Devon Werkheiser is an American actor, voice actor, singer-songwriter and musician. As an actor, Werkheiser is known for his starring role as Ned Bigby on the Nickelodeon sitcom Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, and for his role as the lead character Nolan Byrd in the 2007 Nickelodeon television movie Shredderman Rules.
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Most of you know me as Ned Bigby from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. I have been acting since I was 8 and am still acting. I am also a musician currently crowdfunding my next record. I am 26 years old, working throw those millennial challenges and going after my dreams. Learning from every struggle. Doing my best to celebrate every moment. Ask Me Anything. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0973974/
I just successfully crowdfunded my next record! There's still two weeks to go! If you'd like to contribute, there's some fun perks for us to connect on. No matter what, enjoy the record when it comes out! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/devon-werkheiser-is-making-new-music/x/2012108#/
I always felt like Ned's Declassified was like a kids version of Scrubs. Did you ever see a connection?
Absolutely! The crazy janitor. The tone. For sure.
Just so everyone knows! Even if I am not answering this live, I will be checking this for the next few days so continue to ask me anything. Share it with friends. And I'll be on here answering!
I watched a movie with you in it when I was stoned in high school and all I remember is you robbing a house with a mask on. Tell me I didn't just make that up. What was the name of that movie?
hahahaha. California Scheming, formerly known as Leashed.
What sorts of tips would you like to see in a Declassified College Survival Guide?
I sort of love how reddit answered this question. https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/5xnfom/what_tips_would_be_in_neds_declassified_college/
Hi Devon! How do you feel Nickolodean affected your life growing up, was it hard to get past everybody knowing you only for Ned Bigby for a period of time?
People still mostly know me from Ned's. Life is about perspective. There are things I could get hung up on about it. It was hard when I felt that kids I had grown up with in Atlanta were treating me different, that was a strange experience. But my true true friends were always there. It's sometimes hard watching my contemporaries having success that I want, and I can get doubtful or down about that sometimes. But their journey is not mine. I'm grateful for where I am now. All the fans of Ned's are great and have a lot of love for the show. I still had enough anonymity to be able to experience being a teenager and young adult. Going to music festivals. Traveling. Without feeling in the public eye. I had room to grow up up and make mistakes. I had room to experience life outside of just the industry. And it has also given me some notoriety which has led to great experiences and other projects. It's also put me in this place with some fans, where I'm able to really connect with them and share my creativity and heart with, and that is a really cool thing. My story is still being told. And I look forward to having Ned's be an important part of my public, but not THE most important part.
Did you ever have a thing for Lindsay Shaw? I always thought she was cute as hell when I watched the show as a kid, and when Ned and Moze got together on the show I fangirled out (I'm a guy) ahaha.
Haha. Lindsey and I got together the last few months of Ned's. When we filmed that final episode we we're dating at the time. We dated for over a year after that and I have a lot of love for her because before that we we're such close friends as well.
My name is Michael Jackson (no, not that one—this one). You and I met in 2007 at Starlight Children's Foundation's "A Stellar Night," where you were a StarPower Ambassador and I was a Keynote Speaker. Here are two pictures of us together.
A couple years ago, we lost contact when I went social media free for a while, but I would love to reconnect with you again and catch up! I was so excited to see that you are doing a reddit AMA tonight; coincidentally, I also reconnected with Nicole Lapin (from the same event) through her AMA.
2007 was ten (!!!) years ago—and was the last year Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide was on the air. What would you say is your proudest accomplishment since the show?
I hope you are doing well!
(Michael! I remember you well! Are we not friends on Facebook? I thought we were. Thats a good place to reach me.)
My proudest accomplishment since the show has been the music I've created and the seeds I've been growing there. Specifically taking the step to self produce my first EP I AM back in 2013. That was something I had thought about for a long time, and actually taking the idea from my head, out into the world of action and completion was a big step for me. And the songs are true to who I am. Thanks for the question!
Did you get to keep any cool souvenirs from the Ned's Declassified set?
My mom kept some stuff. She has a few of the prop guides, which do not have tips in them by the way. They are just these crazy full, messy, composition books.
I gotta hop off for a little while, I'll be back. Keep submitting questions I want to hear from you guys!
I watched your show as a kid, and it gave me great tips in middle school.
Now I am a broken adult. What are some tips to survive adulthood?
Aw man. I'm living that mid twenties struggle as well. It is often not easy. I created this Life Survival Guide on youtube to give some advice to others, as well as reflect on the lessons I've been myself. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLi7I8wtdpme_3thrWRlHdiAMl-geN4vLt
Check out some of those but some specifically.
