Q: So you’re back as Agent Cody Banks for a second film!
MUNIZ: Yeah, it’s crazy. I loved filming the first one, and when they told me we were doing a second one I was extremely excited. And I got to be in London, which was really fun and cool.
Q: How has your character changed since the first time we saw him?
MUNIZ: Well, in the first movie, Cody is very excited about getting called up for his first mission, and he thinks he’s going to go to an exotic location and save the world. But his first mission is to get close to a girl, of course! He ends up saving the world anyway, which is very exciting, and he just wants to know what’s going to happen next. That’s kind of how I am in the beginning of this movie – I just want to get to the next mission. When I come to London and meet my handler, this time played by Anthony Anderson, I’m like, “No, we can’t keep going on tours; we need to get started!” Then towards the end of the movie I realize I just want to be a kid sometimes. Just be normal and go and do my own thing.
Q: So how much fun did you have making the second film?
MUNIZ: Oh, it was amazing. We had a great time. Anthony’s absolutely hilarious, so whenever he was on the set I had the best time. And London is very different and exciting. We filmed in all the big spots, so I got to see a lot of the famous parts of London – and the fake Buckingham Palace was very cool to be in.
Q: Tell us more about working with Anthony Anderson.
MUNIZ: Well, Anthony and I, since day one, were really close for some reason. We were really comfortable with each other and never went through that awkward stage of “I better not say that because he might not laugh.” We were just been very comfortable with each other, so I think that’s the way it is on camera, too. Just very real, in a sense. He’s so funny it’s actually hard to act with him when he is improvising. On Malcolm in the Middle I’ve never really been able to improvise much. Here we had a little bit more freedom and he was always ad-libbing – I didn’t know how to keep up. [laughs] It was really fun.
Q: What it’s like to do all those stunty things during filming?
MUNIZ: It’s really a lot of fun. I was so excited when I first read the script, to get to do the stunts and the training and all that kind of stuff. I wanted to do as much of it as possible, and they really let me do a lot. That’s part of the fun of doing an action movie. I hate in movies when you can tell it’s a stunt double. I wanted to do as much of it as possible, so I did a lot of training.
Q: The stunt coordinator said he was impressed with how high you could kick. Where did that come from?
MUNIZ: Pretty much from the first movie. I got very confident during that movie because they made me do all the fight stuff, and I had to be able to do it well. I had to practice and work out with trainers a month before I started filming, and for a month and a half before I started filming the sequel I worked with a personal Karate coach. I did that every single day and I started learning more and more and more.
Q: It seems like there’s more comedy in Agent Cody Banks 2 than in the first.
MUNIZ: There wasn’t nearly as much comedy in the first movie as there is in this movie. We found out people really wanted more comedy, so that’s part of the reason we have Anthony Anderson in this movie – he is comedy. Everybody’s going to laugh at his character and all the things he does.
Q: The director says he was really impressed with your comedic timing.
MUNIZ: That’s very nice of him. I don’t know – I don’t really think about that at all when I’m acting. I don’t think of how to be funny or when to say my line or when to do this or that, I just kind of do it. From the experience I’ve had, that’s how you get the best stuff.
Q: What was your favorite scene to film?
MUNIZ: We did a shot where I’m running – it’s a big chase scene. I run into this construction site and a crane is lifting up these bars, and I run and grab them. They pull me up and over a huge tanker, and the villain shoots a missile – there’s a big explosion under me. That’s always fun to film – it’s like “Who in the world would get to do stuff like that?” I’m standing there and the tech guys are getting ready to blow up all this stuff and everyone’s stepping away and closing their ears, and I’m just standing right there in the middle of it. I never know what to expect the first time – you don’t know how loud it’s going to be or what’s going to hit you or what’s not going to hit you or what’s going to go flying by. That’s the most fun by far. I’ve said that once I’m done acting, once nobody wants me anymore [laughs], I’m definitely going to become a stunt man or a stunt driver or something like that – it’s so much fun.
Q: What sort of gadgets are in this film?
MUNIZ: There are crazy gadgets: Mentos I can lick and stick on something, and it makes a mini explosion. I can use it on locks to get into places. There’s also a travel kit: it opens up and looks like a normal travel kit with toothpaste and combs and stuff like that, but inside it has this retainer that I put in my mouth and can tune into things in other rooms. I can adjust the reception with my tongue, and from far away I can listen to conversations up close.
Q: Why do you think kids like Cody Banks?
MUNIZ: I think every kid in the entire world dreams about being like Cody Banks or James Bond, of being a secret agent and getting to spy around, use cool gadgets, save the world, drive cool cars and all that kind of stuff. Cody is just the coolest kid – he goes and beats up these adults and he gets to do this crazy stuff kids dream about. I think that’s why a lot of kids enjoy watching the movie. I’ve actually met a few kids whose parents say that all they do is play Agent Cody Banks. They run around and pretend to be spies. That’s really cool. Hopefully, even more people will go see this one, because it’s definitely going to be a lot bigger and better and funnier.