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SIMPLY JESSICA: Zackary Arthur and his love for reading

Zackary Arthur caught a few strands of spaghetti in his fork.

He lifted the spaghetti up and, with a scooping motion, gathered a small number of strands between the tines of the fork.

He pointed the fork sideways to keep the strands from falling out.

As he listened to his mother Marci read “The 5th Wave” novel by Rick Yancey to him; he gave the fork a gentle jerk upward to separate the strands from the rest.

The spaghetti lover is an avid reader who loves any action adventure book set in a fantasy world and wanted to learn how Yancey had written Sam as a character.

It was these two reasons that the 9-year-old child actor sat attentively eating spaghetti as his mother described to him different parts of the story to help him bring Sam from the pages of the book to the big screen.

“I was so excited that I jumped up and down when I found out that I had won the role of Sam,” Arthur said. “It was such a long time that we were wondering if I got the part or not.”

Getting the role means the young actor will be acting opposite Chloe Grace Moretz.

“Chloe is awesome to work with,” he said. “She is cool and funny.”

“The 5th Wave” centers on the character Sam that Arthur plays in the movie. His character is the driving force of the entire film.

Zackary Arthur and James Franco are both featured in an upcoming project. (Photo by Elysium Bandini)
Zackary Arthur and James Franco are both featured in an upcoming project. (Photo by Elysium Bandini)

The book series is about the world being taken over by aliens.

“It’s about my sister Cassie working hard to save me and find me after we have been separated in the movie,” Arthur said. “Sam Sullivan is Cassie’s little brother. He is a normal kid that is taken by ‘the others’ He becomes a soldier until Cassie finds him.”

Arthur and Sam are the same type of boy.

“Sam is like me,” Arthur said. “He likes the same stuff as me.”

Arthur may only be 9 but he is an acting veteran.

He began his career at the age of 6. He has been in short films and commercials. He currently plays Zack on the Emmy and Golden Globe winning Amazon series “Transparent.”

“It is a coincidence that I have the same name as the character on ‘Transparent,’” Arthur said. “It’s cool. You normally don’t get to play your name, but I feel excited about it.”

Another thing that excites Arthur is having a kind heart.

“Zack has a soft heart,” Marci, Zack’s mother, said. “He loves being kind. Zack believes everyone is important. He’s not afraid to stick up for the guy that can’t stick up for himself.”

It is that mindset that prompted Zack to play Peter Green on an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” called “Trigger Happy.” The episode was about a young boy being accidentally shot. It allowed Arthur to be a part of a bigger conversation about kids playing with guns.

“The message was do not play with guns,” Arthur said. “It was a heavy, powerful episode about a kid who plays with guns. It made my mom and I talk about gun safety. I think we should have guns locked up or not have them at all. Guns are not toys.”

Zackary Arthur and James Franco are featured in 'Mississippi Requiem,' a movie that is based on four short stories by author William Faulkner. (Photo by Elysium Bandini)
Zackary Arthur and James Franco are featured in ‘Mississippi Requiem,’ a movie that is based on four short stories by author William Faulkner. (Photo by Elysium Bandini)

The third grader can soon be seen in “Mississippi Requiem” playing opposite James Franco. “Mississippi Requiem” is a collection of four short films based on stories by William Faulkner.

It is set for a fall release date. It is a single movie consisting of four black and white shorts that deal with issues of race, gender and class set in the South during the early 20th century.

The four Faulkner stories adapted are: “A Dry September,” “That Evening Sun,” “Elly” and “A Rose for Emily.”

Arthur had a coach to help him with his Mississippi accent that was needed for the film. It was Arthur’s first James Franco project but he is hoping to do another project with Franco and his team in the next few months.

Arthur had such a rapport and chemistry with Franco that he is eager to work with him again.

“I had such an awesome time working with James Franco,” Arthur said. “He is one of the people that I truly admire in this industry.”

It is no surprise that Franco would inspire Arthur to read classic literature. The two bonded over their love of reading.

The book lover also loves watching classis movies. He counts “Mrs. Doubtfire” as one of his favorite movies of Robin Williams to watch.

Arthur loves to climb trees every chance he gets. He has been climbing trees since he was 3 years old. When he was 5, he climbed an avocado tree so he could look over the city.

He hopes to climb the Hollywood sign in the future.

“My mom thinks it is scary to climb trees,” he said. “I love it though.”

He is the youngest in his family. He loves playing basketball with his older brother, Aiden who is 11 years old. The two are 16 months apart. His favorite color is green because it’s the color of grass.

Arthur is a huge robot fan. He enjoys drawing pictures of robots.

His favorite robot movie is “I, Robot” with Will Smith.

This people and animal lover enjoys horses and dogs. He is always eager to go horseback riding. One of his favorite places to visit is the Los Angeles Zoo because his grandfather was a veterinarian at the Los Angeles Zoo for many years.

Arthur’s favorite holidays are Christmas and Halloween.

His favorite places to eat are In-N-Out and Subway.

He hopes to try water polo and real polo on a horse.

He has four dogs – (Misty, Oliver, Dodger and Penelope.)

Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com.