“JERRY MAGUIRE” STAR JONATHAN LIPNICKI SHOWS US THE SCARES WITH “CIRCUS KANE”!
When it comes to being a Wingman, there is no higher honor than to serve as one for the legendary Maverick himself; Tom Cruise! That’s right- acting alongside the “Top Gun” star earns any actor instant Classic Wingman Hero status, cementing them into pop culture as icons- and the incredibly talented Jonathan Lipnicki, even at only twenty-six years of age- is certainly no exception. The gifted artist’s scene-stealing turn in “Jerry Maguire” was without argument one of the best performances by a child actor of all time, and while nobody can deny Cuba Gooding Jr. was phenomenal in the film and definitely also an iconic Wingman, Lipnicki was more than essential to making Cameron Crowe’s brilliant masterpiece one of the greatest modern classics of all time. At only five years old, he elevated the work of everyone around him- particularly the Oscar nominated Cruise, showing that he served as a great Wingman both in character, and out of character as an acting partner.
Now, two decades later, the soaring star is flourishing more than ever. Not only does the dedicated actor have nine films in production for 2017 alone, but he also has begun to step behind the camera as well, serving as a producer and a writer on many different features! And if that wasn’t enough to prove that Lipnicki grew up great, the multi-talented star is also an amazing martial artist with a ridiculously shredded body, training in both Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiujitsu! That’s right- he’s a great actor that can also really kick some ass! Sounds like it’s time for Hollywood to cast him as one of our favorite superheroes!
And, that’s another reason why we are such big fans of the awesome actor; he likes all the same stuff we do! From martial arts, to “Top Gun,” to superheroes- Jonathan Lipnicki is exactly that kind of classic Wingman hero that we love because he also fans out over everything we go wild for- and then incorporates it into his projects! Take “Interns Of F.I.E.L.D,” for example. A hilarious spoof of “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D” co-starring another one of our favorite classic Wingman Heroes, Casper Van Dien, the parody TV show is right up our alley! And then he also just worked on another project called “Boone: The Bounty Hunter” alongside two of our other favorite actors; Kevin Sorbo from “Hercules,” and Spencer Grammer from “Rick And Morty”! But, now that we are getting closer to Halloween, we can’t think about anything else but horror- and like the rest of our interests, Lipnicki does the scary genre masterfully!
With the new movie “Circus Kane” directed by Christopher Rey, the California native takes on a petrifying ringmaster in an extremely current and cutting edge twist on the typical horror movie as it uses “social media stars” as pawns in the chaos. A cross between “Saw,” “It,” and perhaps “EdTV” in some regards, the film is epically self-aware and is especially a thrill-ride for true horror movie fans who will sickly wish that they were also trapped in the house of horrors as continuous movie references pop up. The film is littered with iconic horror movie staples, and revered scary movie director Rey shines bright in both incredible effects and solid storytelling, bringing in other respected names from the genre like James Cullen Bressack, Sean Sellars, and Zack Ward to round out the writing.
Constantly in on every joke, Lipnicki shows exactly what fans saw early on from the clever performer in that he is clearly wise well beyond his years and swift to pick up a reference, or be in on a self-aware scare, laugh, or whatever the scene might need. It’s precisely this kind of astuteness that perhaps makes him as stellar behind the camera as he is in front, and what has propelled the actor into writing and making more decisions.
And speaking of social media sensations and scary stories with “Circus Kane,” while we definitely look up to the triple threat for all he can do and all he has going on, it’s important to mention that beyond being just a top-tier talent the courageous actor is also an awesome person who has managed to grow up in the sometimes harsh limelight of Hollywood. In today’s day and age, many people hide behind computer screens and become social media warriors- and sadly, while the actor is right that no one is safe from the perils of internet, trolls seem to be particularly mean to anyone who was a child star. As Lipnicki puts it- “The internet can be very, VERY cruel, and I would be lying if I said it didn’t get me down at times.” But- that’s just one more reason that we can’t help but root for the strong star; this just shows once again that he is unbreakable and a survivor. Now let’s just see how his character fares in “Circus Kane”!
Wingman sat down to talk to the Classic Wingman Hero about everything from his new horror movie, to his numerous other projects in production, to his work-out regime, and of course, we couldn’t leave him without knowing what it was like acting alongside Maverick; Tom Cruise! Read along to see what Lipnicki had to say!
WINGMAN: Hey, Jonathan! So, we’re excited about “Circus Kane”! Can you tell us a little bit about the plot, and what we can expect from your character, Scott?
LIPNICKI: Thanks! “Circus Kane” is about a reclusive ringmaster who invites a group of social media stars to his home to promote his latest venture; a house of horrors.
WINGMAN: Right! This movie deals with “social media stars”- a trend that is really becoming quite popular. Can you talk about that a bit and share your thoughts on the growing trend?
