January 9, 2009
By Kiko Martinez
Moises Arias has never let a little shyness control the things he’s wanted to do in life. When his parents realized he was a bit socially timid, they immediately enrolled him in acting classes so he could break out of his shell.
From there, the Arias family moved to Los Angeles when Moises’s acting coach told them he had potential to do great things in the entertainment industry. Soon, he was auditioning for film roles and landed his first feature movie, “Nacho Libre” with Jack Black, at the age of 12 in 2006. That same year, Moises joined the cast of “Hannah Montana” on the Disney Channel as the character Rico.
He now stars in the movie “Beethoven’s Big Break,” the sixth film of the “Beethoven” series, which began in 1992. The film was released exclusively on DVD Dec. 26.
During a phone interview, Moises talked about the challenges he had working with animals on the set and what artists he looks up to in the entertainment industry as a young Colombian actor.
You weren’t even born when the first “Beethoven” movie came to theaters in 1992. Did you go back and watch all five films that came before “Beethoven’s Big Break?”
I watch a couple of the movies. I was a big fan of the “Beethoven” movies because the dog did a lot of tricks. It was amazing getting to know Beethoven. It was a great experience working with all the dogs, cats, raccoons and birds. It’s awesome to watch the animals in training.
What animal was your favorite to work with?
I think Beethoven was my favorite. We could play with him and push him around because he weighs like 150 lbs. I have two dogs and they weigh like 4 lbs. Filming a movie with dogs is definitely a lot harder than with humans. When I watch the other “Beethoven” movies I always wondered how they got the dog to do certain things. Finally, I got to see how they train them. They put baby food on me so he’d lick my face.
What kind of dogs do you have at home?
I have a toy poodle and a shih tzu. I also have a cockatiel that’s about the size of my hand. My family loves animals.
When you got the role on “Hannah Montana” did you realize how popular the show was going to be from the very beginning?
It was so surprising. From one day to the other I was just a regular kid and then I had people chasing me around asking me for my autograph. It’s amazing how many people go to the concerts and how expensive the tickets cost.
With all the attention you get from “Hannah Montana” do you feel like you’re only 14 years old?
I do not feel 14. All of this happening at such a young age is incredible. I have everyone from little 3-year-old girls chasing me around to grandparents who are 50 just to get an autograph for their grandkids. I’m just so happy that so many people watch it. I do hope to continue to have a profession in acting as I get older.
Are you ready for even more attention when the “Hannah Montana” movie comes out in April?
Yeah, it’s going to be crazy. I hope the movie does great. We worked really hard on it. It’s a great movie for all audiences.
Tell us something about Miley Cyrus that we may not know.
She loves to kid around like a teenager. She is really funny. A lot of times she forgets her lines, but a lot of us forget our lines when we’re shooting the TV show. She is a great, outgoing person.
What’s going on with your other movie “A Perfect Game?” I know it’s finished but was delayed last year.
That movie has been pretty weird since the very beginning. We’re hoping it comes out this year. It was one of the hardest movies to shoot because we had to go to Mexico and practice baseball. I really hope it comes out because it’s a great true story about a Mexican Little League baseball team.
Not only that, but the majority of the cast is Latino, which we hardly see in studio films.
Yeah, we want everyone to know that Latinos are everywhere. Not a lot of people know that I am Colombian. It’s a great way to tell everybody that Hispanics are coming up. So many Hispanics and Latinos are getting into TV shows, so I would love to see more of that happen.
Do you look up to any Hispanics in the entertainment industry?
Oh, yeah. I look up to Juanes and Shakira. They’re both from Colombian and I admire them a lot. They’re a big inspiration because they’re such great people with everybody. I’ve very proud to be Colombian.