Josh Peck might be best known as one half of the Nickelodeon franchise Drake & Josh, but the 21-year-old New York native is branching out in all kinds of ways. Having recently appeared in the comedy Drillbit Taylor, Peck stars this summer with Ben Kingsley and Olivia Thirlby in the indie film The Wackness, in which he plays a depressed hustler who swaps weed for therapy.
LUCY MADISON: You attended the Performing Arts School in Manhattan. What was that like? I always assumed it was like Fame .
JOSH PECK: It was sort of like Hogwarts School for a bunch of musical-theater nerds, but instead of witchcraft and wizardry, we had, you know, dance and stage combat.
LM: How was it, then, moving to Los Angeles from that very New York theater environment?
JP: It was awful. I felt like a total outcast. I was freshly bar mitzvahed, and I was going from Biggie and Jay-Z to Dre and 2 Pac-it was two totally different lifestyles.
LM: Your character in The Wackness, Luke, is also very into East Coast hip-hop.
JP: Luke was sort of oddly close to me, which was actually kind of scary. The whole movie was like a dream come true. The only thing was that I had to be naked.
LM: Was it as bad as you expected?
JP: No, the world didn’t end. I did 150 push-ups then dropped the robe and went with God.
LM: So what else do you have coming up?
JP: I’m doing a good amount of music stuff, mostly producing. I’m Jay-Z-in’ it for this guy named VanGO-V-A-N-G-O. Also, my best friend is the leader of a band called The Snow. I would love it if that made it into this article. The Snow. The Snow. The Snow.
LM: The Snow.