Interview with Anthony Ghannam

by Jeff Jones

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The entertainment business is epitomized by young talent with a real passion for the arts. Recently, I was granted the incredible opportunity to speak with fifteen year-old Anthony Ghannam, who starred in both Bambi II and Kronk's New Groove. Ghannam is a rising star in Hollywood that knows exactly where he's going and what he wants to do. Having extensive experience in voice-over acting as well as acting on screen has given him professional experiences that many aspiring actors will never achieve. He uses his experiences as a building block for launching a very successful career encompassing many aspects of entertainment, ranging from acting in a production, to producing and directing a film.

Anthony is originally from Michigan, but relocated to California when he was about five years old. He said, "California is a good state, but you miss where you grew up. I think the snow is a little rough, but I miss making snowmen in Michigan. I go back to visit pretty often." After moving to California, Anthony realized he wanted to try his hand at acting act. "I did some theatre, like some local plays, and I also took some acting classes. Later, I went to San Francisco and was discovered by my agent. After that, I just started doing auditions until I landed a part."

Anthony is perhaps most known for his notable performances in the animated Disney movies Bambi II and Kronk's New Groove. Anthony's mother said, "I got a call from Anthony's agent, The Savage Agency in Hollywood. They needed Anthony to record his voice at his San Francisco agency and send the file down to them. Once that was done and about a month later, Disney called Anthony's Hollywood agent and wanted to see him personally for a callback. Anthony and I flew down to Los Angeles and met with the director. We got a call from his Hollywood agent saying that Anthony booked the role of "Ronno" and needed to work the following day." Anthony is also known for his role on Fox's Oliver Beene as "Punchface" where he played opposite Amanda Michalka. One can hear Anthony's voice nationwide in the Adelphia Cable radio commercials. Also, Anthony is the voice of "Anthony" at the Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. When touring the history museum, he is the voice of the tour guide.

Obviously, he has a lot of experience doing voice-over work. When asked about what he enjoys most about voice-over he said, "It's cool because you have to create a character completely with your voice. You have to do a lot of takes to get it down right, and it's a lot of hard work, but it's a lot of fun." Anthony also has plans in the near future to do some acting work in front of the camera. "I'm going to do a pilot this year. I will be a series regular as the next door neighbor in a family sitcom. No air date is scheduled yet but shooting takes place this fall."

Outside of acting, he has other interests as well. "My friends and I play basketball, and skateboard. We just enjoy general sports. I also wrestle for my school on the varsity team. My nickname is Spaz." He also is quite a music talent. "I play piano, and I sing. I like rap and rock and roll, but I can play classical and a lot of other stuff too." He says he simply has a normal life, but "I try to keep busy with all my acting, concert band at school, wrestling, and vocal lessons." Anthony has many ways he accomplishes this, but specifically he likes to spend his time directing. "I like making home videos with my brother and friends. We do it all the time, and I have a bunch of them. I just shoot the video and put it on my computer. I edit it with my video editing software, and then I have a finished home movie."

Anthony plans to start directing as an occupation after college. "I want to make the movie. I want to be a director that does anything and everything, all the parts made up from the very beginning [the conceptualizing] to the end when we're editing the footage. I don't want to be a director that just yells, "Cut!" and "Action!"."

Like any other kid, Anthony has to attend school on a regular basis. The kids at his school take his fame and occupation in stride. "Some people treat me a little different because of acting, but most everyone treats me the same." When I asked him about the pronunciation of his last name, he laughed and said, "It used to bother me when people mispronounced my name, but now I'm kind of used to it. It happens all the time." In school, Anthony's favorite subjects are science and history.

It doesn't take much to see that Anthony Ghannam is a well put together young actor. He appears to have exactly in mind what his future plans are, and has the tools and experience necessary to get there. Anthony summed it all up, "my advice to people is if you want to go for it, then go for it. If you want to do anything, you just have to give it a try, whether it's trying to dunk a basketball or land an acting roll. When people tell you can't do it, that's why you can't do it. Believe in yourself and have confidence, and you'll get there."

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