It’s Friday- the best day for a flashback! For today’s Flashback Friday, we’re going back in time to the year 2015. This was when YEM spoke with Forrest Wheeler, star of the ABC sitcom Fresh Off The Boat. The show revolves around the Huangs, a Taiwanese-American family living in Florida in the 1990s. Fresh Off The Boat just premiered its final episode this month after being on the air for six seasons. Instead of saying goodbye to the show, we’re taking a look back at cast member Forrest Wheeler when the show was in its early seasons. Check out how much Forrest has grown!
Young Entertainment Mag: Tell us a bit about Emery. What’s his role in the family?
Forrest Wheeler: Emery is the well-adjusted middle brother. He has tons of friends, and things come easily to him. He is the happy-go-lucky, no worries, “just being me” sibling who brings an air of balance to the family.
YEM: What does he think about his siblings?
Forrest: Emery thinks Evan will always be the younger brother who he can always boss around. Emery doesn’t understand why Eddie has such problems fitting in if he would just listen to his younger brother.
YEM: What’s happening for Emery in the new season?
Forrest: I am not allowed to say anything about our upcoming episodes, but I can tell you that you will learn more about my character as the season goes on.
YEM: Do you relate to him, or are there things about him that you’re like “Nope, that’s definitely not me”?
Forrest: I do relate to my character, Emery. He has the same sensibilities as I do, and many of the same likes, but I am an only child, so having brothers is really fun.
YEM: Tell us about your own experiences growing up. Though the show is set in the 90’s, and the world has changed a bit since then. But do you find yourself ever relating to the adventures of the Huang family?
Forrest: I was not around in the 90’s, so that is new to me and some things I just don’t understand. Like those “pager” and “internet dial tone” things I saw in one of the episodes. On the other hand, episode 1 of this season have us doing a road trip / family vacation, which I’ve done in my real life, and I like Chinese food, and my real mom and TV mom are similar.
YEM: Tell us about your time on set. What do you like to do? Do you guys all hang out together?
Forrest: When we are on set, we are required to do three hours of school every day. After that, we usually hang out and think of fun things we can do together. Currently, we are writing our own script and thinking about putting together a band.
YEM: Any particular member of your TV family that you are super tight with?
Forrest: I see everyone all the time, but most of the time, I hang out with my TV brothers.
YEM: Your bio says you enjoy a range of hobbies in addition to acting–XMA, tennis, hip hop. Of those, or even something different, what are you super into right now?
Forrest: I am super into stunts and flipping in my XMA (Extreme Martial Arts) program. I also like hoverboards.
YEM: Why do you enjoy it?
Forrest: I enjoy it because I want to hone my fight skills early so I can pursue an action movie in the future, and hopefully work with actors like Jackie Chan or Keanu Reeves.
YEM: Would you ever consider a career in something along those lines? Or are you committed to acting?
Forrest: I like acting, and lots of other things, but would like to incorporate my martial arts skills into my acting in the form of an action film like the Matrix; or perhaps, I will write one.
YEM: Along those lines, what’s up next for you? Anything in the works besides the new season?
Forrest: Right now, my schedule is very full with Fresh Off the Boat, but if the right voiceover opportunity came up, I could probably fit that in.
YEM: You’ve also guested in some other cool shows, Community, New Girl, etc. and been in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Working on those sets, was there an actor in particular that got you starstruck at all?
Forrest: I was most starstruck when I got to work with Felicity Huffman on a TV pilot. She was so nice and taught me magic tricks.
YEM: Anybody you admire, anybody who provided you with an opportunity to learn?
Forrest: I admire my Fresh Off the Boat TV parents a lot. Constance Wu is great in IMPROV, and I love to observe Randall Park using his eyebrows and facial expressions to highlight his jokes.
YEM: What other actors do you admire?
Forrest: I admire Jackie Chan and Ki Hong Lee. Both are excellent actors as well as proficient martial artists.
YEM: What are your favorite shows or movies right now?
Forrest: My favorite movie right now is Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, and I never miss Shark Tank.
YEM: Any particular musical artist you can’t live without
Forrest: I like Meghan Trainor and Andrew McMahon right now.