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New Kid on Screen

Danville's Buddy Handleson talks about his new Nickelodeon role.


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Courtesy of Nickelodeon

Buddy Handleson’s friends don’t get to see their pal around Danville anymore, but that doesn’t mean they can’t see him at all. Buddy just landed a lead role on the new Nickelodeon sitcom Wendell and Vinnie.

Buddy describes his title character, Wendell, as “a kid who has had to act like a grown-up his entire life.” The show pairs responsible, fastidious teen Wendell with an immature grown-up uncle—think The Odd Couple with a multigenerational twist.

It’s the biggest role yet for the 13-year-old actor, whose first TV gig came five years ago on the smash hit Hannah Montana. From there, Buddy went on to small roles on NBC’s Trauma and Disney’s Shake It Up. For Wendell and Vinnie, he has relocated to Southern California, near the Warner Bros. lot where it films.

“I do miss Danville,” says Buddy, a former Venture School student who now has an on-set tutor. “I miss playing with my friends at Osage Park and being able to walk downtown to the candy shop.”

Fortunately, Skype and Twitter don’t make Danville seem far away. In addition to correspondence with his East Bay friends and family, Buddy has more than 11,000 very protective fans following his tweets.

“Sometimes, my friends from Danville will get on Twitter and tease me, and then my fans get upset. They start writing stuff back, saying, ‘Leave Buddy alone,’ ” he says, laughing. “I have to jump in and tell the fans, ‘Everything is OK. It’s just my friends from home messing around.’”

Wendell and Vinnie debuts February 16 at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon.

 

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