Calling all Freddie Prinze Jr. fans out there! You’ve run for your life with him in I Know What You Did Last Summer, checked out his gaming skills on his YouTube channel Gegghead, watched him “be still, be silent” in She’s All That, and followed his romance with longtime love Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Soon, fans will get to see him star as Travis on the new Punky Brewster TV series. But, that’s not the only thing Prinze has been up to … Recently, Prinze has teamed up with Kelley Blue Book and the Best Buy Awards. And, he was overjoyed to share his new venture with Heavy, along with some fun details about his own love of gaming, his Punky Brewster project, his childhood, and the fact that he’s never asked a woman out on a date … even his wife!
Read on for our chat with the down-to-earth, spirited and funny Freddie Prinze Jr.
HEAVY: So, how long have you been gaming?
Prinze: Uh, since the first Atari came out? (He laughs.) It’s been a while.
HEAVY: Well, is there a lot of gaming in your household or are you the lone gamer?
Prinze: No, my kids they play video games. We all play board games. I finally allowed them to play Animal Crossing because all of their friends have it. All of my animals died. (He jokes.) That gives me an opportunity to actually get into my partnership with Kelley Blue Book and get into an entertaining story.
When I was a senior in high school, I was getting ready to buy my first car. I thought that’s how you could get a girl to go out with you when you’re an introvert who’s too afraid to ask a girl out on a date, which I still have never done in my whole life. Sarah (his wife) asked me out. (He laughed.)
So, I was going to buy a car and my uncle, who’s a Vietnam veteran, total stud, best man I’ve ever known, taught me how to be a grown man … He said, “You don’t know what you’re doing. Pick out a car in this.” And, he handed me a Kelley Blue Book … I started going through it and I quickly realized I couldn’t afford any of the cars. I was in the new car section. I went to the used car section where I found my first car. It was a 1987 Bronco 2. It was red. I put a ten-inch base tube in the back, listened to 90’s music. And, without that book, I would have never known what I could and could not get.
And, that’s what ties us into the game. My generation is full of what I call passive learners. We like the information to come to us. The video game life is very easy to make that happen with. Kelley Blue Book literally created their own island on Animal Crossing.
The island will be accessible through a special code that fans can receive after emailing KBBAnimalCrossing@coxautoinc.com, and fans will get to interact and take photos with the unique and rare items throughout the Island. Kelley Blue Book is kicking off its 2021 Best Buy Awards with KBB.com HQ, an island within Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Open 12/8 – 12/17 from 3pm – midnight ET, visit Kelley Blue Book’s Twitter.
Prinze: I’m sharing this with you guys because I have genuine passion for it. I’m a genuine gamer … I just have a love for gamers. I’m actually getting ready to write a gamer cookbook! And, as far as Kelley Blue Book, I think it’s a great partnership!
HEAVY: So, how did you get involved with Kelley Blue Book?
Prinze: They called me and asked if this was something I was interested in and I said, “You literally couldn’t find a more perfect guy.” I said, “I’m already a part of your family … and I play video games every day!”
HEAVY: Right! … So, in working with Kelley Blue Book, you’re also involved with the 2021 Best Buy Awards.
Prinze: So, they get real people from the automotive industry and they test these cars … on the actual streets that you and I drive on. They help you find the best car based on your needs. So, the Best Buy 2021 best model is the KIA Seltos. Any time I hear the word KIA, it reminds me of my girlfriend from high school, Rebecca Davis, winter ball dance … That’s the girls as boys dance because I never had the courage to ask a girl to a dance.
She asked me and she picked me up in a KIA. It wasn’t the Seltos because that didn’t exist yet, but ya know, at the end of the night, your boy got a smooch in the KIA. So, God bless! They deserved this award even before they got it! (He jokes.)
HEAVY: (Laughs.) Yes! Well, switching gears a little, you have a remake of Punky Brewster coming up and you play Travis!
Prinze: Yeah! So, he is Punky’s ex-husband and he was a guitarist in a rock band. He lived the rockstar life and they ended up having to get a divorce. But, through that divorce, he’s become and is trying to become a better guy. They have a daughter and they have some adopted kids that they bring in too. The kids are actually teaching him some life lessons.
I was actually done acting and my buddy Brian Austin Green called me and said they’re remaking Punky Brewster. I’ve known Soleil (Moon Frye) since we were both kids. He said, “You’re going to love her and they really want you for the show. Read the script. Don’t be a jerk.” (Laughing.) So, the only reason I read the script and wasn’t a jerk was because of Brian.
I’ve spent the last years trying to get out of the business … The reason I did Punky is it was just organic and when you fall in love with something, you fall in love with something. You can’t really fight that. I stepped away a long time ago and felt really good about it. And I feel really good about where I’m at now.