Interviews: Frankie Muniz on Agent Cody Banks 2

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Frankie Muniz returns as super cool spy Cody Banks in Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. This time around, Hilary Duff is out of the picture and Hannah Spearritt takes over the female lead. But did he shy away from doing a kissing scene in the sequel?

“I think the thing with this movie is that we wanted to make it very different from the first. If it ended with me kissing the girl, or if it ended with a romance or me going after the girl then it’d be the same exact thing as when we had Hilary in the movie. We wanted it to be its own movie. And we were also going to bring back the same bad guys and then we kinda scratched that idea because we’d have the same bad guy fight at the end. We were going to bring in Angie Harmon, but then that’d be the same, so we got Anthony Anderson. So we wanted it to be its own and good on it’s on.”

The sequel was made very quickly after MGM saw the success of the first film. “I knew the most about everything that was going on, it was kinda-not scary, but we were writing scenes as we were filming them because we wanted to make them funnier,” says Muniz. “Not because we didn’t have a script or we didn’t know what the movie was going to be about. With Anthony Anderson there, he never said anything that was scripted anyway. I think that was great. It made scenes that weren’t supposed to be funny the funniest in the movie, and scenes that had to be serious were serious. He added a few stuff here and there, but it was fun. It was great. The finished product turned out alright, so I think everyone’s happy.”

Muniz is now growing out of the Cody Banks character and says he’s not committed to doing any more. “They talked about possibly doing a third if this one’s a success, but now I’m not in the spot in my career that I can just do another year of Cody Banks, because the last two years I spent doing movies and that’s it. I really need to go and try something new. I’m at a really critical point in my career to where I have to make that transition from child actor to adult actor, or child actor to respectable actor. The past five years I’ve done ‘Malcolm,’ and ‘Big Fat Liar’ and the two ‘Cody Banks’ movies, and they’ve kind of been the same comedies geared towards a younger audience. I don’t wanna be stereotyped into just that because I feel I’m a much better actor than just that genre. So right now for the summer I’ve got a whole bunch of movies lined up that are more serious, dramatic, independent dark comedies, something very different just to open up more.”

Frankie elaborated a bit more on what films he has in the works. “There’s like five or six movies that are set up, and it’s all about choosing which one I’m going to do this summer. The scripts are great and it’s working with great people, great actors, great directors, great producers, but there’s something about every single one of them, and right now I can’t just do a movie to do a movie. And I can’t just do a dramatic movie to do a dramatic movie. It has to be the right movie. It has to be the perfect movie. So rather than me doing a really dramatic movie or a dark comedy, and me doing awful in it or the movie being terrible, that’s worst than like if I just did nothing. So we’re really just trying to find the perfect thing.”

His schedule might be a problem in landing these roles, however. “We found a few good things and of course all the great things that we’re ready to do aren’t set up to be done this summer. They’re set up to start in August when I start ‘Malcolm’ back. We’re trying to push all those forward, but we don’t wanna rush anything though. So, we’ll see what happens.”He adds that he might still have quite a few years on “Malcolm”. “We’re almost done with this season. I know for sure we’re coming back next season. We’ll see. It’s kind of odd, they’re talking about going another three years, but I’ll be 21. Who is going to care when I’m that old.”

While his management brings him possible projects, Muniz has one interesting way of determining whether or not to do a film. “After reading scripts I give them to an assistant camera man on ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ who is an aspiring director, writer. And I really like what he has to say. I really like taking his advice, which is kind of scary. I’ll read a script and won’t tell him my opinion about it, and give it to him and he’ll come back and tell me what he thinks. Either it’s really good and it makes me feel a lot better about the project that I did, or he thinks it’s bad and I take his advice, which is kind of scary, but it’s cool.”

The first film’s director Harald Zwart did not do the second film, which was helmed by Kevin Allen. “Kevin was great. It was cool to be able to work with a new director, someone different. Even though Harald was amazing and I loved working with him, Harold was all about making the movie huge and just huge explosions and all the action, where Kevin wanted it to be more of a comedy and cared about the acting. Two very different directors, but it was great getting to work with both of them.”

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London is now playing in theaters.