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Since founding the Little Red Wagon Foundation as a 7-year-old in 2005, Zach Bonner has shaken hands with four U.S. presidents on his way to helping raise millions of dollars to end youth homelessness. Now 15 and in high school, the young philanthropist talked with betterRVing.com about what life is like when you’re the subject of a major motion picture.
What was your reaction when you found out that a movie was going to be made about your life?
My mom, sister and I were having lunch with Dr. G [Producer Dr. Michael Guillen] when he broke the news that our story was selected to be made into a movie. We just said, “Wow, what an incredible opportunity to bring awareness to youth homelessness.” We knew we couldn’t pass it up.
Starring Anna Gunn, Daveigh Chase and Chandler Canterbury as Zach Bonner
Directed by David Anspaugh (Hoosiers, Rudy)
Written by Patrick Sheane Duncan (Courage Under Fire, Mr. Holland’s Opus)
Produced by Michael A. Guillen and David Kanter
Coming soon to a theater near you!
To learn more about Zach’s journey and his upcoming projects, visit: littleredwagonfoundation.com
What was your reaction when you found out who was playing you in the film?
Chandler Canterbury is a really nice guy. When I looked at all the work that he had done, I was really impressed. He’s made movies with Nicolas Cage (“Knowing”) and Brad Pitt (“The Curious Life of Benjamin Button”). I couldn’t think of anyone else to be me.
Did you ever think of playing yourself?
Funny story there. They had an open casting call to play me, and I sent in a tape of myself under the name of “Chaz Rennob.” Apparently the casting team was really impressed and excited until someone pointed out that “Chaz Rennob” is roughly Zach Bonner spelled backwards. I didn’t get the part, but we had a good laugh.
What does your family think of the movie?
We knew the film was going to be about more than just the Little Red Wagon Foundation and would include our personal struggles as a family, but we also knew the impact the film could have. It was a big decision for all of us, but we’re really excited about it.
What aspirations do you have for the film and its message, now that it’s ready for the big screen?
I really want this film to bring a lot of awareness to youth homelessness. That’s been my attitude from the beginning. Hopefully the film will find a huge audience in theaters and educate people on this issue.
How can someone get involved in your cause?
Find a local organization in your area that’s working to end the crisis of youth homelessness. Reach out to them and ask what you can do to help. You’ll find there are a lot of opportunities in your community to get involved.
Who will you be walking the red carpet with, and what will you be wearing?
Hopefully I’ll be wearing the nicest tux I can find. As for who I’ll be walking down the red carpet with … hopefully it’ll be with the nicest girl I know.
Can you tell us who that might be?
You’ll just have to wait and find out.