Ryan Ochoa has co-written upcoming indie comedy film Second Chances, which he’ll also be starring in as lead character Nick Stone, and with filming recently finished, it is on track for a release in 2023. Since appearing in the original iCarly series, Ryan has reprised his role of Chuck Chambers in Series 2 of the Paramount+ revival earlier this year, which saw him work alongside some of his previous Nickelodeon co-stars and crew. Having filmed for The Guardians of Justice (Will Save You) over six years ago as Sepia Spider, Netflix released the project in March, with the series being a combination of animation and live-action. In the Disney XD series Pair of Kings, Ryan played regular character Lanny across all episodes of the three series between 2010 and 2013, and amongst his other screen roles, he played Eli in the feature film The Samuel Project and Diego in Mr. Young. Also a music artist, Ryan is in the group Ochoa Boyz alongside his brothers, which has seen them perform around the world, and since releasing their debut album R-Type, they have their new album ready for a future release. Chatting with Ryan, he talked to us about writing and starring in the 2023 feature film Second Chances, playing Chuck in iCarly and his time as Lanny in Disney XD’s Pair of Kings.
We understand you have co-written and will be starring in upcoming indie comedy film Second Chances, what can you tell us about it?
It was one of the most incredible experiences I have had on any project, and that says a lot. The film is about former teen star Nick Stone, who gets dragged into going to a wake with his little sister and now mega star ex-girlfriend. Their journey changes along the way that finds them in some trouble.
Second Chances marks your feature film writing debut, how have you found the experience writing the script and casting the project?
I have written a few television show scripts with my brothers and we even pitched a few in the past. All of our music videos we wrote as well, and the ones with movie stories we wrote the scripts for too. This was my first feature film I have written though, and the wild part is that my brothers had no idea. I showed them the script after it was done and they were the first ones to tell me this is going to be something special.
How has filming been going and what are you looking forward to for the release in 2023?
We just recently wrapped up filming and, as I have told everyone already, I have so many positive stories and good things to say about this film. Filming this movie was an experience I will never forget, and I just can’t wait for audiences to see the chemistry on screen, because it will definitely give everyone an idea on how much fun we really had on set. My brother Rick is currently editing the film actually with our director, David (H. Venghaus Jr.).
You recently reprised your role of Chuck in the new revival of iCarly in Series 2, how was it returning to the character and being on set of the show?
Returning as Chuck was something I wanted to do for so long, and when the revival was announced, it became such a big possibility. I remember getting that call and it was a moment I will never forget, but what I love even more was that finally being back on the iCarly set was even better. Working with the cast again and some of the crew who I had not seen in over a decade was incredible. It truly felt like no time had passed! There was actually a moment on the set where I had to stop and just take it all in because I was so shocked where I was.
Do you have any favourite memories from playing Chuck in the original iCarly series and what is he like to play?
I have a lot of memories from the original series, and many from each episode I filmed, but I have to say one memory I will never forget is when I created nicknames with all of the cast during one of our schooling breaks. I love the character Chuck Chambers, and any time I step back in that role, we all know he is going to start lots of trouble but everyone is going to laugh.
Can you tell us about The Guardians of Justice (Will Save You) and your character Sepia Spider?
It is unbelievable that I actually get to talk about this one now. This was a project I filmed over six years ago and there came a point where I never thought the world would see it, but the day Netflix released it was such an exciting day for everyone who worked on it. This show breaks barriers and a visual masterpiece with non-stop action, and the combination of animation and live-action is something we rarely see together. My character is Sepia Spider, a young recruit who is sent in to infiltrate top-secret missions for the government.
What is the show like to be part of and do you have a favourite aspect of voiceover work?
It is remarkable to be part of such a big show with big effects, lots of action, and a huge ensemble cast. Even though it was years ago, I remember this was a big production with a lot of moving pieces to pull off what we did. Everywhere I looked on set, there was another big star showing up! The voiceover work was added later, but my favourite aspect is the process in the recording studio and how I can bring a character to life all from one booth.
