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Zack Brooks is the King of Popularity in “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret”

Zack Brooks is the King of Popularity in “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret”

Performance runs in the family for Zack Brooks. One entertainment door quickly opened many others. “When I was about 12 years old, I saw my mom doing an audition,” he says. “She’s an actress and I told her I wanted to try it out. Then it all started with modeling and commercials and then into auditions with all sorts of projects, films, television, shorts, etc. I was hooked and just wanted more, I just fell in love with acting!” Zack stars as Phillip Leroy in the highly anticipated film, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. “Based on the incredible novel by Judy Blume, it’s about a girl named Margaret Simon, a sixth grader who grew up with different religious affiliations because of her parents’ interfaith marriage. She is trying to find herself, but has a couple roadblocks on the way through her early adolescent anxieties, like puberty, boys, religious, female topics, etc. She is trying to fit in with her friends and figure everything out in her journey. He couldn’t get enough of the role. Living in a different time certainly sounds appealing to him! “I just love the 70s, which is funny because I’m a teenager, but this film takes place in the 70s era and it’s just so fun! Everything from the wardrobe, hair and makeup, the set, the cars, the 70s style and of course the cast and crew were amazing!”

Zack believes Phillip’s outward superficial exterior hides more complex issues. “Philip is known as the popular guy that all the girls like, but he’s pretty dismissive to most of the girls except for the girl he likes named Laura Danker. She is portrayed by Isol Young, who is now one of my closest friends in real life. Philip acts too cool for everyone, but I think that’s because he has other things going on at home, or at least that’s what it felt like for me when I was playing him.” Like most kids in middle school, Philip has some maturing to do in order to realize the full impact of his actions. “I think he’s just so focused on trying to be the cool guy in school and to get Laura Danker’s attention, but he doesn’t realize that what he’s doing is so hurtful and wrong. As we know, life can be hard and Philip is one of those guys that really only thinks about himself in this film.” Margaret’s crush on Philip puts her in his crosshairs as he goes out of his way to humiliate her. It creates quite a roller coaster of emotions for poor Margaret. “I think Margaret has a love/hate relationship with Philip because the things that he ends up saying to her are embarrassing, but at the same time he was her first kiss! That probably had her thinking she really does like him, or did like him at one point,” he laughs. Zack and Abby Ryder Fortson, who portrays Margaret, shared a special moment as well. “A little secret – it was actually mine and Abby’s first kiss, all in front of our parents and an entire crew!” 

He is filled with gratitude for the film. The experience brought him new friends and unforgettable memories. “It was incredible, I’m so grateful I was given this opportunity! Everyone was so nice and helpful. Kelly Fremon Craig is an amazing director and she made sure we had everything we needed to do the best job we could do. James L. Brooks is so funny and he has the best laugh! Abby is the sweetest person ever and such an incredible actor! Then there is the iconic Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates. I didn’t get to act alongside them, but I was around and heard such great things about them both! Just super grateful!” For now, he’s enjoying life. “I’m staying busy auditioning, playing guitar, and waiting to see if my character Devin Truisi shows up in season two of Tulsa King. I take it day by day, but I just know that I want to be acting for as long as I live!” Hopefully, we will be seeing Zack on our screens for decades to come. 

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Zack Brooks is the King of Popularity in “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.” Photo Credit: Candice Barley.

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