In fourteen years JTT has achieved an amazing amount of success - indeed he has already left his mark on the world. But that doesn't mean he's about to sit back and rest on his laurels. Jonathan has a lot of plans, hopes, and dreams for the years to come.
Professionally, of course, he's returning for the fifth, sixth, and seventh seasons of Home Improvement. At the end of the fourth season, the cast and crew got together to celebrate their 100th episode. Jonathan hopes they'll be doing the same for number 200. But ever the realist, he knows to temper that dream with, "It's up to the fans how long we stay on the air."
While Home Improvement will always center around Tim Alien and his comedy, Jonathan will be meeting new challenges as Randy with each and every new episode. As Randy grows up, gets more involved with sports, school, and girls, Jonathan will be stretching his acting wings further and further. It's a prospect that excites him very much.
In fact, there'll be more JTT than ever to enjoy on Home Improvement. Fans can look forward to looking backward because in the fall of 1995, Home Improvement begins what's bound to be a long run in syndication-reruns forever! And, to launch this new chapter of the show, the producers have come up with a never-before-done "stunt" - they are actually taping a fresh episode of the show to kick off the syndicated season.
There has been some talk of a spin-off series from Home Improvement with Jonathan or even a totally new show starring the young actor, but if that happens, it's a long way off. As with all actors on the hit series, Jonathan's contract is for seven years. What will happen when the contract expires two years from now is anyone's guess, but there are those who believe that if Jonathan had to choose today, chances are he'd opt to drop out and go on to something entirely different. Though he loves playing Randy, Jonathan always thirsts for the next challenge. It could be another TV series, but that's doubtful even though many have been offered. Truth is, now that he's gotten a taste of the big screen, he prefers the flexibility and challenge the movies offer.
Next up is another feature film, Pinocchio. The offer to star in this new movie came right on the heels of Tom and Huck. Indeed, the ink had barely dried on the Tom and Huck contract when Pinocchio poked his nose into the picture. Jonathan was thrilled to be able to say yes to this project because the timing was absolutely perfect. He had only a small window of opportunity between finishing Tom and Huck and returning to Home Improvement, and Pinocchio fit neatly into it. So after saying goodbye to his Alabama friends, he headed to England and then the city of Prague in the Czech Republic for three weeks of filming.
Pinocchio is an updated retelling of the classic children's fairy tale by Carlo Collodi about the puppet master Geppetto and his little wooden puppet, Pinocchio, who wishes to be a "real live boy." The puppet comes to life and goes on a trek to the legendary Terra Magico because only there will he find the way to become a "real" boy and truly be Geppetto's son. Along the way Pinocchio has many adventures, but he finally comes to realize that the magic was always in his heart, that love is what makes everyone "real." In this modern version of Pinocchio, Geppetto is a kindly computer scientist who makes a computer-generated boy, but the sentiments are still the same as in the legendary tale.
This new film will be a combination of animation, animatronics, and computer-generated imaging provided by the famous Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Of course, there will be live action sequences, as well. Jonathan will not only be the voice of the animated puppet - which was drawn in his very likeness - he'll also play Pinocchio when he becomes that "real" boy. Academy Award winner Martin Landau (Ed Wood) will be Geppetto.
An executive from Savoy Pictures, the company that is releasing Pinocchio, told the Hollywood Reporter, "Martin and Jonathan are tremendous actors, and we are thrilled to have them create live-action roles for these fabled and timeless characters." No doubt, fans will be thrilled, too, when Pinocchio hits the theaters in the spring of 1996.
Naturally, Jonathan is always on the lookout for that next great script. "I really want to continue to do stuff that's different - just something that's a challenge every time," he insists. "I need to do something different to become a well-rounded actor."
Just how different does Jonathan want to go? Well, don't be surprised if he chooses something way off from his previous roles. He doesn't always want to play the good guy. In fact, he's already dreamed up the perfect breakaway role. Based on the movie Silence of the Lambs, which Jonathan admits was the scariest he's ever seen, he says he'd love to play the deranged villain, "a young Hannibal Lecter - imagine that character as a twelve-year-old kid. He'd probably already be nuts, but the voice would be soothing and manipulative. Now that would fun!"
Tom and Huck, Home Improvement, Pinocchio, and other movies - that's a lot, but not all that's upcoming for Jonathan. He's already posed for two posters that fans can buy, and several more are planned for release in the future. JTT has also completed the photographic work for a 1996 calendar - and word has it that there's another one in store for 1997!