You played Eli in the 2018 feature film The Samuel Project, what was this like to work on and how was it seeing the response to the release?
We created such a positive working environment on The Samuel Project and it was so much fun filming that movie. I made a lot of friends too, who I have gone on to work with on other projects to this day. This was a special story to tell, and the response from everyone who saw it in theaters and now those who send their feedback after streaming the movie continues to remind me that I want to make movies that matter. I want to tell stories that can impact generations and bring families together.
What are some of your stand-out highlights from playing Lanny in Pair of Kings for Disney XD?
Well, it might take too long to list ALL of the highlights, but I got to do so many funny gags and I really enjoyed the explosions gone wrong when they had to make me look like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Most importantly, majority of the highlights from that show was even better sharing the experience with the cast.
How did you find your time filming for Disney and working with the rest of the cast?
Being part of the Disney family was some of the most memorable and special years of my life. I was so young and had the honour to be part of the magic that is Disney. I made friends for life from a lot of the different shows that were filming at the time, but our cast was a family and always will be. I would love to work with Disney again down the road and hopefully we can make something epic for the big screen again, because after A Christmas Carol, I knew I would dream of hopefully making another Disney movie that big.
Your screen career so far has seen you work on a number of other projects over the years including GhettoBusters, Another Day in Paradise, Mr. Young and Mars Needs Moms, can you tell us about some of them?
Yes, all of those projects were filmed in different cities, states, and even countries too! Those four in particular introduced me to friends that I still have to this day as well and we are constantly collaborating on new projects. Without going into detail on each one individually, I will say each of these characters were very different so bringing life to each of them was exciting for me.
As a music artist, you are part of the group Ochoa Boyz, what do you enjoy most about releasing music?
I’m not sure if there is any better feeling as a musician than to have the opportunity to make music and perform around the world with my family, especially my brothers. My best friends. On top of that, our parents are right there too as the driving force to every strategic move we make, and I truly don’t know how to put it into words how happy I am that I get to wake up every day knowing that my brothers and I are on the same path making part of our dreams come true together with our parents right there supporting every step of the way. We know that as a family we will continue to push each other to be better and since we share a lot of the same goals, we can help each other achieve them.
Can you say about some of your recent releases?
After our debut album R-Type dropped, we started working on a new album, but with other projects and intense filming schedules, we have been waiting for the right time to release the new album. As a collective group, we want to make sure we all are ready to go on tour! In the meantime, we did release Perfect 10, which was our favourite song on the new album at the time. There are some really fire songs on this album too. Get ready!
Did you always know you wanted a career in acting and music and how did you get into each?
Oh yes, I recently posted a video on my Instagram when I was three years old imitating Dwayne Johnson during his wrestling days, and I think everyone can see I was a little entertainer. Fast forward to now, acting is only getting more fun for me so that is how I know I chose the right career. As far as music, my brothers and I wanted to film a show together so we started writing one while I was on Pair of Kings, but we knew that the show was not going to happen overnight, so we talked to our dad about starting a group. Our dad, who is now known as DJ Ziggy Bass, talked to a few of his music friends who helped us get started.
Do you have any favourite films and TV shows to watch and how do you like to spend your free time?
I am pretty sure a lot of the “Ryanator Family” knows I love Stranger Things. Maybe I am another one of the millions who say that too, but my room is a Stranger Things theme if that tells everyone how much I love the show. I don’t think I have told anyone that actually, so that is an exclusive for sure. Also, I think you have to love movies being an actor, which is why I try to watch a new movie whenever I can.
What do you hope the rest of 2022 brings for your career?
That’s a great question and, to be honest, I have been slowly trying to answer that for myself. There were some big things for me on the acting side from Paramount+ and Netflix releases, and finally releasing Perfect 10 after two years since R-Type, but after writing a film and making this big movie with my family and so many of my friends, I feel like 2022 is just a stepping stone in my career. I have been using this time to prepare for that next step, because I am constantly working on something new which is why preparation is so important to me.
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