To Generation X, Jim Walsh of ‘Beverly Hills 90210‘ was the perfect dad, offering Brenda and Brandon supportive advice and tough love after they lost their virginity at the junior prom and tried Euphoria at a rave. James Eckhouse had a good run as the nerdy accountant who stayed true to his wholesome Minnesota roots. Now his son Zander Eckhouse is poised to become the twenty-first century Brandon Walsh. The junior Eckhouse plays George, camp counselor and resident heartthrob, on ABC Family’s upcoming series ‘Huge‘ (June 28, 9/8c), which chronicles the lives of teens at a weight loss camp. The 23-year-old recent film school graduate revealed that he is still living it up at Casa Walsh — only in real life Jim makes him sleep in the garage.
Your Dad was a star on the original teen drama. Did he give you any advice before you plunged into the world of teen drama stardom?
It’s like if he was a coal miner and I was [going to the mines.] No, really it’s funny. I just graduated from film school. This job is very new and very wonderful and definitely surprising. My parents are both working actors. They’ve been so for a very long time and they’re very well versed in the industry. That was kind of like their thing. I was really interested in storytelling, writing and directing. So I went to NYU for film. One thing led to another, and here I am, learning more than in four years of film school.
Were your parents encouraging, or did they want you to become a doctor?
They still don’t believe it. They keep begging me to find another profession. No, they’re supportive of anything that I do. They are the best parents in the world. I think they should get an award for that. But they’re well aware of the trials and tribulations of this business. It’s more out of one’s control, success in this. But I don’t really have any marketable skills otherwise.
When the show premieres on June 28th, where are you going to be watching it?
I actually don’t have a television. I might have to go and buy one. My Mom’s an artist and she made this crazy diorama. The caulking glue finally got to the TV so we haven’t had a TV for a while now. I think I should buy one. I’ll probably watch it with my folks.
So you are actually living with Jim Walsh right now. He did not move to Hong Kong and leave you the house?
It’s basically like 90210. I go home and he says, “Brenda, are you drunk?” It’s like the same thing every night.
You get to be Brandon Walsh. Do you drive a car named Mondale?
The weekdays I’m Brandon and on the weekends I’m Brenda. I’m living in my parents garage right now. That will change if the show goes well. People should watch so that I can move out of my parents garage. Not that I don’t like being Brenda/Brandon Walsh all the time, but it’s a lot of energy. Although I’ve made [the garage] very hospitable.
But you really are about to become a teen heartthrob, like Jason Priestly back in the day.
It’s an ABC Family show. That’s your demo. Are you prepared for all the attention?
No. Because all the attention that I get will be outweighed by my friends making fun of me constantly for any success that I have.
Watch the classic ‘Beverly Hills 90210′ episode “Mr. Walsh Goes to Washington’: