M.D. to name a few. He has also made a name for himself with an extensive resume of voiceover roles. Notable credits include Bunsen is a Beast, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, DC Superhero Girls, and The Loud House, among many others.

With his huge fanbase, Giroux has built an impressive social media presence and is verified on all platforms. He launched a very successful TikTok channel with over 113 million likes and over 4 million followers where he posts hilarious content including Dumb DubsMostly Good Advice, and Ruin A Toon.  He has also established a loyal following on Instagram with over 192,000 followers, Facebook with over 168,000 followers, and Twitter.

StarCentral International recently caught up with Ben to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:

1. Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the entertainment industry? 

Hey! I’m a comedic actor/director currently starring on Nickelodeon’s “Big Nate” on Paramount+. I’ve also played The Toddler on Nickelodeon’s “Henry Danger” franchise for the past decade in addition to directing, producing, and writing commercials, music videos, and TV pilots via my production company, Small Red Cape.

2. What do you like most about acting? 

On a deeper level: with the world in a pretty funky spot right now, my imprint on the universe is adding a little bit of levity. Acting allows me to create and consume comedy and laughter—I’m obsessed with collaborative creativity. On a shallow level: there are really tasty snacks on set.

3. How different is it to act in front of the camera vs. voiceover acting? And which one do you prefer? 

It’s all comedic storytelling—just through different mediums. I love being in front of the camera and behind the microphone equally. That said, voiceover affords me a wider range of roles I’m applicable for; Nate Wright is a 6th-grade kid, but I can also play a creature, a superhero, and a robot in the same episode.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Nickelodeon

4. What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them? 

Sometimes I overthink things and get a little too “in my head.” Over the past few years, I’ve been focused on owning my inner confidence and trusting my instincts.

5. What are your strong points as an actor? 

Improv, improv, improv! I think the key to a career in comedy (and really, life in general) is embodying the spirit of “yes, and….” Most of my television roles have allowed me to riff, improvise, and add my own flair. “Big Nate” is a great example; I’d say about 10% of our show is entirely improvised. Those little moments of unscripted magic are something I pride myself on.

6. What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

80% of good directing is casting. I really enjoy working with directors who let their cast explore, color outside the lines, and elevate a script with their own unique spin. The cast has been hired for a reason, so I love directors who give their cast a safe, free environment to try outside-the-box choices. Every time I work with a great director, it inspires me in my own directing career.

7. What are some of the difficulties of the acting business? 

When you begin a career in entertainment, you’re signing up for a life of 99% rejection. As an actor, you’re essentially a professional job interviewee—constantly auditioning for opportunities where the odds are stacked against you. But all of that hard work pays off when you land a role; it makes the constant rejection and close calls well worth it. You must be relentlessly driven, never getting too pumped up or too discouraged.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Nickelodeon

8. What’s challenging about bringing a script to life? 

The biggest challenge about bringing a script to life is finding cohesion between a lot of disparate things: making the character feel authentic, making the character specific to your own point-of-view and skillset, making choices that are consistent with the director/showrunner’s style—there’s a lot to consider. But filmmaking is the ultimate team sport and that collaborative energy is what ultimately brings a script to life.

9. What do you do when you’re not filming? 

I’m really into fitness! I go to the gym almost every day —it’s a great way to disconnect. I also travel around the country competing in Spartan Race obstacle course races. I love challenging myself physically. I’m also obsessed with watching NBA basketball. Go Suns!

10. What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far? 

I have so many awesome memories from my career, but one of my favorite experiences was creating a parody music video called “Back to the 90s” in 2017. In it, my team celebrated all sorts of ‘90s pop culture and music genres. When we released the video, it went mega-viral, charting on Billboard, amassing 100 million views, and landing us all in Las Vegas with The Backstreet Boys. Truly a surreal experience and one that opened up so many great opportunities thereafter.

Photo Credit: Adam Hendershott

11. Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far? 

I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with so many amazingly talented people over the years. I loved working with Christopher Guest on his HBO series “Family Tree,” Charlie Sheen on the FX series “Anger Management,” and even Chevy Chase in a Lifetime Christmas movie.

12. If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you? 

The Rock, obviously.

13. What are your future plans–inside your career or out of it? 

To continue making funny, cool, creative content with my friends whether that’s on or off-camera. I’m also actively pitching original TV series with my writing partner, so hopefully, I’m running my own show very soon.

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