Francisco "Frankie" Muñiz IV is an American actor, musician, writer, producer, and racing driver. He is known primarily as the star of the FOX television family sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, which earned him an Emmy Award nomination and two Golden Globe Award nominations. In 2003, he was considered "one of Hollywood's most bankable teens." In 2008, he put his acting career on hold to pursue an open wheel racing career. He competed in the Atlantic Championship. In 2012, he joined the band Kingsfoil as a drummer; however, the band parted ways in 2014.
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Hey, hi, I'm Frankie!
I'm here today to answer your questions. Tough, easy - whatever you got, throw it at me! This'll be fun!
/u/courtiebabe420 is here typing for me today via telephone.
EDIT: 4:27 EST - Thanks for having me and putting up with me today! Gotta go deal with my tortoise at the vet. It's been a blast!
You became quite wealthy at a young age. What's something you bought in your younger days that you look back at and go, what was I thinking?
I have a lot of that.
I had a little bit of car obsession when I first turn 16, 17, 18 years old. Prettyy bad with buying cars every couple of days, every couple of weeks. And like most of them I would drive like once or twice and get rid of or sell - give them to my dad or my family.
And I look back now and I go "What was I thinking - why would I do that?" I think at one point I had like... 36 cars. At 17.
I've made some pretty odd purchases in my life, but I guess everyone does that, right? Like, I've paid more in storage to keep these things than their worth.
What are the chances of one more season of Malcolm in the Middle?
Well, it's kind of interesting because I don't know if was like a week ago, I randomly had a dream where we were filming MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE but it was taking place now. Ya know, I'm turning 30 this year and the least episode aired like 10 years ago. And I thought it would be really really fun to see where everyone was.
So, I tweeted that, and people responded really positively. And news groups picked up. I wrote the creator the an email asking if he would be interested in the possibility. He shared my email with Jane and Bryan and they both responded with very positive messages and they would love to do it.
It's been kind of weird in the last week or so, but it's definitely possible it could happen again. I don't know how long it would be - a week, a season, 7 more seasons. But it could definitely happen. It's cool because Jane and Bryan are interested, and Bryan is a Hollywood GOD right now, and it's cool he'd say yes to it.
I'm not a writer or anything, but it's cool to think we could see where everyone is. With it being on Netflix right now, I'm getting a lot of emails that are saying "I've just binged watched 7 seasons" or "please, please, please, write more" - that's pretty cool.
Hey Frankie! One of my families most favorite movies you were in was Big Fat Liar. Do you still keep in contact with Amanda Bynes?
Uh, no, to be honest I haven't talked to Amanda probably since the premiere of BIG FAT LIAR.
We were really good friends when we filmed the movie, but that's just kind of Hollywood, you just start filming the next thing and lose contact. So no, I haven't really talked to her or seen her in a really long time.
Oh wow, first actor AMA that I've seen without an advertisement. Cheers for that. If you were a bag of crisps, what flavour would you be?
Um, well my favorite chips are FRITOS cuz they only have 3 ingredients.
I don't know... FRITOS now like a typical chip but once you start eating FRITOS you really can't stop.
OH YOU KNOW WHAT ACTUALLY - The Cheetos company made these cinnamon sugar - I think they are called SWEETOS - but those are OH MY GOD - I would be a bag of those. For sure!
Those aren't on the trainer-approved diet list though.
How's that for no advertising? Haha
What was it like when you realized your dad was a meth kingpin?
Aw man, it was funny cuz to be honest, Bryan Cranston and working with him as Hal in MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, he's the greatest, nicest most professional person I've every worked with. What he did with Hal - I think he made the show successful.
So to see him go into BREAKING BAD, I knew he was capable. It couldn't have been any better. It was amazing and always fun to watch.
My fiance always goes "YOU WORK KNOW BRYAN CRANSTON?" Oh my god.
Do you mind that you've been defined by your role as Malcolm in Malcolm in the Middle, or do you wear it proudly?
I don't mind at all. I mean, it's one of those things ya know when I was in the show, people were saying "oh you don't want to be typecast or stereotype as Malcolm - you wan to move on and get done what you can." So I listed to them a little bit.
But now I look back, it's cool that people recognized me for something, especially something I dedicated my life to for 7 years. People still tell me the watch the show and love it - it makes me feel good. I appreciate they do that and don't mind hearing Malcolm 100 times a day because I'm still known for something.