1. Form a good relationship with your intuition and whatever your notion of The Universe or God or a High Power is.
2. Whatever your form of creation is, do as much of that as you can and see what unfolds from it.
3. Be smart with your money.
What was the coolest thing that happened to you because of Ned's Declassified?
One of the coolest was when Josh Peck and I went to Europe for the UK Kids Choice Awards and German Kids Choice Awards. It was an epic trip and experience. But honestly, Ned's has led to so many incredible experiences. I got to go to Kenya to film a Feed The Children fundraising documentary. I played dodgeball with Tony Hawk where the balls were covered in Nickelodeon slime. All the Kids Choice Awards I went to. And amazing people I've gotten to meet and work with. And the fans that still have so much love for the show. Also getting to do Devon's Life Survival Guide on Youtube last year, getting to put something out there to offer help and guidance to young people, being in a position where some would listen, that was a beautiful thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxgsCQYAY0E
I've seen Everclear a bunch of times and I met Art Alexakis a while back and I asked him about the cameo he had in Ned's way back when. He said he had a blast playing Mr. Gibson (I didn't get the joke of his name until now... Ha.) What was he like? That was a great episode. Did it play any role in your musical career taking off?
Dude. Was a huge fan of Everclear growing up. Crazy Easter egg is that Carlie Casey who played Missy Meany on Ned's, was a little child in Everclear's Wonderful music video! And Art was so cool on set, he was super kind. Everyone likes to ask about that in terms of my music, maybe it was just Life winking at me in that episode, because I didn't know at the time how much I was going to pursue music.
What's your favourite movie and why is it Shredderman Rules?
This is a great question that you asked and answered.
What's it like seeing Christian in The Walking Dead now? Do you guys stay in touch? What about the rest of the cast from Ned's?
I am a huge Walking Dead fan!! She's been doing amazing work on the show and I am very proud of her. We haven't seen each other or spoken in some time, for no nefarious reasons. I'm sure if we see each other it would be all good. I see most of the cast at least occasionally. Daniel and I hangout a lot. Carlie Casey (Missy Meany.) Kyle (Bully Loomer). Rob Pinkston (cocohead). Here's me and Bully Loomer and CoconutHead and Bully's Crony at a wedding last week. https://www.instagram.com/p/BWBwiF2A3DA/?taken-by=devonwerkharder&hl=en
Devon, watched your show religiously with my kids and we loved every moment of it! Do you still keep in touch with the cast of Ned's Declassified?
Aw that's great! Yeah we all still keep in touch. There's a fondness and connection that we have that will sort of always be there.
Does pedophilia run rampant in the entertainment industry?
Recently I have been hearing rumors of the such, but I have never experienced anything even close. But my mom was always super aware and protective.
If you could jam with any musician for an hour, who would it be?
If I could have an hour to play a few songs for Paul McCartney and hear him play and have him offer me some words of wisdom, that would be religious for me.
Gotta go to bed. And I'm busy a lot tomorrow into the afternoon, but I'll keep hopping on and answering tomorrow evening and over the next few days. Let's keep this going. Ask away!
Did you have any bad experiences filming Ned's Declassified? If so, can you please share some with us?
Bad? Filming that show was the most fun. Imagine being a middle schooler, filming a show about middle school, a show that is super funny and crazy over the top, with 16 cast members around your age, where you only do 3 hours of school work a day, and the rest of it you just play with the cast, and talk with adults, and have a room (craft services) full of food and candy, and a game room with football and xbox, and you're making money and succeeding in following your dreams. It was magical man.
Was there ever a time while filming the show that fame got to your head a bit?
I'd like to think not. But people closest to me could maybe say otherwise. I don't think it ever got tooooo bad, because I've always had great family and friends to keep me grounded and remind me of who I really am, not saying they tell me I'm a terrible human, haha, just remind me of my truth. Humility is a super important tool for growth and learning. I definitely had a phase of being an asshole teenager, I'm not sure that was about fame or the show, it was just me being a teenager and feeling invisible and hormonal and like I knew everything. But that's part of growing up. Part of finding my way and my voice.
What was the first item you bought with your first paycheck from Ned's Declassified?
The first major purchase was my Taylor guitar that I still own and have written and recorded the vast majority of my music on. It is my prized possession. The one material thing I care about more than anything else. I was learning guitar at the time, and was going to buy a mid level guitar, but a friend on set who was a great musician, Adam Conway, told me, "If you have the money, buy the best." It will age and you will never need to buy another guitar. He was right.
What are you up to these days? What are your plans for the future?
