Jake T. Austin talks 'The Fosters', 'Wizards' and Voiceovers

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Jake T. Austin --- we all know him as the little kid brother on Wizards of Waverly Place who's always up to crazy antics. Well, he's not so little anymore --- he's 18-going-on-19 and his career is growing stronger than ever! After Wizards ended in 2012 (and returned for an hour-long special in 2013), the New York native has found himself a new home in ABC Family drama series The Fosters.

Jake T. Austin
Photo credits: Nina Duncan

Jake has had an extensive career. We've heard him voice Diego on animated children's series Dora The ExplorerGo, Diego, Go!, we've seen him as the mischievous and not-so-bright Max Russo on Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place and now we're seeing the talented actor in a new light as Jesus Foster on ABC Family's The Fosters, who is fluent in Spanish and has ADD in the show.

The summer season for The Fosters wrapped up on Aug 5 and fans can expect new episodes only in January 2014. The show, which is produced by Jennifer Lopez, also stars Disney's Teen Beach Movie star Maia Mitchell. Non-US fans: We're not too sure how you can watch the show apart from purchasing it from the US iTunes store or on Amazon.

We at Musichel were honoured with the opportunity to interview this gifted star, who shared with us a little more about The Fosters, Jesus Foster vs Max Russo and growing up in the public eye. The part-Puerto Rican actor shared with us what he would do if he had his magical powers from Wizards in real life *winks*.

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You currently star on ABC Family's TV series The Fosters as Jesus Foster. For the benefit of those who aren't familiar with the show, could you give us a summary of the show and your character?
The Fosters follows the lives of an interracial same-sex couple who have one biological son and several foster children. I play fraternal twin Jesus Foster, one of the foster kids. In the show, my character Jesus and his twin Mariana have been estranged from their birth mother for years, and are thrown off in Season One when she re-enters their lives and causes trouble.

Photo credits: Mark Sullivan / Getty Images

You starred on Wizards of Waverly Place as Max prior to The Fosters. Did the fact that Jesus is a slightly more mature character than Max make it easier for you to portray the character?
Jesus' character is much more mature than Max Russo, my character on Wizards of Waverly Place. It is easier to play a character whose age is closer to mine, because it is more relatable. There are both similarities and differences between Jesus and I, and I enjoy challenging myself with this character.

What were your thoughts when you first read the plot of The Fosters?
I was excited when I first read The Fosters. The script for the first episode definitely captured the plot of the series and I was excited for the opportunity to work with Jennifer Lopez and everyone else involved.

Photo credits: Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images

Cierra Ramirez plays your twin sister on The Fosters - how did you two prepare for the part to exude the twin vibe?
Cierra Ramirez and I play twins on The Fosters. To prepare for our scenes, we try to remember both Jesus' and Mariana's past, as well as the dynamic between the siblings.

You've done a lot of voiceover work. Is it harder to get into character when you do voiceovers?
I have voiceover projects coming out in 2014: Rio 2 & Khumba --- both animated features. I love to bring the personality of an animated character to life. I think it is harder to get into character for voiceover roles because you're only able to express yourself through your voice. I enjoy working on both on-camera and voiceover projects!

Photo credits: Ari Perilstein / Getty Images

How do you feel about type-casting? Have you ever experienced it?
I feel indifferent about "type-casting". I just look forward to playing roles that challenge me in the future, and to grow as an actor!

You've been acting from a really young age and you've basically spent the bulk of your childhood and teenage years in front of cameras.
Yes, I have been acting since a very young age and have basically spent "the bulk" of my childhood in front of a camera. I've definitely had a blessed career thus far!

Photo credits: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images 

Has growing up in the public eye put a lot of unnecessary pressure on you?
I do not feel any unnecessary pressure. Despite the ups and the downs of the industry, I try to remain strong and continue to work hard. I take what I can from each experience and learn from those around me.

If you could use one spell from Wizards of Waverly Place in real life, which would it be?
If I could use one spell from Wizards of Waverly Place, I would most likely transport myself to the Musichel offices right now!

Photo credits: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

Loads of fans vie for your attention on Twitter. What kind of tweets stand out to you?
I truly appreciate the support and love I get from fans across the world, and I am happy to be able to use social media as a platform to express myself throughout my career. Tweets from my fans always stand out to me!

What's your favourite accent to mimic?
My favourite accent to mimic is anything Hispanic. I like imitating my Puerto Rican family and friends whenever I can.

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