“I liked the script because it’s about kid relationships and it has great morals. I also had to learn to cook and speak a little French for the role. Some of the lines were ‘merci beaucoup,’ ‘barf malloo’ and ‘saute ala mode’… very foreign,” laughs Malgarini. “My grandma helped me out on how to speak French. It was really quite fun.”
“Benjy says he’s French when he’s really not and he’s saying all of this French stuff that nobody really understands,” adds Malgarini. “His bike is loaded with cooking utensils and he’s got a big huge backpack with supplies. He can have food coming out of nowhere. Basically, I’m a traveling worm chef.”
“I think How to Eat Fried Worms is about not biting off more than you can chew. Basically, don't do something that you can't handle. And it's also about bullies and how they pick on you and how, in the end, they are just human beings like all of us,” sums up Malgarini.
The story also includes the nervous loner Adam Simms, played by actor Austin Rogers. Adam’s odd habits include smelling his fingers and stating the obviously disgusting in his misguided attempts to be helpful to Billy’s quest, after Joe assigns him to ‘Billy’s team.’
“He’s sort of the weirdo type in the group. Without knowing that he's grossing Billy out, he constantly does,” explains Rogers. “He's unusual, dresses weird, he has a weird bike, he just does a bunch of weird stuff and people kind of get annoyed with him. But he feels very helpful along the way when he gets to cook the omelet worm.”
“It's very interesting to see how all of the characters learn to accept their uniqueness. And accept one other's uniqueness. And embrace the fact that it's okay to be different, that it's okay to have a quirk,” comments Carol Gillingham. “To be a little strange is not such a bad thing.”
Rogers adds, “I loved working with all the kids and Bob Dolman. He is an excellent director. No offense to anyone, but it is very hard to work with us kids. You have got to have their complete attention.”