By Ryan McPherson
Don’t let his youth fool you, if you’ve seen (or heard) any amount of television or film over the past few years, we’d guess you probably know Joshua Rush. The young and rising star, has worked on shows such as ‘Heroes’ and ‘Bones”; shared the silver screen with the likes of Billy Crystal and Bette Midler; and voiced characters from popular animated series like ‘Family Guy’ and ‘The Cleveland Show’. With a new film (‘Emelie’) and animated TV show (‘The Lion Guard’) on the way, we chatted with Rush about what he has coming up, what life as a young actor is like, and what his future aspirations are.
You’ve got some big projects (namely ‘The Lion Guard’ and ‘Emelie’) coming out, what can you tell us about them?
Well, ‘The Lion Guard’ is a show about Simba’s son, Kion, and Kion has to lead a sort of ragtag team of animals to protect the Pride Lands, and defend the circle of life. It’s almost like ‘Avengers’ meets ‘The Lion King’! ‘Emelie’ is a pretty terrifying thriller about a babysitter who comes in to my home to babysit my character, and my little sister and little brother, and she ends up trying to kidnap my baby brother. I don’t want to give any more away, though! You’ll have to watch it when it comes out this spring!
Is working on a series like ‘The Lion Guard’ intimidating, knowing the source material is so beloved?
It’s exciting but I wouldn’t call it intimidating. ‘Lion King’ fans are really enjoying ‘The Lion Guard’ (at least as far as I know!) and we’re still cranking out episodes, so I feel pretty happy with the work we’re putting out, and know that fans will love it too.
The trailer for ‘Emelie’ looks terrifying. How do prepare yourself for a role where you have to appear scared, but in reality know you’re in a scene?
‘Emelie’ is totally a heart pounder. I prepare by knowing my lines, in reality. When I first receive a script (or a scene, because not all of Emelie is terrifying) I read it, trying to be as impersonal as possible, and that’s how I learn the lines; with no acting at all. Then I sprinkle on the acting gradually, as I learn the lines better and better and practice more and more. That way there’s no emotional connection to the scene at the deepest level, but I can still allow myself to feel the emotion; to put forward realistic acting.
From what I can tell, ‘Emelie’ is unrated, with the content appearing quite adult in nature. Do your parents put any restrictions on you watching a completed film you were a part of based on the content?
At this point, no. In the past I wasn’t allowed to see things I was in if they were too graphic, but at this point there’s not much I haven’t seen, and I love to get into the plots of my films. Plus, it helps that I already know what’s going to happen!
We read the film was shot in Buffalo, NY. Being from the area ourselves, we have to ask about your impression of the city. Did you get a chance to see the area at all? Is there any difference in the filming experience when you’re working outside of what would be considered a “usual” film city?
I got a little bit of the town! Not as much as I wish, though. In a word, Buffalo is cold. In a few words, it’s a lovely town with some SUPER nice people. 10/10 I would film a movie there again. It definitely was interesting to film a movie outside of LA. It’s a much smaller town, and as such, there were some people who came and heard about it and looked around. Overall, it was a lot of fun, and a lot of the crew were from New York, so we still got film people.
You’ve got a list of impressive credits a mile long at a very young age. Have you already become a workaholic?
No way! I still get plenty of time to have fun (my parents would say it’s even too much!) and I still get to be a normal kid a pretty fair amount of time!
How do you juggle your responsibilities, enjoy being young, and work so consistently?
I still have plenty of homework, believe me! And I still get plenty of time to have fun. It’s definitely a work/life balance, but I think I handle it pretty well, and still get to have fun, hang out with friends, and I still get plenty of relaxation time. I don’t get as much as the average kid my age, but it’s enough for me, and I love what I do, and when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life!
Being so young and talented, you assuredly have a long career ahead of you. Are there any specific genres or projects you’d like to work on someday?
I WANT TO BE JAMES BOND! I think I touched on this earlier, but James Bond is the dream for me. The cars, the suits, the general lady action, the CARS, the guns. I mean, James Bond is the manliest of the men and he’s cool and I really want to be him.