There is a lot happening. I am in a play for the next few months in Los Angeles called Elevator. I just successfully crowdfunded my next music record on indiegogo. So a lot of my time will go into fulfilling those perks, creating the next record, and then releasing and promoting it. I am auditioning and writing all the time and there's some cool projects I hope I can tell you guys about soon. I filmed a movie last year with Andrew Bachelor and Logan Paul called Where's The Money that will hopefully come out soon. Day to day I'm living that mid twenties hustle, I work a few day jobs, create all the time, live with my amazing girlfriend, and our dog and cat. Living and growing my friend.
Whatever happened to the white kid that played cookie? I seem to remember an episode with him in a big red coat, and then then show was gone and came back and in that same episode and there on he was the cookie we all know and love.
Yes. That is was happened. He got recast.
What was the episode plot for Ned's Declassified High School Survival Guide if you remember it?
I don't remember. I don't think it ever got written out, I'm sure Scott Fellows had a good idea and pitched it. Never happened. Life would have been very different if it had. It could've been super cool. But I am grateful for the life I have had.
Why did you have to crowdfund $5k for your album?
It stands to reason you have that money already?
Reason would suggest I have money. But I currently do not. haha. It has been a lot of years since Ned's Declassified.
What's your best tip for surviving?
I know it was years ago but do you remember what it was like working with Randall Wallace on We Were Soldiers?
I was ten years old. But I remember him being very intelligent and kind. Mel Gibson was too.
I saw this thing about a pilot being recorded for Ned's declassified high school survival guide. Is this a real thing and will it ever be released?
It was never brought to fruition, it was just the pitched idea that Nickelodeon never went with.
Haha it sounds like you were a bad boy and you partied a little too hard
Good on you for keeping at it, man
Let me ask you a more fun question seeing as you have a little celebrity:
What is a controversial opinion you hold?
Controversial? I don't know. I'm not raising my future children on Santa Claus because I'm not going to lie to them. There is enough real magic in the world. I think the War On Drugs is a ridiculous, factually and statistically failed idea. I think some things are conspiracies but not EVERYTHING is a conspiracy. I'm pretty progressive and liberal, but I seriously question the Obama administration especially the use of drones. I think America creates as many "terrorists" as it tries to get rid of, and I'm not stoked about my tax dollars being used to murder civilians and call it collateral damage. But it's a chaotic world and people like to make it seem like the answers are so simple, so clear cut, but they're not. I don't have all the answers, I don't have most of the answers, not for the whole world anyway. But I have my intuition and inner guidance to flow through my journey with some purpose and inspiration.
I watched it in dutch (netherlands not germany) did you ever watch narrated versions?
Hahaha yes I have watched some narrated versions. It's so strange for fans from those countries because they know my face, but it is another actors voice and tone! That's so weird to me.
What ever happened to the loft ?
it fell apart. as many things do. Conceptualizing something, then working to create it, then completing it, it is a difficult process.
Will we ever see the
haha probably not. I wouldn't even know where to find it.
Holy shit! Big fan! Would you say getting into acting so young shaped you into who you are today?
Of course. Just like you NOT getting into acting so young shaped who YOU are today. I would say for me, it's shaped me in a lot of areas. I mean first of all leaving the city and community I grew up in to live in Los Angeles. Having a certain amount of money so young was nice. Pursuing the craft of acting has had me learn a lot of lessons and do a lot of introspection that I might not have done so soon otherwise. Getting to interact and talk with a lot of really cool adults is also something that happens as kid actor that is rare for that normal kids that age.
Kind of an odd question (and you might not have an answer), but do you know anything about the Jet Set Radio Future dinosaur from the episode "Guide to: Art Class & Lost and Found"?
I saw that episode and have always wondered how or why it got in there. I mean somebody must have been a fan.
Edit: if anybody has the clip I'm talking about please share it because for the life of me I can't find it. All I can find is a forum post talking about it. I know I've seen it before though.
Yeah I'm lost on this one. Must be our Art Department.
What's been your favorite role so far, and is there a particular role you would like?
I am actually in a play right now in Los Angeles called Elevator and we've done three shows a weekend for the last four months. It has been my fave role so far because I've gotten to explore it and experience it so deeply because of how many shows we've done. A lot of times, on films you don't get the time to explore a character or story as much as this. It just moves too fast. Other than the play. I have a film on Netflix right now called Sundown, it's a silly spring break party romantic comedy, but was a BLAST to film with amazing people.
Has Jayson Cole ever thrown a party at your house?
Jayson Cole has been to a party at my house.
Do you still have the secret to the perfectly messy hair? If so, what is it?
Bottle up some ocean water, spray it on your clean hair, tussle your hair, done.
Being a child actor, what was your experience? Do you feel it harmed you in any way? Do you feel like you missed out on anything?
Thanks for doing this and all the best!
