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Q&A: Anton Starkman Talks Bringing Nate Gardner to Life in New Movie “Storks”

Anton Starkman arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Storks" at Regency Village Theatre on September 17, 2016 in Westwood, California.
Anton Starkman arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Storks" at Regency Village Theatre on September 17, 2016 in Westwood, California. Source: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Storks deliver babies… or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages for global internet giant Cornerstore.com. Junior (Andy Samberg), the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine, producing an adorable and wholly unauthorized baby girl. Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble before their boss Hunter (Kelsey Grammer) gets wise, Junior and his friend Tulip (Katie Crown), the only human on Stork Mountain, race to make their first-ever baby drop – in a wild and revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.

Celeb Secrets caught up with Anton Starkman recently to talk all about his new movie Storks. Starkman plays Nate Gardner, a boy whose parents are busy and is surrounded by brotherhoods leaving him lonely. In our interview, the actor talks about bringing Nate to life, the similarities and difference he has with his character, and how he balances work and being a normal kid.

Anton has had a very busy 2016 and was recently seen starring opposite Lady Gaga and Chloe Sevigny in the FX series American Horror Story: Hotel. He played a little boy who becomes a vampire and turns his neighborhood and school upside down as he transforms his friends into vampires. He has also had significant roles in Freeform’s Dead of Summer, MTV’s Teen Wolf and Comedy Central’s Drunk History. Anton started his career when he went with his mom to sign his two older brothers with a theatrical agent in Los Angeles. The agent handed her three forms rather than two, and he has worked nonstop ever since.

Storks arrives in theaters this Friday, September 23rd.

Celeb Secrets: Tell us a little bit about the film “Storks” and what we can expect from it!

Anton Starkman: “The movie Stork’s is jam packed with things nobody has every seen. It’s not the normal animated feature because every scene is full of surprises.”

Celeb Secrets: You are the voice of Nate Gardner in the new animated film, “Storks!” What is it like to bring an animated character to life? How do you do that?

Anton Starkman: “This has been the most exciting process for me because each time I recorded there was a little more of Nate. When I first started there wasn’t any character yet so I read the script and said the lines the way I would if I was going through that situation in real life. Each time there was more definition and color until the last time when he seemed like a real boy that looked, acted and sounded like me.”

Celeb Secrets: What are some similarities and differences between you and your character, Nate?

Anton Starkman: “The similarities Nate and I share are pretty clear when you see both of us.  With share the same hair and even the same clothes.  I play the same way he does in the film but I play with my two older brothers, Wyatt and Landen. Sadly for Nate he doesn’t have any siblings and that’s what he wants more than anything.”

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Celeb Secrets: What was it like having a role on “American Horror Story: Hotel”?

Anton Starkman: “American Horror Story Hotel is the complete opposite.  It’s harder to film something like that because you are expected to do what the older actors are doing. I have to be in character as soon as I walk on set. It’s a fast paced shoot and they need me to deliver with every shot. A lot is riding on just one look on my face.  Being able to work with Kathy Bates and Denis O’Hare was especially amazing. They treated me like a professional actor, not just a kid. I have to admit that it’s not as scary shooting in real life. It gets scarier when they add the sound effects and camera angles.”

Celeb Secrets: You started acting at a young age, how has that affected your life growing up?

Anton Starkman: “I started acting when I was about five years old. I started on The Young and The Restless and a few commercials.  I really started acting because my two brothers were already acting and I went with them to auditions. Pretty soon their agents sent me out and I enjoyed it so I kept going.”

Celeb Secrets: How do you balance your life by being an actor but also having a childhood at the same time?

Anton Starkman: “My mom is very careful to make sure I have regular kid time. I have friends come over, I ride my bike and play baseball. Home work is also very important to me.  I go to public school and have teachers and homework like regular kids.  It’s been hard because some of my teachers are afraid to watch American Horror Story and they’re happy they can finally see Stork’s.”

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Celeb Secrets: What is your favorite part about acting?

Anton Starkman: “My favorite part about acting is when I go into the casting office for the audition and then find out that I booked it. It makes me feel like I did something right.  Then when the project comes out I feel proud that other people enjoyed what they saw.” 

Celeb Secrets: What is your favorite role you have ever acted as thus far?

Anton Starkman: “Every role has something fun or interesting to it.  I think Nate in Stork’s is my favorite so far because he’s the most like me in real life.  It’s fun to see pieces of my real personality on the screen.” 

Celeb Secrets: Since we are Celeb Secrets, do you have any secrets or fun facts about yourself that you would like to share with us?

Anton Starkman: “Some fun facts about myself might be that I love Frank Sinatra and Tom and Jerry cartoons. My mom says I’m an old soul. I’ve played the trumpet for the past three years and I like to play a fanfare for people when they come into my house.”

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Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John’s University.

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