Exclusive Interview with Storks’ Anton Starkman
Los Angeles-native Anton Starkman didn’t have a typical initiation into acting. While going with his mother to sign his two older brothers with a theatrical agent, they were handed three forms instead of two, and Starkman has been acting ever since. At the young age of 13, Anton already sports an impressive resume, having appeared on hit shows such as American Horror Story: Hotel, Teen Wolf, Dead of Summer, among others. His most recent role in the much-anticipated Storks has him voicing the role of Nate, a young boy who has a simple wish that leads to a humorous adventure.
What was the audition process like for Storks?
The audition process for Storks was really like a regular audition. They were looking for a boy that could act most of all. Not one that was trying to sound like an actual boy but who really was one. I started recording my parts about 2 years ago and finished my last session about a month ago.
You portray the voice of Nate Gardner in Storks. What can you tell us about that character?
The character Nate is a boy about 10 years old who wants more than anything to have someone to play with. He has to play by himself a lot of the time because his parents are always working. They love him but they just don’t have more than a few minutes to play. So Nate takes matters into his own hands and asks for a baby brother.
Was it difficult to go from being on-screen in your previous roles to only portraying the voice of a character?
There really isn’t much of a difference between a voice role and an on-screen role. Both take being able to get into character and think ahead of what the character might do or think. I can say that with Storks the directors, Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland and producers Nicholas and Brad Lewis, really let me have creative freedom. They would give me the line but then ask me how I would do it.
What is it about Storks that will make people want to see it?
This movie is not a typical animated feature. I know a lot of people say that but it’s true that parents, grandparents, kids, teenagers and adults will love this movie (I think I covered everyone). It has inside jokes and moments that many different kinds of people will relate to. Who doesn’t like a movie about Storks and babies? It’s just cute and cute. Then there are the wolves…you just have to see it to believe it.
You also star in Shovel Buddies. What can you tell us about that film?
Shovel Buddies is a movie that has three teenagers and a Lump. I play Lump. He’s the younger brother of one of the teens whose best friend died of Leukemia. Before the friend dies he leaves a Snapchat of where he wants to be buried. The friend’s parents don’t believe him because the Snapchat is gone in 24 hours. the group sets out to make his wishes come true. The whole movie takes place over one night. It’s filled with friendship, heartbreak, love and laughter. It’s much more adult content but it was fun for me to play a character like Lump and spending time with the older actors Bella Thorne, Alex Neustaedter and Kian Lawley was not only fun but a learning experience too.
You portrayed Max Ellison in American Horror Story, a show that has a pretty large fanbase. What was it like working on the show and starring opposite of some pretty big names, like Lady Gaga. Was it nerve-wracking?
When I booked the role of Max Ellison I didn’t really know what American Horror Story was about. I started to understand when one of the crew asked if my mom was ok with my role. We understood that I was bringing a character that the writers created to life. I worked directly with Kathy Bates, Denis O’Hare, Chloe Sevigny, Wes Bently and Angela Bassett. Because of the nature of the show we were under very strict orders to not talk about the show. I was not allowed to even tell my teachers. So not a lot of people knew who I was. It’s a very professional environment and they are very respectful of child actors. When I stepped onto the set I was expected to bring Max to life. I enjoyed every second of that.
You are still very early on in your career. What are some of your hopes and dreams for your future?
I feel so lucky to be able to be a part of this industry. It’s easier for me than some kids because I was born in Los Angeles so I didn’t have to uproot my family. I appreciate that. I would love to one day be the hero in a super-hero movie franchise. Who wouldn’t love that?
Do you have any advice to give to kids your age who want to get into acting?
The hardest part of acting for new kids is when you work really hard on a part and then you don’t get the job. I go on many, many auditions before I ever get the job. I’ve been doing this for 8 years so that part is getting easier. I want kids to know they have to keep going, learn more, study harder and don’t give up.
Our website is called Talk Nerdy With Us? Is there anything that you nerd out about?
That is a question right up my alley, I’m a huge nerd and proud of it. I nerd out about things like science, computers, super heroes, books, math… Some people call that nerdy but I like to call that smart.