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February 09, 2018

TV's Newest Breakout Star Iain Armitage Talks Magic, Mentors and Maintaining a Childhood in Show Business in Latest Emmy Magazine

With a string of acclaimed performances opposite some of Hollywood's biggest names and a breakout role in this season's hit CBS series Young Sheldon, Iain Armitage has established himself as a nine-year-old rising star. In the latest issue of emmy magazine, Armitage shares advice he's received from his showbiz peers and how his childish sense of wonder keeps acting fun.

The award-winning official publication of the Television Academy hits newsstands February 13.

Starring in the season's No. 1 new comedy, The Big Bang Theory spinoff Young Sheldon, would be a challenge for the most seasoned of actors. However, sharing the screen with big name talent including Jim Parsons, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon has given the Arlington, Virginia third grader access to wisdom and advice from some of the best in the business.

Parsons, who stars as eccentric physics genius Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang, helped Armitage prepare to portray the character as a boy growing up in East Texas on Young Sheldon. As the young actor recounts, "This is one of the many things Mr. Jim said about Sheldon: 'If there are two paintings and one is wild and super splotchy and the other is neat, orderly, rainbow colored, Sheldon would like the neat, orderly one.'" That explained a lot. It got me in the mindset of Sheldon."

In addition to great mentors, Armitage, who was also praised for his performance as Ziggy in the HBO limited series Big Little Lies, surrounds himself with toys, games and stuffed animals that help him preserve his childhood in a serious business. "I love to play. I love to go outside and run around like a lunatic. I love to roll across the floor for no reason at all [and] jump up and down as if I had just won the Hamilton lottery," he shares.

Additionally, there are plenty of activities that hold a strong place in the heart of this confident kid including geology, wildlife, taekwondo and magic. Armitage reveals he may even like to trade acting for magic one day.

"Neal Patrick Harris taught me a magic trick," he says. "Don't even think about asking me to tell you the secret; I'll never give it up. But I don't want to copy anyone. I am my own street performer-magician self."

Additional feature highlights from the new issue include:

  • The network that brought you the hit shows Power and Outlander is just getting started. In "Power Drive," emmy reveals Starz's plan to lap its premium-cable competitors as it targets new audiences.
  • Hulu's new limited series The Looming Tower, starring Jeff Daniels, Alec Baldwin and Peter Sarsgaard, deconstructs the events leading up to 9/11, including the rising threat of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. In "A Method in the Madness," Jeff Daniels speaks with emmy about the role of former FBI agent John O'Neill.
  • Comedian, producer and former reality host Byron Allen can add "building an empire" to his résumé. For the past 25 years, Allen has been busy as the CEO of Entertainment Studios, one of the world's largest independent producers and global distributors of first-run syndicated programming. "Double Take" offers an in-depth interview with the businessman, in which he reveals the strategies that brought him success in the second half of his career.
  • In "The Upstagers," emmy magazine takes readers into L.A.'s Silicon Beach with an inside look at Vista Studios, where CEOs and co-founders Randall Heer and Frank Gianotti have developed a modern production space designed for the next generation of content creators.

Download the press release here.


Carla Schalman  

Stephanie Goodell
breakwhitelight for the Television Academy

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