Who is playing Ralphie Parker in the FOX musical version of the 1983 film A Christmas Story? The 11-year-old newcomer Andy Walken takes on the iconic role of Ralphie in A Christmas Story Live, joining a star-studded cast of Broadway and movie veterans. Maya Rudolph, Matthew Broderick, Jane Krakowski and David Alan Grier are just some of the big celebrities participating in the live production. Get to know more about Walken, what he brings to the role and how he became a part of the show in our 5 Fast Facts below.
1. This Is Walken’s First Lead Role
Walken hails from Seattle, Washington and this was is the first big role that he has landed. When asked to come in for his “final audition” for A Christmas Story Live, he was presented with a fake Christmas present. Upon opening the gift, he discovered a ringing cell phone. When he answered the phone, the director told Walken that he had gotten the lead part as Ralphie Parker. Prior to getting the role, Walken gushed that he loves the original movie so much and that if he landed the gig, it would be “the best Christmas present ever”.
2. Ralphie Is Walken’s First Time Singing for a Gig
Though Walken has acted before, this is his first time landing a job with singing. In an interview with the New York Post, he said, “This is my first professional singing role. I have been acting for almost three years.” Walken also said that he loves the music in A Christmas Story Live. For his auditioning, he acted out three scenes and sang some of the songs as well.
In an interview with Broadway Box, Walken talked about when he first discovered his love of performing. He stated that, “When I was really young my mom signed me up for a theater camp, where we worked on singing and dancing and performing Peter Pan, and that was when I realized that I wanted to be on stage or on camera all the time.”
3. Walken Has Experience on Television
Though this is Walken’s first lead role, he has been appearing on television since 2015. He even was on Entertainment Tonight. Some of the roles he has played included a boy named Charlie in the TV movie Escaping Dad, a young Nicholas Mallard on NCIS, Colin Tollefson on the show Heartbeat, and Young Bill on The Most Hated Woman in America, according to his IMDb page.
4. The Original Ralphie Has Given His Blessing
According to Entertainment Weekly, the cast of A Christmas Story Live has gotten to meet the original “Ralphie,” played by Peter Billingsley. And, it appears that Billingsley has given the production his stamp of approval. Walken even got to spend some time with Billingsley. Actor Matthew Broderick discussed their meeting with EW, saying, “It was nice to watch him interact with our Ralphie. There was something cool about seeing the two of them together.”
5. Though Walken Loves His Acting Life, He Misses Home in Seattle
When talking with Broadway Box, Walken talked about the things he misses from his hometown of Seattle, Washington. Walken went on to say, “I loved going down to the beach near our old house, or riding the ferry across to Whidbey Island and back, and taking our dog for walks in the woods where we’d see deer and squirrels and rabbits. We tried taking him for a walk in the hills down here in California and found a rattlesnake in the middle of the road! Definitely takes some getting used to!”