By the time he turned 14 years old, Kevin Zegers was already a film veteran, shooting hoops against a Golden Retriever in the popular kid flick, "Air Bud" and its sequels. As he transitioned smoothly into adulthood with nary a police record or rehab stint, Zegers was living proof that a child star could not only flourish as an adult actor, but actually surpass his youthful popularity. With his role as a young hustler in the critical hit, "Transamerica," Zegers gained a lot of new fans and drew plenty of ink, with some critics comparing him to a younger version of his idol, Johnny Depp.
Born Sept. 19, 1984 in Woodstock, Ontario, the youngster began his acting career at age six, appearing in commercials before landing his first feature film opposite fellow Canadian Michael J. Fox in "Life with Mikey." He next voiced the character of Einstein in the Saturday morning animated TV series, "Free Willy" (ABC, 1994), before landing roles in the movie-of-the-week, "Silence of Adultery" (Lifetime, 1995) and the TV series "Road to Avonlea" (1989-1996), both Canadian programs.
Zegers landed his biggest Canadian production to date when he guested as the latest freak of nature on the cult hit and Vancouver-lensed, "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002). In the 1995 episode, "Revelations," Zegers eerily portrayed Kevin Kryder, a young boy suffering from stigmata, or bleeding from the hands, whom Agents Mulder and Scully must try to save. His profile raised, Zegers continued to land jobs in TV and film; both Canadian and American. Other roles included a guest spot on the Canadian series "Street Legal" (1987-1994) as well as a recurring character on the series "Traders" (1996-2000). Zegers crossed the border for a 1996 guest role on the kiddie series "Goosebumps" (1995-98) before getting his first major Hollywood break.
It seemed only fitting that the avid sports enthusiast landed a sports movie - only this was probably not what the 12-year-old had in mind. Playing the shy kid, Josh Framm, opposite a basketball dunking Golden Retriever in Disney's successful hit "Air Bud" (1997), Zegers received his first major press in the States. Three "Air Bud" sequels followed, including "Air Bud 2: Golden Receiver" (1998), "Air Bud: World Pup" (2000) and "Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch" (2002).
Basing his decision in large part on Zeger's "Air Bud" work, famed producer Aaron Spelling hand picked the 15-year-old for a role on his then highly touted primetime soap, "Titans" in 2000. Star studded with the likes of Yasmin Bleeth and Casper Van Dien, "Titans" lasted less than a full season. A small setback, Zegers got right back on track, landing a role in the Showtime movie of the week, "The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie" (2003), opposite Gena Rowlands, as well as guest spots on popular TV shows "Smallville" (WB, 2001-11) in 2003, where he stole Superman's girl, and "House, M.D." (Fox, 2004-12) in 2004, where he contacted a deadly disease. Zegers even squeezed in a role in the 2004 big screen remake of George Romeo's "Dawn of the Dead" before landing something really special.
For director Duncan Tucker's "Transamerica" (2005), Zegers fought for the role of Toby, a troubled street hustler who takes a road trip with Bree, a man waiting for his sex change operation who just happens to be his father. Although Felicity Huffman's "Desperate Housewives" fame as well as her obvious onscreen transformation received the majority of press coverage and accolades, Zegers vulnerable role stood out as well. While doing publicity for the film, Zegers mentioned how far he went to immerse himself in the role, admitting that he sold himself in a seedy Toronto neighborhood before bolting, in order to get a feel for the hustler lifestyle. The film gave the industry a whole new view of Zegers - no longer just the kid who played ball with a dog.
Zegers revisited gender-bending with his next role in "It's a Boy Girl Thing" (2006) opposite Samaire Armstrong. The two played high school students trapped in one another's bodies, a la "Freaky Friday."
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
First feature-film, playing the younger version of Michael J. Fox' character in "Life with Mikey"
Voiced Einstein in his TV series debut "Free Willy" (ABC)
Had a recurring role in the Canadian series "Traders"
Breakthrough role playing a boy with a basketball-playing dog in the hit film "Airbud"
Cast in "Komodo," a thriller starring Jill Hennessy and Billy Burke
Joined the cast of Aaron Spelling's short-lived series "Titans" (NBC)
Co-starred with Gena Rowlands in the Showtime series "The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie"
Cast in the remake of George A. Romero's 1978 film, "Dawn of the Dead"
Portrayed a teenage hustler who discovers that his father is a transsexual woman in the indie drama "Transamerica"
Cast in the feature adatation of "The Jane Austen Book Club"