Owen Vaccaro On Netflix’s Finding Ohana, His Character Casper & More

Recently I had a chat with the talented actor Owen Vaccaro, who is starring in the new Netflix movie, “Finding Ohana” which is the modern day take on the Goonies, we talked about, we talk about how Owen uses his acting skills to portray his characters and make them relatable to his audience. We also talk about Owen’s work in musical theatre as well as his work in blockbuster Hollywood productions. He’s been acting since the age of 4 and he’s only getting started.

PHOTO: Kelsey Edwards

What is it like getting to play a huge part in the remake of a classic movie such as The Goonies?
It was so amazing! I am hoping this film can be this generation’s “The Goonies” as some might not watch the original because it is from such a different time.

Did any actors from the original film inspire you to do this film? 
Ke Huy Quan from “The Goonies” played a role in “Finding ‘Ohana” and we all got to meet him! He was the nicest person to work with.

Do you personally find any similarities between you and the character you play on-screen and how the audience could relate to your character? 
Casper is always super positive, even when he is in bad situations. He tries his hardest to look on the bright side as much as possible.

Since you’ve been acting from quite a young age was there someone or something that inspired you to act or did acting come naturally to you?
When I was younger, I really didn’t look up to any actors because I didn’t know their names! My first-grade teacher Mrs. Betts encouraged me to try theater after I tried all kinds of sports and didn’t like it. After doing theater for a while, I branched out into film.

Apart from acting do you have any secret talents that you’d like to share with us? 
I am really good at crocheting and love gymnastics, playing the piano and the ukulele.

Do you feel starstruck getting to work with great actors such as Jack Black, Will Farrell, Mark Wahlberg, and Cate Blanchette? 
Yes, I absolutely got starstruck. When I was filming “Daddy’s Home,” I didn’t really know who anyone was because I was so young, but with Jack and Cate, I was so nervous! But then I met them and we just had a connection. While filming in Atlanta, once Jack and I plus our families went to Six Flags, it was so fun!

PHOTO: Kelsey Edwards

Since you have been part of the musical theatre scene do you see yourself going back to it and maybe performing in a Broadway production sometime in the future?
I would be absolutely thrilled to do a Broadway production sometime in the future! The theater is my first love and I can see myself doing it over and over again.

How does it feel to make the switch from the indie scene to working in blockbuster Hollywood productions? 
When I made that switch I was really little so I didn’t really notice much but I did there were bigger lights and bigger sets!

How does it feel working in action, adventure film and did you have fun portraying your character along with your costars? 
Acting in action movies is my favorite thing to do because I love stunt work. There is a special bond that forms between your costars doing stunt work because it can be kind of scary! I was especially excited to do the stunt work though because it was something I hadn’t done before. I had been in a harness on wires once before but in this one scene I was in a harness and hanging up above a waterfall-like 40 feet up. It was crazy.

Being a part of the Netflix bubble is a huge accomplishment on its own, how does it feel doing a Netflix movie, and did you have the creative freedom to express yourself through your character?
Being part of Netflix was always a huge dream of mine and it is amazing that I achieved it! Jude, the director, gave us the script as more of a guideline and we just embraced our own characters. I wouldn’t say we did improv, more like we had the freedom to do our own lines and would try to do it differently each take.

The Interview was originally published in JAMO Magazine March Issue 2021

Ayush Menon
Ayush Menon

I consider myself a jovial individual who’s always looking for opportunities to grow and expand dealing with the vast spectrum of life with a positive attitude.

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