Hey there. So everything in life has a cost and pay off. So harmed me? Not more than any other life path could. Shit, I hear high school messes a lot of people up for awhile. Haha. But there we're some things I missed out on. I only went to two weeks of high school, and was home schooled for the rest. Never went to prom or any of that. Never had that experience of going to college and all the good and bad that comes with that. I'm on a different journey though so it's okay. And it has had plenty of rewards. What I'm grateful for is that as known as my show was, it also wasn't Miley status, or even Drake and Josh big, I was still anonymous to so many people, which allowed me the freedom to grow up and make mistakes and have fun which I think is super important to development. I think we are all self-aware beings, but to be an actor is to be hyper self-aware because it's part of the job, and that has it's downsides. Make sense?
Very true. It seemed like a great idea. Things will be as they are meant to be though!?
That's exactly right. It's all lessons and leading to the next thing.
What advice would current Devon give to 10 years ago Devon?
Let's see, ten years ago I was sixteen. I would say, it is all going to work out beautifully, learn how to work hard early, and have so much fun when you turn 20 and go to Burningman for your first time.
What are some of your favorite bands?
Are you a cat person, dog person, neither, or something even weirder like a bird person?
Birds shouldn't be pets. Because they can fly. I have both a cat and dog and love them both fully. Such great creatures. I love most creatures. I think cows are amazing as well. Which is one of the many reasons I don't eat them.
Hi Devon! Longtime fan here, and obviously, big fan of Ned's as well. A thing I always loved about Ned's was that while you could argue that it was just sanitized for Nickelodeon, I felt like, in terms of the friendship and relationship drama, it wasn't that far off from my own experiences in those same grades. I'm curious what your take on it at the time was. Did you feel like the characters skewed on the immature side or ever wish they could push the envelope a little more, or did you think they were just right? Or c) it was a comedy show so you didn't really worry about it much?
And so we're not entirely dwelling on the past here, a question about the future: what's one thing you're hoping to achieve someday?
What I loved about Ned's was that while it was way over the top and cartoony, there was a core of truth that we were getting at. There was a heart and a message within our show, amongst the slapstick chaos. So I felt it was just right. One of the big reasons our show didn't go to High School, was it would have to change a lot. The tone of our show was just right for middle school. High School would have to be reworked.
Been a fan ever since Ned's Declassified! One of my favorite shows growing up. I was extremely stoked for your EP back in 2013 and for the rest of the music you'll put out in the future! Amazing work man.
But my question is: do you like fantasy football? If you do, I've definitely got a spot for you in my league this year!
Aw! I am a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, however, I don't play fantasy. It sounds really fun and interesting, but my time is limited and I have so many other priorities, watching football uses enough of my time. And I love it. I go watch with a bunch of Eagles fans in LA and we yell and chant and be idiots. It's good fun.
Man, I used to make my own survival guides in middle school! I had a master guide in a composition book and then a bunch of mini ones in pocketbooks so I could share them with friends. My question to you is, if I sent you a blank composition book, what would you do with it?
What? That's kind of awesome. I would love to see your tips. Maybe that was an inclination to a future career path? Therapist? Motivational Speaker? I keep journals that I write and reflect and doodle in. So I'd use it for that.
What kind of music will be on your EP? Like the kind before or different?
It is the next step of music for me, but it is like the kind before, just new songs, new production, new expression.
Greetings and salutations Devon! You were my nerd idol I always enjoyed wacky adventures with growing up. And speaking of adventures, what are your favorite video game adventures? Are you a fan of Dungeons and Dragons? If so, what's your most memorable d&d character?
Salutations Sailor! I never played D&D. I don't played video games anymore but some of my all time favorites...Halo(all of them), Knights Of The Old Republic 1&2, Oblivion Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect.
Life was so simple when I used to play video games.
I've seen you at Penn State's THON! How did you get involved with THON? Why is it special to you? It was great growing up with your show and then getting to see you at my university!
My parents both went to Penn State. And a bunch of my family and family friends. So I love Penn State and getting to go to THON a couple times was absolutely incredible. It is an experience that only those who have been can understand. It is a very special moment and I am happy to support it.
Ooo! You're making music now? Are you producing music too? That's my current hobby/ passion right now, I'm working on an album myself and its one of the hardest but most rewarding things ive ever done.
Also, was a big fan of Neds Declassified, Great to see you here!
I'm not engineering the production side, but I am very active during the production of my music. And it is a challenge and a process that has it's up and downs but is so rewarding. To take a song that is just acoustic, and collaborate it into this set version is a beautiful process.
What is your favorite song of all time?
I can't narrow it down. But Deja Vu by Crosby Stills and Nash is one. Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes is another. Weird Fishes by Radiohead, and also like every Radiohead song.
How much cocaine was on the set of Ned's Declassified?
It's all there was. No food. No water. Just cocaine. ?????????