Arts and Entertainment
|Charlotte actor stars in Disney Channel TV series|
|Ramon Reed in 'Just Roll With It'|
|Published Friday, May 24, 2019 12:22 pm|
|PHOTO | DISNEY CHANNEL|
|Ramon Reed of Charlotte portrays Owen on Disney Channel’s live-action series “Just Roll With It.”|
Ramon Reed added television star to his resume before turning 14.
The Charlottean went from playing young Simba on Broadway and in the North American Rafiki Company tour of Disney’s longest running musical, “The Lion King,” to portraying Owen on Disney Channel’s upcoming live-action series “Just Roll With It” in under two years. Reed joined the Tony-Award winning musical in 2017 following a successful audition at an open call for the production. Reed’s 10-month tour with “The Lion King” saw him perform in 13 cities, including Charlotte last August, appearing in four of eight shows weekly. His time with the musical concluded in September, with rehearsals for “Just Roll With It” in November.
“I was on tour with ‘The Lion King’ while I was auditioning for ‘Just Roll With,’” Reed said. “I came in for the chemistry read, that’s when you read with the people they want to be on the show. I flew from Kansas City, where we were, to Los Angeles to be there for at least three hours. That was a really crazy day, because we were so jet lagged and tired. I remember having this feeling of, ‘wow, I did really good, and I hope they liked me. I hope I get this job.’ I went back to normal life on tour, and I got the call that I got the job. We did the pilot while I was on tour. Then I went to Broadway and we found out that the show got picked up for a whole season. That’s when I moved to L.A. to start filming ‘Just Roll With It.’”
“Just Roll With It” premieres June 19 at 8 p.m. on Disney Channel and the DisneyNOW app. A first look airs on June 14 at 9:45 p.m. The show is filmed before a studio audience, allowing them to vote on how an episode goes. Cast members are sent backstage while the audience votes electronically, navigating an unscripted scene after the break. It combines improvisational comedy with a scripted family sitcom, as the actors literally roll with whatever the audience decides.
Reed’s costars include his father on the show, Byron Blatt (Tobie Windham), who plays an on-air radio personality at BEATZ 101. Owen is a model student, while his father is a bit charismatic. The show shares the story of blending the Blatts and Bennett families. Suzi Barrett plays Rachel, a military veteran turned station manager for the station and Owen’s stepmother. Her rebellious on-screen daughter, Blair Bennett, is played by Kaylin Hayman.
“It was kind of crazy, because everything I’ve done so far has all been in the Disney family,” Reed said. “Now that I’m doing ‘Just Roll With It,’ it’s kind of surreal that I went from the stage to a TV show. In a way, they are kind of related, because we are still performing in front of a live studio audience. We are still getting that great feedback with the laughs and the claps and the ‘awws’ and the ‘oh my gosh!’ It’s really been smooth, but hectic at the same time.”
Reed’s work demands a lot of his time, but life as a teenager isn’t too bad.
“It’s been treating me normal for a teenager with a job like this,” Reed laughed. “When I’m done with that one thing, I disconnect. I don’t forget about it, but I’m like, ‘you know what, I’m done with work for the day. I’m not going to think about work until I have to go tomorrow. I just spend time with my family.”
To watch the trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTx0aFnvfG4&feature=youtu.be
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