You'd rather be known as something than nothing, right?
>Jane and Bryan are interested
That's so exciting! What about Erik, Justin and Chris? Are they interested too? crosses fingers lol
I've reached out to all 3 of them.
I've emailed Justin, and waiting to hear back. I called Erik and so I have his answer. I still haven't reached out to Chris yet, but it's just about gauging interest and seeing where everyone is.
Soooo uh...how's it goin man?
It's going good! I'm currently driving with an endangered desert tortoise in my car to the vet because he has a cold.
Frankie, what's the scariest thing you've ever seen Bryan Cranston do?
Well minus Walter White entirely, um, he filmed an episode of MALCOLM INT HE MIDDLE where I think there was like 20,000 or 50,000 bees on him and he actually DID IT. Which was pretty frightening. I was on set watching, and I wouldn't do that. Trust me. GET A STUNT DOUBLE!
I guess the question on everyones minds is... Are you going to be in Sharknado 4?
I don't... know. I mean if I died, or we think I died in Sharknado 3, I don't think I could be in Sharknado 4. But I'm not gonna lie, I'v heard that my character could come back as just a head with a robot body.
So... I'm just gonna put it out there!
What was your favourite scene in Malcolm in the Middle?
Favorite scene... Oh man, I have a bunch.
My favorite episode is the roller skates episode, I'll start with that.
My favorite scene is the bowling episode, which is Season 3 or 4, and I'm so mad at my mom because she's embarrassing me in front to my friends and this girl I like because she's laughing at me because I keep getting gutter balls, even with the bumpers up I'm getting gutter balls.
"HERE"S YOUR DAMN STRIKE" and I throw the ball from a foot away and I still miss every single pin. And I love that scene.
So when we filmed it, they expected I would hit some pins, so they told me to act like I didn't hit anything after the throw. So we filmed it, and I say the line and I throw the ball and I literally didn't hit a single pin. You can kind of see me smirk a little bit, ya know what I mean, cuz I was so excited that i actually missed the pins - and they used it because they would never get another take where I missed them all and then I stormed off.
So definitely my favorite scene.
And I also got to make out with a hot girl in it.
How long did it take to get your sight back after the Komodo 3000 went off?
The way we filmed it is we had to stand in the position we were going to be in while it was daylight and then they filmed it. And then we had to be in the same exact position at night. Cuz the scene takes place at night, but it is so bright that it looks like daylight. So it was kind of cool how they filmed it.
But character-speaking, I'm still recovering.
Do you believe Malcolm went on to become President?
Uhhhmm - I don't, I don't know. Well he would only be about 28 right now, cuz he was just graduating high school when we finished in 2006. So he wouldn't be old enough
That's what I wanted to explore. I think it would just be fun to see. In the last episode of MALCOLM, he gets accepted into Harvard but he also gets a job offer where he would have a starting salary of $500,000 with stock options and everything. BUT, Lois, his mom, won't let him take the job. And Malcolm is baffled by this because they grew up with no money and here's this opportunity and she won't let me have it. I eventually hear that she wants me to work my way up and earn my success rather than having it handed to me.
I think it would be fun to see if Malcolm is still struggling to be Malcolm in his family, but I don't think he... could be President yet.
Saw your band playing near Bucknell a few years ago. You guys still performing?
Um, I'm no longer in the band as 2/7/14. I definitely LOVED being in the band, I loved the band, I loved the guys. But we were on the road I think 300 days in 2013, which was tough for me to do with all the things I have going on in my life, so the scheduling just didn't work out.
I'm still really close with the guys and still into the music, but I don't think I'll ever play drums again. Ever.
How long did the blue sequence with Giamatti take to shoot in Big Fat Liar? That was so much fun to see!
You know there's a lot of scenes where he's blue, and obviously we didn't really dye his skin. I remember him being in hair and makeup every single day and they had to paint his skin every day. I remember it being hours and hours of extra hair and make up and can't have been fun for him. They had to dye his hair more orange than it usually is.
I love Paul, he's an Academy Award winning actor and he's great.
The end of the movie he's chasing me, and they had him wearing these Prada shoes, and he had the most massive blisters from running in them so long.
Moral of the story - if you plan on buying very expensive shoes, don't run in them!
