Cute Kid Meets Nice Vampires

Because Cate Blanchett's training and early experience happened in Australia, her lead actress Oscar nomination for "Elizabeth" (1998) was somewhat of a surprise to American moviegoers, many of whom had assumed she was a newcomer. But by that time, Blanchett already had starred in two Australian TV series. ALEX BAILEY/AFP/Getty

Since bursting onto the scene at the ripe old age of 6, Jonathan Lipnicki has co-starred in hits like Jerry Maguire and Stuart Little. Now, just days after his 10th birthday, he has top billing in a film called The Little Vampire, which opens Friday.

"It's not a scary vampire movie," the actor tells Early Show Co-Anchor Jane Clayson. "It is about someone who moves from America to Scotland, and he's not really happy about that. That is me, and he doesn't meet any friends."

But his life starts to change when he meets a vampire that was in his dreams.

In the movie, Jonathan's character flies with the vampires, and the actor was fitted with a harness, connected to wires, that enabled him to "fly."

The only difficult part about flying and delivering lines, he says, was dealing with the wind machine that was on to make it look as if they were actually in the air. "It was hard to talk over, like, you could hear no one on the set," he adds.

What's the best thing about being a movie star?

"Well, the good thing is, I get to enjoy it," he replies. "I have fun. And I really like it and want to do it my whole life."

When he's not working, Jonathan likes to swim and skateboard with his friends and play with his dog, Edgar, who is part pit bull.

Next up for Jonathan: a sequel to Stuart Little, which probably won't hit theaters until the summer of 2002.

As a toddler, he made several television commercials. But he made his film debut in 1996, at age 5, when Cameron Crowe cast him as Renee Zellweger's son, Ray Boyd, in the film Jerry Maguire. The National Broadcast Film Critics Association presented him its award for "1996 Best Child Performer of the Year" for this role.

Jonathan has had regular roles on two television series. In The Jeff Foxworthy Show (1996), he portrayed Justin, Jeff's youngest son in the series that lasted one season. The show also co-starred Haley Joel Osment, the young star of Sixth Sense and Pay It Forward.

In 1997, he had a leading role in the CBS series Meego with Bronson Pincho. But that series lasted less than half a season.

He has had more success on the big screen. In 1998, he lent his very distinct voice to the baby tiger in the Eddie Murphy film Dr. Dolittle. Last year, he starred in Stuart Little.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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