Then there are Jonathan's long-range plans for the future. Though he loves acting, he also dreams of going behind the camera. In fact, some of JTT's idols are former kid actors who have made their mark as directors and producers. He cites Ron Howard and Jodie Foster as role models. "They survived what I call the child-actor syndrome and went on to become successful directors," he explained in an article in USA Today.
Why this career choice? Well, it's simple according to Jonathan. "Directing, I think, would be my ultimate goal," he told New York Vue magazine. "I find the behind-the-cameras aspect of the business more interesting. Don't get me wrong! I'm having a great time acting, but I think that after years and years, I'd get sick of it. In fifty years, I don't want to be asked, What have you done all your life - and only be able to answer, I've been acting. "
Pretty heady stuff for a fourteen-year-old, but Jonathan has always been taught he can do anything he sets his mind to, and he wants to try everything! "Show business is something I'm pretty familiar with," he told a reporter from the L.A. Times. "But I want to do it all - be an actor, write, direct - be a real Renaissance Man - yeah, that sounds good!"
On the personal side, Jonathan also has a multitude of plans. In line with his desire to try his hand at other aspects of showbiz, Jonathan is eager to develop all sides of his life and personality. And the first and foremost area is education. "Acting careers don't last a lifetime," he sagely announced in the L.A. Times, "so you ride it out and get the best education you can."
To that end, Jonathan looks forward to high school and then to college. There is no doubt he will go, no matter what. He loves learning too much to forgo it for anything.
"I'll go to college," JTT told USA Today. "I don't want my acting career to interfere with that, even if it's going really well. Henry Winkler went to Yale. So did Jodie Foster. And look where they are!"
And where might Jonathan pursue his higher education? Well, there's time to decide that, but he recently told an L.A. Times reporter he thought he'd investigate the Carnegie-Mellon (a university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) business program.
Jonathan also plans to continue to work as hard and as often as he can on behalf of charitable causes. He was even able to fit in another Sail with the Stars cruise between Tom and Huck and Pinocchio. It was sponsored by the same people he sailed with in 1993, but this time the charity was the Tubular Sclerosis Foundation.
As for the real personal side of Jonathan's life, well, he hasn't had a real girlfriend yet, but that's very much on his mind and in his future. Eventually, one day, JTT sees himself married with children. And when he does find the girl of his dreams and makes that ultimate commitment, it will be forever. Love is not something Jonathan takes lightly, and he will only settle down when he knows it's right - and he will spend the rest of his life keeping it right!
What other dreams does Jonathan have? He wants to continue traveling all over the world. Now that he's seen a lot of the U.S. and been to Europe several times, he really wants to visit even more exotic places. He'd love to go fishing for black marlin in Australia and visit New Zealand. And since Home Improvement is very popular in both Australia and New Zealand, a trip "down under" is not out of the question.
Jonathan also told All-Stars magazine, "I want to go to Africa. It has a lot of cool history to it. Even Asia and the Middle East. I'm looking forward to traveling all over the world."
In his travels, Jonathan hopes to find the perfect place to really put down permanent roots. Tough right now Hollywood is where he has to be, JTT doesn't see himself there forever. "I read the out-of-state real estate ads," he told Disney Adventures. "I eventually want to move out of L.A. I wouldn't mind going back to the East Coast. I'm from Pennsylvania. But I don't know if I could take the winters."
What makes Jonathan determined to leave the town where he's found so much fame and fortune? Perhaps a peek in his bedroom at the poster on his wall answers that question. It's called the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." Jonathan explains, "It pretty much represents Hollywood and all the great stars - Elvis, James Dean, Marylin Monroe, Humphrey Bogart - who ended up sadly. It's a lesson that you don't want to end up that way. The title shows what it is - one day you're up there, having a good time, and the next, it all comes crumbling down all at once."
The fact is Jonathan wants to - needs to - keep everything in perspective. He's not about to let success go to his head and change who he really is. The "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" poster keeps that thought front and center for Jonathan. "That's one of the reasons I try to stay as normal as possible - it's important to stay a kid," he confided to an L.A. Daily News reporter. "You're constantly reminded of the horror stories around what I called 'child-actor syndrome.' But I have a lot of support."
Support, yes, from his family, friends, and his fans. But most importantly, Jonathan has inner strength from being a young teenager with a great big heart!
Part of The Jonathan Taylor Thomas Archive - JTTArchive.Net
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