Five fun facts about Frankie Muniz -- The ''Malcolm in the Middle'' star plays a spy kid in ''Agent Cody Banks 2,'' but he's really all grown up

By Liane Bonin
March 10, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Frankie Muniz: Lee Celano/

”Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London” star Frankie Muniz may only be a spy kid on the big screen, but in real life the 18-year-old car freak is growing up fast. Here’s what you didn’t know about the smart kid on ”Malcolm in the Middle.”

1. HE’S CONNED THE COPS. REPEATEDLY. ”I’ve been pulled over 13 times and never gotten one ticket. But not for speeding. Just stupid stuff, like I got pulled over three times in one day for having my music too loud.” Owning the Volkswagen Jetta from ”The Fast and the Furious” doesn’t help, either. ”Everything on that car is illegal. The cop was going to give me 22 citations at once if I didn’t take everything off of it, so I said I’d just park it in my garage. And he went back to his car and talked to his partner, then came back and said, ‘Can we have your autograph? And don’t drive this car anymore.”’

2. HE’S GOING TO PLAY WITH HANSON. ”My best friends are Hanson, and I learned to play the drums from Zac [Hanson], actually. When they come out for their full electric tour after their CD gets released on April 20, they’re going to have two drum kits up there, and I’m gonna jam with them.” But aren’t Hanson so, well, 1997? ”They’re stereotyped as pop, but they’re not that at all. It’s weird how someone like Clay Aiken can sell 3 million records, and then you have somebody who actually works on writing and plays their own instruments. It’s hard.”

3. HIS DREAM JOB? DRUMMER. If the acting thing doesn’t work out, he’s got a plan (other than living off his ”Malcolm” residuals). ”All I want to do is be a drummer. But I don’t want to be known for it. I want to be John Mayer’s drummer, in the background. I just go on stage, play the drums, nobody looks at me, and I leave. I just want to play music.” Well, that’s usually how it works when you’re stuck behind the drum kit. Sorry, Zac.

4. HE’S DOING A REALITY SERIES FOR MTV. ”I’m producing and creating and stuff,” he says. Though a title has yet to be selected, the goal of the show is to help teens achieve with a little celebrity boost. ”For example, say there’s a kid who’s failed his driver’s license test 10 times, and his mom writes in asking us to help him out. I show up with my Frankie Muniz Girls, these hot girls, and we grab him out of school, take him to a racetrack, and Jeff Gordon or some other famous racecar driver says, ‘You’re gonna drive the car, and we’re gonna go crazy.’ And then the kid goes and passes the test.” So, sort of like a Make-A-Wish Foundation for kids who aren’t sick? ”I was going to say that, but I didn’t want to offend anyone.”

5. HE’S READY TO HANG UP HIS SPY GEAR. If there is a third ”Cody Banks,” don’t look for Muniz in the title role. ”I’m not at the best point in my career to do another ‘Cody.’ Now that I’ve turned 18, I have to make that transition from child actor to adult actor and open up doors with independent dramatic movies, dark comedies, and just more serious roles to become a respectable actor.” Does that mean we can look forward to Frankie the scenery-chomping ax murderer? ”I’m up for anything and everything,” he says. Just don’t ax him to play a kid anymore.

  • Movie
  • PG
  • 100 minutes
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