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Austin Fryberger posters


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It wasn't too long ago that Austin Fryberger was dreaming of becoming a famous actor while walking the hallways of Huntsville High. Now he's rubbing elbows with the likes of Shaq, Ariana Grande and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.Fryberger lived in the Rocket City from 2002-12, and since he left he's been busy putting together a resume that would make many young actors jealous.In 2013, he had a part in Nickelodeon's Emmy-winning "Sam & Cat," which starred Grande and Jennette McCurdy. He played "Justin Fever," a Justin Bieber-esque singer. (If you're not a regular Nickelodeon viewer, just know this: "Sam & Cat" was a pretty big deal in the tween world - kind of the "Game of Thrones" of Nickelodeon, with (a lot) fewer deaths.)Since then, he's been involved with a bunch of other high-profile roles. There was "Invisible Sister," an original Disney Channel movie that aired in October that was about - well, a sister that became invisible after a science project went awry. (It'll arrive on Netflix this month if you missed it. read more

) But he's not just about the Disney Channel/Nickelodeon scene. Fryberger moves away from these PG roles with his character in the weird and quirky Amazon Prime pilot "Highston," now streaming. It has serious film snob credit: Bob Nelson, who wrote the critically-acclaimed 2013 film "Nebraska," penned the pilot, and Sacha Baron Cohen is among the executive producers.What's it about? A 19-year-old named Highston Liggetts (played by Lewis Pullman) imagines he's friends with celebrities to cope with his problems. (This is where Shaq and Flea come in.) Fryberger portrays Bud Liggetts, the more down-to-earth brother of Highston.It's a role Fryberger is extremely proud of."Oh my gosh, (the show is) very funny," he said via email. "The acting is outstanding and very, very entertaining. Well casted, well crafted, well written. The pilot is one of the funniest shows I've seen in some time."And others agree. New York Times said the pilot "is an enjoyable off-the-wall excursion into an absurdist land where network sitcoms rarely go."And what was it like acting with all these super-famous names?"It was like watching the NBA growing up and then one day being asked to be on the starting five of your favorite basketball team at 17 years old," he said. "Simply incredible."You can watch the pilot here, and if you like what you see and want to see more episodes, you have to let Amazon know here, because they're not picking up all the pilots.As for the future, Fryberger has lofty goals: he'd love to work with some of Hollywood's biggest critical darlings."A person I definitely look forward to working with is Sam Rockwell (of 'Moon' and 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,'). He's one of my favorite actors," he said. "Pablo Schreiber (who portrays 'Pornstache' in 'Orange is the New Black') would be pretty awesome as well."And even though Fryberger now lives in Los Angeles, he still makes it back to the Rocket City sometimes - but don't expect to see him out and about."The first place I go is back home," he said. "And most of the time I stay there."

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