David Bloom Dishes on Netflix’s ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’ And His Binge-Watching Habits
Not ready to let go of summer just yet? Well, you’re in luck as neither is Netflix with its new family comedy series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. Serving as a prequel to David Wain and Michael Showalter’s 2001 film of the same name, the show takes us on a nostalgic and humorous journey into the lives of the Camp Firewood attendees on their first day of camp. Chockfull of ridiculous moments and drama, including a government conspiracy as well as a love triangle, this eight episode season is sure to make you long for your own summer camp days. And if the storylines weren’t impressive enough, the A-list Hollywood names associated with it (such as Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd) will certainly make this your latest Netflix addiction.
Before the series premiere on July 31, GALO caught 14-year-old David Bloom on the phone (who plays shy kid Kevin in seven of the eight episodes, and who you might recognize from his role as Stanley Zielinsky on Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street) to chat about the premise of the show, the atmosphere on set, feeling a bit starstruck, and his own binge-watching addiction.
GALO: You star in the new Netflix series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, which is a prequel to the 2001 film (currently also streaming on Netflix). To start us off, can you tell me a bit about the role you play as Kevin? And will we see you in the very first episode?
David Bloom: My role, as you said, is Kevin. He is sort of a shy kid. In the first episode, he arrives to summer camp and gets acclimated. He is not really a fan of going to summer camp. He expresses his dislike for summer camp. He gets bullied a lot, and I guess you will have to see everything for yourself on July 31.
GALO: We don’t want you to get in trouble, but can you tell us a little bit about what we will see in the first episode without giving too much way?
DB: I could tell you a little bit. [In] the first episode, everyone [is] arriving to camp and they just kind [of], like I said, get acclimated to the camp and get everything prepared.
GALO: As mentioned, the series is based off a film that focused on the last day of camp. Did you happen to watch the original film either recreationally or as part of your research strategy for the role?
DB: I did. After I got the role, I heard that it was based on a movie in 2001 and I decided to find it. And yes, I watched it, and it was really funny.
GALO: What was it about this series that made you want to get involved with it?
DB: The comedy of it. It’s just really hilarious. Michael Showalter and David Wain, they are hilarious people. Everyone in it, they’re all hilarious actors. It is just a great project to be [a] part of.
GALO: Continuing on with that, can you also tell me a bit about the premise of the show and some of what we can expect from it as viewers? How does the story continue on in this show?
DB: It’s like you said before, it’s a prequel to the movie, so it only takes place over [the course of] one day. It’s basically about the first day of camp, where all the campers and the counselors, like you’ve seen in the first movie, are now getting there on the first day of camp.
GALO: The film that came before this show was a bit of a flop at the time, despite it being considered a cult classic nowadays. Were there any fears that you or the rest of the cast had going into this project that were associated with that — perhaps especially those who had been involved with the original?
DB: I don’t think so. I couldn’t speak for anyone else, but before, not a lot of them were as huge as they are now. I still can’t say how they feel because I don’t know, but for me, I was real excited.
GALO: I can imagine the bar was set a bit higher in terms of expectations on set, if only to fare better than the original. What was the atmosphere like each day?
DB: The atmosphere was amazing. It felt like just shooting any old [show], well not any old, but it was a good atmosphere — amazing atmosphere. Everyone was really excited to do this project. They weren’t holding back. It was very fun.
GALO: Going back to the history of the film, do you think that the show will resonate with audiences on a bigger level than the film did? In other words, do you think audiences will embrace it?
DB: I think people are going to love it. It’s hilarious, and I don’t feel it’s any worse or any better than the original movie. I feel that [although] people say, “oh, another sequel or another prequel,” I think once they see it, [they] are going to look past that and really enjoy it.
GALO: There are certainly some big Hollywood names associated with this series, such as Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd. How was it to work with such big names? Were there any feelings of being starstruck around the A-listers?
DB: I mean, anyone who is around them is going to feel a little starstruck, but I wasn’t too starstruck…but still a little bit. It was such an honor to work with great names like Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Poehler. I really enjoyed it and I thought it was a great opportunity for me.
GALO: Not every moment on set is serious. There are times when stars goof around, pull pranks, or just relax and make conversation. Are there some funny stories you can share from being on the set?
DB: None that I was a part of. But yes, some of the other people could probably tell you some things.
GALO: Given the show is premiering on Netflix, I have to ask: are there any shows that you enjoy binge-watching on this particular digital network or any other?
DB: Yeah, on Netflix I love Family Guy, American Dad — two of my favorite shows [that] I love to binge-watch on Netflix. [Seth] MacFarlane is hilarious.
GALO: What about other shows outside of Netflix?
DB: I’m trying to think [laughs]. I watch a bunch of TV, but now it is just slipping my mind all of a sudden. It’s hard to say. It is really tough to say. There are a bunch of shows I like.
GALO: I know a lot of young people enjoy the CW Network and their shows, such as The Flash, Arrow, iZombie and other comic book related or sci-fi based television. Do any of those shows interest you at all?
DB: I haven’t had a chance to watch some of [them], but I have heard a lot of great things about those shows. I might take a look at them.
GALO: Some might not believe this, but I have heard some actors mention in interviews or in passing that they don’t watch their own shows or are not a fan of seeing themselves on television. Do you plan to watch this show once it premieres?
DB: Yes, I definitely plan to watch it.
GALO: While there are those who refuse to catch a glimpse of themselves on the big screen, there are actors out there who throw viewing parties with either the cast or friends when their shows air. Do you have anything special planned for July 31st?
DB: Not on the 31, but on August 1, I got invited to a premiere.
GALO: You also play Stanley Zielinsky on Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, which is a family oriented show. I know that the second season is set to premiere in October, and therefore, you probably can’t give away too much, but is there anything you can tease about the upcoming season that won’t get you in trouble?
DB: Not sure. I feel like anything I say will give too much away [laughs].
GALO: What prompted you to want to become an actor at such a young age and how has obtaining some of these major roles affected your life as far as friends, family, and school go and just being able to be a normal kid? Does it ever feel like you’re missing out on something?
DB: I always wanted to — well, not always wanted to act, but I always felt like I enjoyed it. [I was] doing plays at my school and my dad got me an audition with an agent, and it kind of just went from there. I submitted a monologue, got the agent, and [that] got me auditions. [As far as] being a “normal kid” around school, I still feel that my friends don’t treat me any different. I am not treated extremely different, but I am not treated the same as I would be if I wasn’t an actor because there are people that are like, “I saw you in this! What are you doing now? What are you working on now?” It’s not like I’m some A-list celebrity walking around school. I’m still somewhat of a normal kid around my friends.
GALO: So, by now, we know that you enjoy acting and that you wish to continue pursuing this career path. But what do you do for fun when you’re not working in front of the cameras or memorizing scripts? Do you have any fascinating hobbies?
DB: I love to hang out with all my friends, whether they’re from school or from the acting world. I love to kick back and be lazy, watch TV, and play video games. I love to go outside and play sports and watch sports. That’s a big thing.
GALO: Being that you are really into sports, what are some of your favorite teams?
DB: [I’m a] big Clippers fan, Angels fan, Packers fan. I like the Kings for hockey. I’m into a lot of sports.
GALO: Apart from the second season of Gortimer Gibbons, do you have any other projects in the works that you can share with us, or any particular goals that you have set for yourself that you’d like to achieve before the start of next year?
DB: Nothing too big — no projects [that are] really huge right now. For goals, I guess I’d just like to continue what I’m doing now and grow as an actor, and maybe get some good parts down the road of acting.
Video courtesy of Netflix.