'In The Middle' Of Saving The World

Frankie Muniz stars as Agent Cody Banks in MGM Pictures action-adventure "Agent Cody Banks." (AP Photo/by Diyah Pera)
AP
Frankie Muniz is one of the hardest working teenage actors in Hollywood.

Since making a name for himself on the hit sitcom "Malcolm in the Middle," he has translated his popularity to the big screen in movies like "My Dog Skip" and "Big Fat Liar."

Muniz says on The Early Show that playing an elite CIA operative trying to save the world in his latest film, "Agent Cody Banks," was a lot of fun.

"When I first read the script, you know, one thing I look for is like, 'Am I going to have an awesome time filming? Am I going to really enjoy myself?' And I read it and I was like, 'Gosh, I can't wait to start,'" Muniz says.

Cody's cover is so secret that even his parents and friends don't know that he is a spy. He is trained at a top-secret facility disguised as summer camp and can drive like a stuntman, jump-kick like a pro and has an arsenal of high-tech gadgets.

But Cody's inability to talk to girls makes things a little more difficult. His first assignment is to befriend a high school girl and spy on her father, a scientist developing a deadly project with the power to destroy the planet. Cody loses his cool around the girl and doesn't know how to express his feelings.

Muniz says he saw the film as an opportunity to move to another level in his career while doing something new and exciting. "Agent Cody Banks" is the first movie in which he plays a leading action character.

"Everybody wants to be James Bond. Everybody wants to be that character who drives the cool cars, has the gadgets, you know, can beat up on the bad guys and get the girl. Everyone's going to look up to me after this movie. It's going to be awesome," he says, laughing.

Some Facts About Frankie Muniz

  • Francisco Muniz IV was born on the Dec. 5, 1985, in Woodridge, N.J.
  • Muniz was raised in Knightdale, N.C.
  • In 1997, Muniz made his television movie debut in the CBS drama "To Dance With Olivia"; he had a supporting role as the young version of Sammy, an abandoned boy who lives without speaking for nearly 30 years, in the CBS drama "What the Deaf Man Heard"
  • In 1998, Muniz played an ailing child who brings out the competitive spirit in the mayor on an episode of the ABC television show "Spin City"
  • In 1999, Muniz guest starred in an episode of the ABC sitcom "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch"
  • In 2000, Muniz made his title character debut in the off-beat FOX sitcom "Malcolm in the Middle"; Muniz starred as Willie Morris in the World War II feature film "My Dog Skip"; and he was cast as wheelchair-bound youngster determined to win a soapbox derby in The Disney Channel movie "Miracle in Lane 2"