CJ Adams is the 12-year-old boy that plays the lead character of Timothy Green in the film The Odd Life of Timothy Green, directed by Peter Hedges and also starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton. Along with several other bloggers, I was able to chat with CJ during a phone interview. See what he had to say about playing this great character:
Q [VANESSA]: What was your favorite part about playing the character of Timothy Green?
CJ: Probably my favorite part of playing the character of Timothy Green was just being such a sweet boy. I just liked playing someone who was different and unique. That’s what I loved about being Timothy.
Q [TERRIANN]: Could you relate to anything that Timothy experienced? If so, could you give an example?
CJ: Timothy treats anyone the same no matter how they act. That’s what I do. I treat anyone the same. If I had a bully at school and he was mean to me, I would be nice to him. That’s what I think is a lot alike.
Q [CHELSEA]: Did you learn anything valuable from the adult actors you worked with or get any good advice from them?
CJ: What I learned from Jennifer and Joel was that they told me to make your Timothy by putting all those personalities together and then become him by putting your mind into his head.
Q [LAUREN]: In the movie, of all the qualities that your parents wished you would have, what was your favorite quality that you had and why?
CJ: Having a good heart because it’s most important is treating people the way that you want them to treat you, and that’s what I thought was probably the most important.
Q [LAURA]: Steve Carell, who is a comedian you see in The Office, was he like that when playing with him in Dan in Real Life too?
CJ: Yeah, he kinda was. He always has this funny ability that whenever you talk to him, he always has a joke hiding in there that he’s ready to say. That’s what I really liked about Steve Carell.
Q [KIM]: What do you think grown-ups can learn from Timothy Green?
CJ: What I think grownups can learn from Timothy Green is that you should always take care of your kids and always have their back rather than always be on their case, you know?
Q [LAUREN]: What the hardest thing in the movie for you? Taking the time out from being with your friends?
CJ: Probably the hardest part for me was having to fit in school. At the same time you had to keep going back and forth and rushing to get home to the schoolroom and rushing to get back. That was probably the biggest struggle between my time of filming.
Q [TONI]: How did you prepare yourself to play Timothy Green?
CJ: Well, the way I prepared myself to play Timothy Green was, I learned all these personalities by reading the script and I crafted my Timothy by putting all those personalities together. And then I became that Timothy and that’s really how I played him.
Q [DARCY]: Timothy would look up at the sun. Did you study any particular plant to help prepare you for your role?
CJ: I didn’t really. There was one scene where I was teaching Joni and I told her to think ‘tree’. Like, she spread her arms out like a tree and become the tree with branches.
Q [MELISSA]: Besides The Odd Life of Timothy Green, what’s one of your favorite movies?
CJ: Probably my favorite movie other than the Odd Life of Timothy Green is The Avengers because I thought it is so well done. I like super heroes, and it’s kinda like my thing. I thought it was really cool to watch and go all out.
Q [TRICIA]: In the movie, you had played soccer, and I was wondering if that’s the sport you normally play, or what other types of sports do you play?
CJ: Soccer is my main sport. If I had to play any sport to play for the rest of my life, it would be soccer, because I love soccer.
Q [ALLIE]: Did being part of this movie enhance or affect your relationship with your parents at all, given the nature of the film?
CJ: It actually didn’t because every family is different in their own needing, loving way.
Q [CHRISTY]: Have you always wanted to act, and how did you get into acting?
CJ: Well, I never really always wanted to act. It kinda just came sudden because there was this free for all trial for Dan in Real Life, and I thought why not try out just for fun. And I got the part as young Elliot Burns. Peter Hedges was the director of that movie was trying another movie, and I tried out for that, and I got the part. So now I’m trying to do more movies now. I’m in the business.
Q [ASHLEY]: I think one of the scenes that stands out to people in the movie is the scene when you were all muddy and covered in dirt. Was it fun for you, what it was like filming the scene?
CJ: You know, every kid wants to get all dirty and stuff. But it actually wasn’t that fun for me because we were filming in, like, a thirty-two degree garage, and they kept spraying me with water so the mud can stay moist and it wouldn’t get all dry. It was soooo uncomfortable!
Q [LYNETTE]: What do you love most about acting?
CJ: What I like most about acting is just playing around, becoming another guy, like doing funny voices if I have to. That’s just fun for me.
Q [CARRIE]: My daughters loved the movie and that it’s like a modern-day fairytale. Do you have a favorite fairy tale?
CJ: My favorite fairy tale, I know it’s not very manly, but I really like Ariel. The last time I watched it, I was five, and I thought it was a really nice movie.
Q [MARSHALL]: What do you want kids to learn from the film?
CJ: I want kids to learn that no matter how the person, who the person is, or how they act, like a bully or anything, I want you to treat them the exact same and then they treat you that way.
Q [MARSHALL]: You said you liked the Avengers, Who is your favorite Avenger?
CJ: Probably my favorite Avenger would be the bad guy because he can duplicate himself.