Caleb Brown’s acting career didn’t start on a good note. The Visalia youngster auditioned for a production of “Oklahoma,” but he failed to land a part.
Things have gone much better since then for the 9-year-old, including landing a role in the new Jennifer Aniston-Kate Hudson feature film, “Mother’s Day.” He plays Aniston’s son in the comedy directed by Garry Marshall.
After that “Oklahoma” miscue when he was 6, Caleb bounced back, landing a role in a local production of “My Son Pinocchio.” Things took off and Caleb began being cast in so much work – much of it in Hollywood – that he and his mother, Monique Lozito, moved to a community just north of Los Angeles.
The location makes it easy for them to head south for auditions and work, or head north to be with his father, Curtis Brown, and sisters when he’s not working or at an audition. It saves the the family a lot of driving time.
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Caleb got the acting bug from his cousin, Tristan Peck.
“He’s 20 and had started acting when he was about my age,” Caleb says. “It looked like fun, and I wanted to do it.”
My cousin started acting when he was about my age. It looked like fun, and I wanted to do it.
There’s a family tradition that Caleb and all of his cousins perform a show for the family every Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday. That tradition was put on hold once Caleb started landing acting jobs.
His first Los Angeles-based job was in the musical “Seussical.” He’s appeared in commercials for Subway, AT&T, Famous Footwear and Snapple, plus he was on an episode of Nickelodeon’s “Bella and the Bulldogs.”
“Mother’s Day” is the biggest production yet for the young actor, a job that he didn’t think he was going to get.
“I auditioned for the movie and then said ‘OK, when’s the next audition?’ But then we got a callback,” Caleb says. Several more auditions including a taped performance of Caleb acting like he was having an asthma attack, and he landed the role.
Filming took place last year over a 21-day period in Atlanta. Much of his work was with Aniston and Timothy Olyphant, who plays his father. In the movie, Aniston’s character, Sandy, and her ex-husband, Henry, are on good terms until he marries a much younger woman and Sandy struggles with having to share her children with their new stepmom.
Caleb says that before their first scene together, Aniston came up to him and said, “Oh, my god. You’re my son, right?” He replied: “Yeah. Hi. My name is Caleb.”
The young actor smiles and adds, “My dad was a little jealous.”
Caleb knew who Aniston was, having seen several episodes of “Friends.” She made him feel so comfortable on the set that after the first day of shooting, Caleb told Aniston that she was doing a really good job.
Working with Marshall was also easy for Caleb. His big direction to Caleb was, “This time, let’s try it with no acting. Act without acting.”
The only miscue was that the director wanted the youngster’s hair to look messy but, like any good mom, Lozito would comb Caleb’s hair before he went on set. The first assistant director would have to mess up Caleb’s hair before the cameras rolled.
Caleb Brown also has been cast to play the son of guest star Teri Hatcher on an episode of “The Odd Couple.”
The end of “Mother’s Day” filming didn’t end Caleb’s connection to Marshall. Caleb was cast to play the son of guest star Teri Hatcher on an episode of “The Odd Couple,” a series on which Marshall is the executive producer. Caleb thought he got the role because of Marshall, but once he got to work, Caleb learned that Marshall was surprised to see him.
There could be other chances to work with Marshall: Caleb enjoys acting so much that he wants to make it his career.
After the interview, Caleb and his mom were headed to Los Angeles for another audition. The afternoon had been set aside for one of the perks of their current living space between home and work – a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Caleb is a huge roller coaster fan, and since they live in the shadow of the amusement park, he can visit the park when not auditioning for his next acting role.