Cody Linley Speaks Exclusively To The Odyssey

Cody Linley Speaks Exclusively To The Odyssey

Cody spills about an upcoming production, his ties with the Hannah Montana cast, bizarre fan encounters, Leonardo Dicaprio, and more!

If you're anything like me, you immediately recognize the name, Cody Linley. He starred as teen heartthrob Jake Ryan on Hannah Montana, Mullet Fingers from Hoot, and has been in many other television shows and movies over the years. I had always been a big fan of his work on screen, but I also was a big fan of Cody himself. He seemed so down to earth and genuine, so three years ago when he went on a following spree on Twitter and followed me (yes, it's his legitimate account - @CodyLinley7), I was ecstatic. Then a little over a month ago, I decided to take a chance and direct message him asking for an interview. A month went by, and I had accepted the fact that he's a celeb and probably didn't have time to talk to normal fangirls like myself, but then I got a notification that I had one new message in my inbox.

What?! Cody Linley messaged me back?! As I tried to contain my excitement, I wrote up some questions, emailed him, and then the correspondence began. So here it is, everyone: My interview with the one and only Cody Linley.

Q: I know that the documentary, "Dream Chasers", featuring your mother’s acting students, including yourself, is being filmed right now. Can you tell me a little bit about that and how it’s going?

A: Dream Chasers is about how my Mom, (Cathryn Sullivan) has been successfully helping many acting students and I achieve our dream of acting professionally. The Director and creator of the documentary is the very talented Shaun Peter Cunningham. It promises to be an awesome documentary that helps tell the story of how Mom has helped worked to develop and discover such talents as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Logan Henderson, and many more!

Q: What made you want to begin acting? Since your mother is an acting coach, was an acting career expected of you?

A: My very first commercial was for Ruby Tuesday’s when I was only four years old. I didn’t have an agent at the time and the audition was very spur of the moment as I was just hanging out with my Mom when we went to pick up her check from work which was at a casting office. A casting director saw me and thought I was cute and wanted to know if I’d like to audition for the commercial. My Mom said “No thanks, I think he’s a little too shy”, at which point I came out from hiding behind her leg and said “I’m not too shy, I can do it!” I booked the gig and filmed it shortly after. I remember working with adults and getting paid to have a blast! My older brother Chad was an actor, so I wanted to do what he did because it’s so much fun!

Q: When some people hear your name, they immediately think “Jake Ryan from Hannah Montana!” Speaking of which, do you still keep in touch with any of the Hannah Montana cast or any Disney stars in general?

A: "Working with the Hannah Montana cast was awesome and if ever we run in to each other at events or something we definitely support each other, but yes it’s been awhile since I’ve hung out with Miley or anyone that was on the show. I grew up in Texas around Demi Lovato and visited her at her concert recently at the the Staples Center, and was able to give her a big hug."

Q: I recently watched your latest movie, Hoovey,— which was so heartwarming and inspiring, by the way— and could not believe how right you were for that role. Out of all the roles that you have played in television shows and movies, which character do you feel like you related to the most and why?

A: Thank you, I think Hoovey is a very inspirational film as well. Hoovey was probably the most relatable character I’ve ever played. I grew up playing basketball in a smaller town in Texas named Lewisville. When my brother Chad died in 2011 it was a shock and very devastating, but ultimately it brought my family together and made us stronger, and I’ve used Chad’s death as inspiration towards creating that role. Hoovey is an underdog story about perseverance and the power of love, and I’m looking forward to supporting it as the opening feature at this year’s Burbank International Film Festival in September.

Q: I see that you’ve been following in your mother’s footsteps and have coached acting classes. What is your favorite aspect of coaching? What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing that career choice?

A: My favorite aspect of coaching is getting to help other people do what they love to do. It’s very rewarding to work with the next generation, because I learn so much from them and their excitement rubs off on me. My advice to anyone pursuing acting would be to practice your craft every day. If you can, take class where you are learning techniques and practicing your craft. Study acting on T.V., in books and remember that if stay focused and believe in yourself, anything can happen truly.

Q: I’m sure being a celebrity isn’t always easy, so what is the most bizarre thing that a fan has said/done to you, and how did you react?

A: I’ve had some pretty bizarre fan encounters, when I was in Mexico visiting a school I had a mob of screaming girls all charge after me and trying to hug me at once, one of the girls took my hat and I started to feel a bit overwhelmed, but eventually I got my hat back and arrived safely onto the bus.

Q: You are a man of many talents such as singing, dancing, and acting. Do you have any more interests or hobbies besides those, and if so, what are they?

A: I live with three dogs, I love animals and I’m vegan. I enjoy reading, writing and improv comedy.

Q: Who would you say is your hero and why?

A: I have a few heroes, I admire my grandpa Alton Martin, because he is loyal, loving and an honest family man. Growing up I looked up to Steve Nash, because he’s such an amazing team player and an overall extremely talented guy. As far as actors go I think that it’s cool that Leonardo Dicaprio uses his platform to bring awareness to important issues such as wild life, global warming and ecological issues.

Q: Can you tell me about your funniest moment on the job?

A: Working with Patrick Warburton on Hoovey was super fun, because he’s such a genuine person, but equally as funny! He told me stories of when he started acting. There is a scene in the movie where Alyson Stoner, Lauren Holly, Patrick and I are saying a prayer at the dinner table, and when it was filmed at the time it had been at least a twelve hour day. In between takes we decided to play a word game where you mix the letters up in a word and say the phrase all jumbled up and see if the other people can solve the puzzle. The things that we were saying and the reactions to them were roll on the floor priceless. I was laughing so much that I cried, my stomach hurt and I could barely even breathe.

Q: 10 years ago, where did you think you would be now? What advice would you give to your past-self?

A: Ten years ago I would have thought that I would be starring in blockbuster films living in a mansion in Malibu and even married. Now though, I’d tell my past self, 'Don’t rush things, trust yourself and know that everything will happens when it supposed to, all you have to do is be the best you that you can be and keep helping others along the way, and you will be forever fulfilled.'

Q: Can you tell me three things that not a ton of people know about you?

A: I enjoy traveling around the world and merging with new cultures. I like playing ping-pong with my roommates and playing frisbee with my boxer, Logos.

My initial thoughts about him were spot on. Don't you agree? He is truly an inspirational and genuine guy who took the time out of his busy day to answer my questions. Well, there you have it! Now you have a little insight into the life of the unbelievably kind Cody Linley.

Note: Please excuse any grammatical errors. All responses were kept in their original form to ensure authenticity.

Popular Right Now

​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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