Touching down in Toronto to celebrate the release of his new movie, The DUFF, isn’t only a thrill for 26-year-old Robbie Amell, but for his close-knit family as well. When we meet the actor, who also stars on TV’s The Flash , at the Shangri-La Hotel, he says he’s looking forward to seeing the high school comedy with his loved ones. “It’s crazy to me,” he says. “They get to see it with an audience, which is fun. It’s exciting.”
In the hilarious movie co-starring Parenthood’s Mae Whitman, Robbie plays the popular athlete who turns out to have more heart than he first lets on. Before heading off to the premiere with his fiancée Italia Ricci, Robbie – who went to high school at Toronto’s Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute – opens up about his school days.
I had quite a few good girl friends back in high school. None were especially similar to Bianca [Mae Whitman’s character in The DUFF]. But I wasn’t especially confident, I wasn’t the guy to go to for dating advice. I wasn’t the guy who could go and try to pick up a girl. I needed an introduction, a mutual friend or something like that. Ladies Man? Not really me.
FRONT AND CENTRE
My mom and dad got me into commercials and print work. It was mostly to cover playing hockey. I don’t remember how I got into it but for a little while when I was in school I did a ton of print work, like Sears catalogues. My mom has them all cut out and it’s a total trip [to go through them all], it’s really funny. I never thought of it as a career until I stumbled upon my first movie role.
I played hockey my entire life right up until I booked Cheaper By the Dozen 2. Acting was not something I’d thought about doing. Like most Canadian kids, I had the dream of being a professional hockey player. I wasn’t outlandish with it. At a certain age I figured I would get into sports medicine or kinesiology. Then Cheaper By the Dozen 2 happened, and halfway through filming I called my hockey coach and quit. I got into some on-camera classes and booked a TV show. I tried to work as much as I could to get my visa and give it a shot in the States.
NO INSTAGRAM, NO PROBLEM
If social media was as big as it is now when I was in school, I probably would not be an actor today. People got into trouble when I was in high school and it wasn’t a huge deal if somebody got it on video. [If they did,] it was very pixelated and nobody could tell who was who. I think it kind of sucks. I think kids should be able to make mistakes and get away with things to a certain extent.
JUST FOR LAUGHS
I wasn’t like the class clown, but I loved games in drama class. I always had a good sense of humour about myself. I’m a very hard person to embarrass, so if anything embarrassing happened to me in high school I’d laugh it off and turn it into a joke.