LIPNICKI: I have worked with a lot of social media stars crossing over into Film/TV and I think it is amazing that everyone has the opportunity to use that as a creative outlet and/or break out into having a legitimate film and TV career. I can’t predict the outcome of this growing trend, but it is definitely becoming part of my world. While I don’t think roles should be cast on the number of followers an individual has, I have seen some very good crossover talent.
WINGMAN: Talk about working with your director, Christopher Ray. He is an award winning horror film director. Have you always been a horror movie fan?
LIPNICKI: Horror is something I am definitely learning more and more about. I’m a fan of Rob Zombie’s “Halloween,” and “Halloween 2,” and I am also a big fan of what Blumhouse has been doing over the last few years. It was great working with Chris and I am happy that we have collaborated on another project since. I look forward to making more projects with him- he is a great guy and a great collaborator.
WINGMAN: With “It” coming out, and “American Horror Story,” it seems as though we’ve seen a resurgence of scary clowns! What do you think it is about clowns that make them such a horror movie staple? Are you afraid of clowns?
LIPNICKI: I think a lot of film trends are cyclical, but let’s be honest; clowns are, and will always be really creepy. I can’t put a finger on what it is specifically, but I have always disliked them.
WINGMAN: Jonathan, you’ve been doing a lot! You have five films already this year, and three more on the way. Are there any in particular that you want to give us some scoop on?
LIPNICKI: I was really happy to be a part of “Mr. Student Body President” season 2 on Verizon Go90, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
WINGMAN: You just did “Boone: The Bounty Hunter,” with two of our favorite people; another Classic Wingman Hero; Kevin Sorbo from “Hercules,” and Spencer Grammer from “Rick And Morty!” Talk about that!
LIPNICKI: I actually met Kevin on a separate occasion because we didn’t film on the same days, but he seems like a great guy! Spencer is a lovely person, and I feel very fortunate to have had some scenes with her.
WINGMAN: You also did “Altitude” with Spencer’s sister Greer Grammer, the incredible Classic Crush Denise Richards, and another Classic Wingman Hero; Dolph Lundgren! What can you tell us about that?
LIPNICKI: Well one of the cool things about “Altitude,” is I’m an Executive Producer on it! It was really fun to film and it was a great learning experience for me as a producer. Denise is incredibly kind and hardworking! Greer, like her sister is amazing and she does a kickass job in the movie. Dolph is a legend and I still haven’t met him yet despite being a producer on two of his films! I would love to meet him and chat- I have a tremendous amount of respect for him.
WINGMAN: And you have “A Second Chance,” coming with Tara Reid, and Vivica A. Fox! What can you tell fans about that?
LIPNICKI: I was happy to collaborate again with Chris on this, and I was very excited to work with my friends Brittany Underwood and Kristos Andrews. It was a great experience and fun set to work on.
WINGMAN: You’ve also been writing and producing as well. You associate produced “Welcome To Willets” alongside Jordan Yale Levine, and wrote and produced the short; “You Used To Be Cute.” Would you like to do more behind the camera?
LIPNICKI: Jordan is a great guy and I was in another one of his films called “Loserville.” I was only minimally involved with this one, but I was and am very excited for the opportunity.
WINGMAN: You also have grown quite a lot from how we remember you as a kid! You are ripped! Can you tell us a little bit about your fitness regime and what you did to get so buff?
LIPNICKI: I love MMA, and I train in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiujitsu specifically. I try to eat healthy and really push myself. It is a very important part of my life.
WINGMAN: You grew up on camera in front of all of us, and you’ve turned in one of the greatest child performances of all time. You seem to be truly flourishing and better than ever with eight films ahead of you, but it goes without saying that the world and the internet can be cruel at times. Do you ever feel as though the media and social media make it even harder for child actors these days?
LIPNICKI: Thanks! I wouldn’t say social media makes it harder for child actors- social media makes it harder for anybody, whether you have one follower or one million. The internet can be very, very cruel and I would be lying if I said it didn’t get me down at times.
WINGMAN: Jonathan, you can’t get away from Wingman without giving us a “Jerry Maguire” story! That film was one of the greatest modern classics, and gave you the opportunity at such a young age to work with some of the most brilliant people in the industry; Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding Jr., Regina King, Bonnie Hunt, and of course, the masterful Cameron Crowe. Can you tell us a behind the scenes story about the film that we might not know?
LIPNICKI: I was a really huge “Top Gun” fan so I sang some songs from the soundtrack on set with Tom. He was amazing to work with!
He has a cool new horror movie coming out and he sang songs from “Top Gun” with Maverick himself? Oh, Jonathan Lipnicki- you had us at hello!
“Circus Kane” comes out on VOD September 8th.