Who was the most interesting actor/tress you ever worked with on set? Do you prefer doing TV series or films?
Definitely my favorite person I ever worked with IS Bryan Cranston - he just was so professional and and I think back now at that time that we did share, and he's always been a really good friend. He always checks in, he calls and emails me and checks in. HE's always a great guy
I don' think there was ever a time on set that he wasn't giving it 100% - and I'm not saying that people don't' give 100%, but people just get comfortable. He wanted to make sure that every scene was the best it could be and I really admire that.
When I was on the show, I probably would have said that I like doing movies better. Now that I've stepped away for such a long time, and I think back on my experiences, definitely being on the show was amazing and I would LOVE the opportunity to do that again - especially with what were' talking about.
You become a family on the show - you spend all your time together and get really close. You get to hang out and get to know each other in all your time together. It was really really nice, the relationship that you build.
Movies are fun because you start them and it's a whole new cast and crew, and then you finish it and everyone loves it and then it goes away and you're on to the next thing.
Long story short - I prefer TV. There's an excitement going "what did the writer's come up with?" I would always get excited about bringing a girl on, and thinking "Oh do I get to kiss her?" So that was always fun.
Hey Frankie, It's cool to see that you're doing things that I would do in your situation – race and golf. You seem like a genuine dude. How is the golf game coming along? If you're ever in SLC, lets get a round in!
Golf has kind of taken over my life the last year or so. I play on a few like little amateur tours. I actually am leaving tomorrow for the National Championships - I qualified for the Amateur National Championship. So I play in that Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday - hopefully I can come home with a big trophy.
Literally golf is like an obsession for sure.
How many times have you seen Bryan Cranston in his underwear?
Uh, more than you wanna know.
I think he was probably in just his underwear - he embraced the tighty whiteys and it made his whole career. He owes his career to tighty whiteys. Even in BREAKING BAD, he's in his underwear.
How was it working with the cast of criminal minds. Who was your favorite? That was probably the saddest episode I have seen thus far. Very good acting on your part!
That's my FAVORITE THING I'VE EVER DONE - was that episode of Criminal Minds. It was just so different from anything else I've ever done and getting to be the bad guy was cool.
Everyone was really cool. I've know Joe Mantegna from like golfing and other events we've gone to so it was fun to work with him. I just had a great time, and it was definitely more of a challenge for me but I really enjoyed it.
I realized I was good at being angry and I don't know why. Being angry was really easy.
How would you describe your childhood growing up as a famous actor?
Well, ya know, I only lived my life so I don't know what would have been if I wasn't on TV - if I didn't have people who recognize me. I got to experience so many incredible and amazing things that most people wouldn't.
People would ask "aren't you sad you didn't get to go to high school prom?" And the answer is well, no, because I was going to the Emmy's and the Golden Globes and the Playboy Mansion. Which is awesome for an 18 year old boy! So I got to do some really cool things that I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.
Granted it's not all positive - there were a lot of negatives that came with, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives.
Do you eat cereal often? If so, what's your favourite cereal and why?
I eat cereal every day. And I still always go for the super kiddy cereals - like Trix and Lucky Charms.
But my favorite cereal, and it probably fits my personality really well, is Puffed Rice. Like old school Puffed Rice, no sugar at all.
Hi Frankie. When you're a star leaving a huge show like Malcolm in the middle. What does the employment scene look like? Is it true that you get to pick scripts? If so how did you decide?
When I was on the show, we had a lot of offers coming my way and I would read the scripts and when I was a kid I would pick what I thought would be the most fun.
I did AGENT CODY BANKS, and was signed to do HOLES, and actually had to call and back out last minute because the thought of being a CIA agent was way cooler.
The difficult part is that you only have a 2 month hiatus when you're not filming show, so you need to kind of schedule as much as you can in those months. You usually can only do 1 movie, but sometimes i would do them back to back.
Maybe what I would choose would be different these days, but then again I was lucky to be an actor that was working. I think people forget that, and once they get some fame, they turn things down for not being good enough or not getting paid enough. I see so many young people forget that you become an actor for the love of acting, and making a living, instead of partying with your friends.
Once it's gone, I guess you look back at it and you go "Man, I wish I had taken advantage of it."
What was the hardest episode of Malcolm in the Middle to film for you and why?
