Chatting With The Cast of Nickelodeon’s Big Nate!

Check out the latest Nickelodeon Show Big Nate on Paramount Plus!

Big Nate Poster

Hey All!

The misadventures of BIG NATE are coming to Paramount+ and I had the incredible opportunity to interview the cast. In case you haven’t heard of Big Nate, it’s an all-new animated series from Nickelodeon Animation Studio that is based on the best-selling children’s books and comic strip written and drawn by acclaimed author and cartoonist Lincoln Peirce. The series will stream beginning Thursday, Feb. 17th, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and later in the month in Australia. The first eight episodes will be available in the U.S. and Canada, with more episodes to be announced at a later date. I got a preview of the show and I’m happy to report that it’s absolutely brilliant.

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Paramount+’s BIG NATE animated series will feature brand-new original storylines centered on Nate, a sixth-grade kid who has a never-ending need to prove his awesomeness to the world. Whether he’s dealing with disasters at home or detention at school, Nate Wright is no stranger to a challenge. Luckily, he’s able to express himself through the world of cartoons that he creates. Charming, mischievous and a magnet for misadventure – trouble is always fun when Nate is around.

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I got to zoom interview most of the main cast to discuss the show and the following cast members were in attendance:

Ben Giroux (“Henry Danger”, “Danger Force”, “Hart of Dixie”) as Nate Wright
Dove Cameron (“Descendants,” “Liv and Maddie”) as Ellen Wright
Rob Delaney (“Catastrophe,” “Deadpool 2,” “Hobbs & Shaw”) as Martin Wright
Bryce Charles (“Blackish,” “Young Love”) as Dee Dee Holloway
Daniel MK Cohen (“LEGO City Adventures”, “Body of Proof”) as Francis Pope
Arnie Pantoja (“Final Fantasy VII Remake,” “Trolls: The Beat Goes On”) as Teddy Ortiz

I was thrilled for the opportunity to ask the cast a few questions I was curious to know about the making of the show. Here is what they had to say.

We started the interview out with Ben Giroux. I was curious to know how familiar he was with Big Nate before he signed up to voice Nate.

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Ben Giroux:

It’s funny I’m 37, so I missed that initial Big Nate Surge.  It’s been really fun for me to dive in retroactively to the book series the comic strip and educate myself on the characters in the relationships. It’s a massive world of stuff and yet I think that actually benefited me because the episodes of the television show are completely original storylines. I’m playing the the title character, so I have a responsibility to the fans of Big Nate to make sure that we’re honoring what their vision is for something that in many ways defines their childhood. It also is introducing a whole new generation to this wonderful rich world of hilarious characters and storylines. Our show runner does a really good job at taking into account both of those audiences. The analogy I keep using is of a house for this. It’s like the book series and the comic strip are the foundation of the house and it’s our job with the television show to build rooms and floors on top of that house and really expand and evolve the Source material while respecting it.

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We then chatted with Arnie Pantoja, Daniel MK Cohen, & Bryce Charles.

Ben Giroux had mentioned that the cast got to record together over zoom. I wanted to know how much being able to record together helped bring this show and these characters to life.

Arnie Pantoja:

It has been night and day helpful with this! You get to see what your fellow actors are doing. One of my favorite characters in the show is Chad played by Charlie Schlatter and if I wasn’t watching what he was doing I would have no idea how weird his character is. I love his character! We also get to playoff of each other, so we’re really fortunate that our director let us play a lot and we work off of each other’s energy. I also helps that we’re all actually really friends in real life so it means a lot to us to be able to record together.

I was curious to know if they were fans of Big Nate before signing on:

Bryce Charles:

I wasn’t very well aware of it actually and then when we started working on the show I became more aware of it. I was very discreetly telling family members I was so excited to be on an animated series and Nickelodeon and working with people that I knew and respected. All of these things and then to find out that I had like a completely missed these amazing books and the comic strips and everything, it was so exciting because I have family members that are very familiar with Big Nate! I’m very excited about the fact that I am on the show and they can share it with their kids and friends. The excitement just kind of grew and grew and grew and it just made me more appreciative of this position that I found myself in. We’re excited to see how far this show can go. I can’t log on to my phone or computer without seeing the books and different things for the show. Things that actually were not related to the series before the show was announced, I was still seeing Big Nate everywhere!

Arnie Pantoja

I wasn’t super familiar with it either at first and then you know I have some friends are English teachers and they were like you’ve never heard of this book? It’s huge! Im just so thankful to be a part of something that’s so loved by so many people!

Does Arnie have a real life Teddy in his own life that he’s happy to follow along and do anything for?

Arnie Pantoja:

I feel like I’m actually the Teddy. I’m constantly stumbling into things messing things up. Often I’m the one tagging along everybody’s life. I was always tagging along with my friends to do crazy things. Growing up I had a best friend that we called Skinny kid and he and I often would get into a lot of fun trouble. I would be like I don’t want to try that and he would be like lets do it and then I would do it and have a blast. But now I got to say I am a leader now and not a follower!

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Lastly, we got to chat with the amazing Dove Cameron about her character Ellen and what inspiration she drew upon for her character.

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For Dove Cameron, I asked:

Ellen is Nate’s older sister, being a younger sister yourself, did you draw any inspiration from your own sister for the role?

Dove Cameron:

I did somewhat. I want to say my sister did some things to me when I was young, that if I bring them up now, it’s like that is so evil! You know every sister does this. I think she definitely had that kind of like “I’m going to squash you no matter what it takes” kind of attitude only siblings have. It’s that kind of mentality I drew on. Obviously underneath it is love. I definitely am a more loving person because of how my sister was with me.

Dove had mentioned she was approached and offered the role of Ellen, I was curious to know how long was the process of recording the show was for her.

Dove Cameron:

I was offered the role and to me that is more scary than auditioning because you don’t have a character prepared. I got to record somewhat with the rest of the actors and it’s just really helps with the chemistry. It really helps with the rhythm of the scene and it helps keep you energetic. You know the emotions of the other people and you can play off of them. Funny enough I think probably because my schedule got so crazy that I had to go to start recording along for a good time. There was a time in the middle where I got to work with everybody a few times to really like watch in real time just how brilliant everyone is. It’s very inspiring to see them do what they do. It was great for the tone of what we are doing and that was very helpful and informative for the rest of us!

Thanks so much to Nickelodeon and Paramount+ for having me! Check out the trailer for Big Nate below!

Be sure to check out Nickelodeon’s Big Nate Thursday, Feb. 17th, exclusively on Paramount+