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LAist Interview: Edward Barbanell, Co-Star of The Ringer

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Edward Barbanell is an actor with Down syndrome. But having sat down with Ed for lunch last weekend, I can assure you Ed has not gone "Hollywood" on us. He is in movie after movie, attends movie premieres, but above all else he loves his family and is not afraid to show it. After talking about his brother's upcoming wedding (Ed's going to be the best man) he agreed to do a quickie interview for LAist.

How did you become an actor?
Ron Lane coached me. He saw me at the Opus Playhouse, where i performed in "Little League Dreamers". He helped me with monologue, blocking, movement, where to go, etc. He gave good direction.

What was life like on the set of The Ringer?
Best experience of my life! It was a great cast, and a great crew. We laughed a lot, and made jokes. Katherine Heigl was my best friend. Everyone bonded and just joked around.

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What was Johnny Knoxville like? Is he a nice guy?
Johnny Knoxville was also my best friend. He has a great sense of humor, he is lovable, he is a comrade. He understands that people with, or without disabilities need compassion. He is just a nice regular guy, jokester, who knows that it's the inner part of a person that counts the most.

What brought you to LA last weekend?
First of all to visit with my brother, and my new sister-in-law. And secondly to attend a fundraiser premiere of a short film i was in called Sky Squad Eagle Eight, where I play a character named Billy, and is premiered by the Chesire Project.

What do you think about LA?
I love LA. It's the best city. Especially because my brother and new sister-in-law who I love dearly. And because i get to eat lots of cake.

Would you consider doing anymore acting in the future?
Yes, I am actually in a new movie coming out soon called Let's Ride, where I play a character named Wolverine, and I'm part of a mentally challenged gang called The Sunshine Gang. We jack a van in Atlanta, and some other stuff. You have to wait to see. What was your favorite part of The Ringer?
Aiming water balloons at Johnny Knoxville's crotch!! (Laughs) I liked the steam room scene, the tent scene, and the CD scratch scene.

What advice do you have for people who want to be in the movies?
To never give up, and pursue their dreams. Don't get down on yourself, and make sure to present well. First impression is everything. And of course auditions and agents are important.

What is your blog all about?
It's just like a personal diary. Like writing about hanging out at Willie Nelson's ranch with Johnny Knoxville, or about my 29th birthday, or whatever. It's called You Scratched My CD You Know.

What final words do you have for our readers?
Come and recognize me. Get to know me better, you can email me. Oh, and I want to meet Fran Drescher.