With the release of the Disney+ series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers last year, DJ Watts plays regular character Adib ‘Sam’ Samitar, and continued his role in the recently-released Series 2. DJ joined Series 4 of Stranger Things playing Six, working alongside a cast including Millie Bobby Brown, and last year, he played Landers in the feature film The Many Saints of Newark. Other screen projects for DJ has seen him play Clark in the 2018 film The House With a Clock in Its Walls, work on short films Willie’s Letter and Body and Son, and earlier in his career, he filmed for Black Panther, where he met Chadwick Boseman. Answering our questions, DJ told us about playing Sam in The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers on Disney+, joining the cast of Series 4 of Stranger Things as Six and filming for Black Panther.
In The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, you play the series regular role of Adib ‘Sam’ Samitar, can you tell us about the series and what is it like on set?
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers Series 2 was all about our experience at hockey camp. It was sometimes challenging but always lots of fun. Being on set this year was a lot better since there weren’t as many COVID-19 restrictions.
How would you describe your character Sam and what is he like to play?
My character Sam is a lot like the real me. We are full of energy and really cheerful most of the time. We enjoy adventure and trying new things.
Do you remember how you felt finding out you’d booked the role and how was it preparing for filming?
When I found out that I booked the role of Sam, I was super excited. I felt like it was the perfect role for me. Preparing for filming was awesome. Then it dawned on me that I really had to learn how to skate on ice.
Is there anything you enjoy most about being part of a Disney+ show and how is it working with the rest of the cast?
So far, I’ve enjoyed everything about working with Disney+. I’m happy that they decided to shoot the second series of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers in California. Working with the rest of the cast is fun. We all bring our own uniqueness to the show. I’ve met some really good friends on the show.
How is it seeing the fan response to The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers and why would you recommend watching it?
Seeing how fans respond to The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers is gratifying. It’s a good feeling. I recommend watching The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers because it’s a family show. It is a way to spend time with the entire family. It’s kid-friendly and some adults kind of get a chance to relive the greatness of The Mighty Ducks movie franchise.
You joined the cast of Stranger Things in this year’s Series 4 as Six, what was the series like to work on?
Being Number 6 on Stranger Things was different from any role that I had ever played.
How much did you know about Stranger Things before auditioning and what was it like meeting the cast for the first time?
I knew that Stranger Things was an extremely popular show on Netflix but, honestly, I had only seen it once prior to booking the role of Six. It was an amazing experience and opportunity. It was exciting to meet Millie Bobby Brown. She is a really nice person. I also met friends that I still keep in contact with.
What are some of your favourite memories from filming as Six?
My favourite memories from playing the role of Six on Stranger Things was my fight scene and the way I was thrown back into the wall and dropped to the floor. Well, actually, the behind-the-scenes magic that made it appear that all of those things happened.
Last year, you played Landers in feature film The Many Saints of Newark, how was this?
It was great being a part of the movie, The Many Saints of Newark, but to be honest, the best part for me was the time I got to spend with Leslie Odom Jr. off set. He is awesome. He made sure to take a picture with me, just as he said that he would.
What was it like working on the 2018 release of The House with a Clock in Its Walls and playing the role of Clark?
As for working on The House with a Clock in Its Walls, it was really fun. In fact, I auditioned about five times before being cast as Clark.
Early in your career, you appeared in Black Panther, how did you find the experience on set of the film?
Being on the set of Black Panther was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. The set and costumes were beautiful. Meeting Chadwick Boseman was a humbling experience.
Can you tell us about some of the other projects you’ve been involved with over the years, which has included the award-winning short film Willie’s Letter?
First, it was a pleasure working with the writers, producers, and cast of Willie’s Letter. Some other projects that I have worked on include Body and Son, a short film that was in the Atlanta Bronze Film Festival a few years ago. I was in Faith Under Fire, which was aired on Lifetime TV and I was also in a Christmas movie called The Truth About Santa Claus. It was released on Amazon Prime and, of course, the projects that we already talked about.
How did you get into acting and is it something you always wanted to do?
Initially I had never thought about acting. I thought I was better suited for sports but when my mom signed me up for the drama ministry in church, we agreed that I was a good actor. Acting has been my primary focus since.
What are some of your favourite films and TV shows to watch and how do you like to spend your time away from your career?
Some of my favourite TV shows and films are Black Panther, The Amazing World of Gumball, Transformers, Big City Greens and The Incredible Hulk, to name just a few. In my spare time, I enjoy music, dancing, video games, shooting basketball, and skateboarding.
What are you hoping the upcoming year brings for you?
I recently completed my high school requirements so I will be taking a gap year before going to college. During this time, I plan to explore music in terms of beat-making and learning how to use turntables (mixing and blending music). Of course, I will continue acting and I will follow whatever plans God has for me.
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