Check out our interview with talented LIONSGATE film, “Are you there GOD? It’s Me, Margaret” actor Zack Brooks who plays the role of the heartthrob and very popular boy in school, “Philip Leroy.”

Philip is the most attractive boy in Margaret’s school and in her “secret club.” All the girls in school love Philip and Margaret initially has a huge crush on him. She even shares her first kiss in a fun game of “Two Minutes in the Closet,” until Philip decides to pull an awful prank on her. He later reveals himself to be more than a dreamboat, turns out to be a “lousy worker” when Margaret has to do group projects. He tends to go full-on neanderthal and exposes who he really is during the book and film. Zack is playing along side many other talented actors which include, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates and “Margaret” Abby Ryder Forston. As well as some amazing producers and directors like, James .L. Brooks (producer) and Kelly Fremon Craig (director). The film is set to hit theaters on April 28th, 2023 nationwide.

Follow Zack @ZackBrooksOfficial

How do you prepare for a role?

Oh this is one of my favorite parts of the process. I start by thinking about the kind of music that my character would like and would listen to and then I play it over and over. Music is such an important part of my life and it really changes my mood and energy. The type of music people love is so personal to them and I try to connect to the character in a movie or tv series in that way. Wardrobe is also important to me…clothing, jewelry, shoes all help me to start to feel that shift into a new character.

What kind of roles do you like or like to play? And why?

I love dramatic roles. When there’s a lot of tension in the scene, it really brings out a side of me that I didn’t know was possible. So it’s exciting to get to know myself through that perspective. I also really love roles in the sci-fi and thriller genre.

Do you support any charities?

I do. I support Charity Water because clean water is the most basic of necessities for all people in the world. Charity Water uses 100% of their donations to build wells in places that don’t have access to clean water. Most people don’t realize how many illnesses and how much death comes from not having access to clean water.

What advice would you give to your younger self and why?

Now that I’ve had five years or so pursuing my dream of acting, I’d advise my younger self to not get discouraged by how long it takes to finally reach a goal. I’m also an aspiring guitar player and I know how hard I have to work to get the chords right for a song I want to play. So I’d tell my younger self to just hang in there. There’s good things coming when you work hard and have faith.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The most rewarding part is actually landing a role! Most people don’t realize that about 80% of an actor’s job is auditioning. Sometimes I can do two or more a day. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about being an actor. I truly love the production process and being on set. Becoming a family with my fellow actors on a project is so rewarding. But the best part for me is knowing I nailed the character and convinced the director to hire me.

Can you name three actors or actresses you would like to work with?

My go to, always, is Robert Downey, Jr. I admire him so much, his range and talent is phenomenal. I can hardly wait to see him in Oppenheimer. I’d like to just stand in the shadows and watch him work because I would learn so much from him.

My second is Tom Hanks, who just blew me away in his latest film, A Man Called Otto. Most of the time, I didn’t even remember it was him playing the part. He is incredible. Tom is also just a well-rounded human being like Robert Downey.

The third actor I’d love to work with is Leonardo DiCaprio. I’m so interested to see how he approaches his characters’ personalities. Apparently, he’s also a bit of a comedian too. That would be fun to see as well.

Tell us about your part in the Lionsgate film, Are you there God? It’s me Margaret. Tell us about your character Philip Leroy.

First of all, I’m honored to be a part of a story that’s touched so many people’s lives over several decades. The character I play sees himself as a totally tough and cool kid who’s not always the nicest guy in the class. When he meets Margaret, it’s her first year at a new school in a new town so she’s a bit overwhelmed with trying to fit in. All the friends she’s made since she moved have a crush on Philip and there’s a few funny scenes of her girlfriends talking about him so she has this big buildup about meeting him. He does definitely have an impact on her journey. Maybe not in the most positive of ways but one thing’s for sure…Margaret will never forget Philip Leroy.

What’s your own definition of happiness?

I guess my definition of happiness is similar to most. I like to have time to do the things I love. Those things are playing my guitar, mountain biking over the limestone trails around Austin with my buddies, skateboarding with my older brothers and spending time with my family. Also, a great character to portray in a powerful script makes me REALLY happy.

If you could meet someone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I’ve always been fascinated by James Dean. He was a man before his time. He could be laughing one minute and completely off the rails the next. I really connect with the expressions he conveys with just his eyes. He died the same year my grandmother was born so he’d be in his nineties now. I wonder what he’d think about the world today? It would be amazing to have the opportunity to talk him.

Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years?

Oh good question! I’d like to be known as a strong dramatic actor. It would be mind blowing to work on a production that’s respected in the industry enough to win an Academy Award. On the other hand, I’d also like to have more opportunities to work on small, independent projects that push the envelope to tell amazing stories and get screened in film festivals like SXSW here in Austin.

How would your best friend describe you?

Haha uhhh… In three words: funny, daredevil and caring.

What do you think of social media and where can we follow you?

I think social media is definitely a double-edge sword. On one hand, it’s the greatest communicator of all time. If you know how to use it, you can connect with almost anyone and find out how to do almost anything.

On the other hand, I think it makes a lot of people uncomfortable with their authentic selves when they start comparing themselves to an unrealistic image an influencer puts out there. I say, you just have to always be yourself because the world needs the real you.

You can follow me on Instagram, at @ZackBrooksOfficial