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HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS - page 12 / 52





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“At first, Twitch is weak. His backpack gets stolen and he gets pushed down. Then he meets Billy and he's having fun and gets the courage to stand up to Joe. That's really a big change for Twitch. After that, he gets stronger and he really starts feeling a lot better about himself,” explains Gould. “Twitch is really afraid of Joe in the beginning, because Joe is just plain, straight out mean. That death ring is like somebody holding a gun to your head every minute. So he does whatever Joe says. But it turns out he does have bravery inside him.”

“We have all been bullied and we have all been bullies at some point or another. The message of the movie is that bullying begets bullying and you have to stop it at some point,” says producer Mark Johnson. “It doesn't make Joe happy. Bullying is a no-win situation and a terrible burden to Joe.”

“There are multiple life lessons in this movie, including standing up for truth,” comments Luke Benward’s real-life father Aaron Benward. “Billy faces a crisis, he has to face a choice head on and realizes that he has to follow through with this choice. Billy says, ‘I am going to take this bet and I am going to do it,’ and by being an example by standing up for the others, interestingly enough, everybody comes and rallies around him. I think that is something we can look for when we stand for something that we feel passionately and deeply about. Even at the beginning, where he wasn't sure he was going to make it, the support of just a few key people helped him realize, ‘I can do this.’ You can see him finally get to the point with each worm that it is going to happen. By worm ten, it is his triumph.”

“The movie is also about a boy who overcomes his fears,” adds Luke Benward. “Billy has a weak stomach and he has to find the courage to eat worms. Some of the others have to face their fears as well. It’s also about friendship and how a boy who has no friends earns them.”

“When you see the boys start switching sides, you realize the movie is about true friendship,” adds Valerie Gould (real-life mom to Twitch). “It’s about living by your values and holding on to what is right. It's also about coming of age. Billy learns that he had the ability to do whatever he sets his mind to and that he doesn't need to be a follower. I


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