Hardest Malcolm episode... oh maaan
I don't know - let me uh. I don't think any of them were really that hard.
OH I REMEMBER. This wasn't the hardest, but I remember not being happy about it but it was because I was a 14 or 15 year old going through puberty. They always had me in tighty whiteys.
There's this episode where this girl comes in and I don't hear her come in because my dad is like mowing or something and I'm changing and she sees me in my tighty whiteys and it was really embarrassing. But that was REALLY embarrassing in real life.
Hey Frankie! Thanks for doing this AMA.
Among the shows and many films you've starred in, any of them in particular that have hit close to home? Giving you a special emotional connection through the script that made you connect in ways other scripts did not?
I don't know, MY DOG SKIP, I did that movie in 1997 - 1998. It was one of the first movies I ever did. I had such a great time filming the movie that I became really close with Willy Morris - the author and the character I was playing.
About 2 weeks before it came out, he took me to dinner in New York City. He gave me this list of all the things he wanted me to do in my life - like at 16 I want you to be in school, and go to college, and all these things. And he died the next day.
That movie and that experience really affected me and definitely hit closest to home.
If you could be in any show that's on air right now which one and who would you play?
Oh man - it's hard for me to answer because I really only watch reality TV (which is horrible for an actor to say).
There's a show on ABC FAMILY, called KEVIN FROM WORK. I read the script before they cast it and I LOVED it and I thought it was hilarious. So that would be it.
I do remember a movie - I saw MAD MAX which was amazing. The creepy guy they used his blood - I would love to play a character like that. Just so different ad a cool movie, it would have been awesome.
Other than Malcolm's, what is your favorite T.V family?
I really like Married with Children. I don't if anyone on reddit will know what that is. It was a little almost before my time but not quite. They were just so real - they were the first dysfunctional family and Malcolm was like the next dysfunctional family. So I like that!
Hello Frankie Do you do any gaming at all and if you do what do you play?
I don't, I uh I'm still really big into Super Nintendo - like NBA LIVE 95 and this video game called F-ZERO - like this futuristic racing game. That's like the extent of my gaming crusades.
It's just so complicated these days, back int he day it was so easy.
ACTUALLY, I think I have like a Dreamcast and I still play the Tony Hawk skateboarding game. That was fun!
Hey man, love the show. What's your favorite type of sandwich? I feel like you might be a Reuben guy.
Oooo, I'm actually the most, like I eat like a child.
So when I go to like Subway or Jimmy Johns or whatever, I literally get like a turkey sandwich with NOTHING on it. Just bread and turkey. No sauce, no vegetables, nothing.
Hey Frankie! What was your best experience while on the set of Walk Hard? And who are your personal 50s music legends?
Well, I was only set for about an hour. But I remember in the hair and makeup room and John C. Reilly was getting a wig put on and I was getting my wig put on, and Jake White he was playing Elvis.
It was awesome, just everyone chatting and getting to hear their stories was great. It was such a short time filming, but it was cool to be in the same room as those guys.
Richie Vallens - My babysitting when I was 4/5/6/7 years old, and my favorite movie was La Bamba. I would literally watch it on repeat, so yea. Richie Vallens.
There's one part where there's like a sex scene in it, and my mom would fast forward through it so much, that I never watched it even on my own. I was a good kid.
You seem to have done almost everything under the sun. Is there anything you haven't ever tried that you really want to?
Oh man, yea. I went form acting to racing cars professionally to playing drums in a touring rock band so now I'm trying to get on the PGA tour. I'm fortunate that I've gotten to do a lot of my dream jobs over the years.
I wanted to be a mailman or a I wanted to be a train conductor, so those are next on my list.
What is your best golf score in 1 round so far? Also what is the toughest course you've played?
Um, my best score ever is 67.
Toughest course - there's golf course in Arizona called Quintero, and it's normally a very hard course, but the time I played it it was also like raining and like 60 mph winds which made it pretty much impossible. Even technically, it's the hardest course I've ever played - slope and rating wise.
The tournament is at Stadium West, which I play on Saturday, I've heard is like the 4th hardest course in America. So that might change this weekend - we'll see.
Hi Frankie. What's your favorite James Bond movie?
The one before the most recent Daniel Craig. That last one didn't have as much action, but the ad for the new one looks amazing. It's just such a cool franchise - everyone wants to be James Bond.