EXCLUSIVE: Multi-Talented Star Connor Esterson Talks Screenwriting Debut, 'Little Wiseguy', Dream Collabs and More

Hollywood's Youngest Star, Connor Esterson, gave us details on his transition to screenwriting, working with the Oscar-winning filmmaker on Little Wiseguy, his next film treatment, and future aspirations.
Connor Esterson Interview Photo. Image Credit to Overtime PR.
Connor Esterson Interview Photo. Image Credit to Overtime PR. /

Connor Esterson is Hollywood’s promising child artist, whose talent extends beyond his effortless acting prowess. He is a multi-hyphenated individual who lets his creativity flow in his other pursuits as well, such as music and making content for YouTube. Now, the 10-year-old actor is ready to make the big move into a screenwriting career with his latest project, Little Wiseguy, in which he will be portraying the lead role too. It all started when he penned a six-page film treatment during the strike out of “boredom and creativity," which later got approved by  George Gallo (Bad Boys) and Oscar-winning filmmaker Nick Vallelonga (Green Book). This is truly a remarkable milestone for a newcomer child actor who just got started and is already flourishing in an industry that is highly competitive. 

Currently, Little Wiseguy is in its early stages. Esterson, along with Gallo and Vallelonga, has been engrossed in developing his first-ever screenplay. They will soon pitch it to studios as well to get the project moving. The film focuses on "12-year-old Michael (Esterson), who befriends a new neighbor and ex-mobster while navigating the pressures of middle school and being raised by a single mother.”The movie will be produced by Vallelonga and Danny Castro (Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction) and executive produced by Hoffa’s Joe Isgro. Gallo will be sitting in the director’s chair.

Speaking of Esterson, his interest in acting was ignited by a “diaper commercial” when he was just 5 years old, and from there onwards, his Hollywood journey began. He made his movie debut by playing a small role in Attaway General. Furthermore, he accepted the main role in Netflix’s Spykids: Armageddon, where he embodied a cool spy alongside renowned stars like Zachary Levi (Shazam!), Gina Rodriguez ( Jane the Virgin), and Everly Carganilla (Yes Day). He has also appeared in recent projects like NBC’s Quantum Leap Season 2 as Jeffrey Nalley and in Chad as the younger version of Jake Ryan’s Peter. While Esterson might have limited projects under his belt, the genuineness and charisma that he brings to his roles are incredible. So it would be exciting to see, as an actor and now screenwriter, what he brings to the table with his new movie venture.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to speak with budding talent Connor Esterson, who shared his valuable insights on his latest project, Little Wiseguy. Apart from this, he walked us through his writing background, the challenges faced as a young actor and now a screenwriter, his "surreal" interactions with Gallo and Vallelonga, his next film treatment, and his desired future collaborations.

Can you tell us what led you to pursue acting, and how did you get into it?

I started acting because of a commercial that I saw when I was five, but it was not just any commercial it was… a diaper commercial. Something about those kids dancing sparked something in my five-year-old baby brain and I loved it. After the show was over, I ran straight to my dad and said, “I WANNA DO DAT.”

Having starred in well-known projects like Spy Kids: Armageddon and Quantum Leap, describe how your journey has been in Hollywood so far?

It’s been a rollercoaster! I’ve faced many issues and overcome many obstacles over my short career. Such as not being able to memorize my lines, being grounded as an actor, balancing school and work, and being away from my little brother for months. In the end, it’s been totally worth it, and I’m happy with my accomplishments and hope for many more to come.

Now that you’ve transitioned into writing as well with your latest project, can you tell me what it is about writing that fascinates you more?

Acting is my first love; I’ll never leave it behind. I’m an actor at heart. Writing to me is an extension of acting — like a knife to a chef. I started writing during the strike to satisfy my creativity and boredom. The thought of writing a story that can possibly become a huge franchise is so exciting. Plus, I get to create my own character in the script even though it might not always be me in the film. In my future career as a writer, I’d like to create timeless stories that become franchises like Spy Kids. Making a movie or series franchise is one of my biggest dreams.

Where did you come up with Little Wiseguy movie idea, and was there anything that served as inspiration for the project?

I like to write stories based on real life experiences, but make them magical. People think my godfather is an actual godfather (he kinda acts like one), so I decided to write a story about our relationship. The story is personal to me and I’m excited to share it with everyone.

When did you start writing the film treatment, and were there any challenges you faced while penning it?

I started writing during the strike. I had lots of free time. Yes, there were challenges. Nobody took me seriously at first.

My first draft had a very dark twist. People said it was too much for a kid my age. So, I got to work rewriting the story. Then, I had too many locations and cast members. People said it would be too expensive to shoot. Bummer, time to rewrite again.

After several drafts, I came up with something that excited everyone, including myself. I still plan to revisit my first draft and complete the dark side of the story.

What were your thoughts/feelings when you learned that Vallelonga and Gallo had decided to proceed with your brilliant 6-page-film treatment?

They said yes??? OMG! Nothing more to say here.

As you’ve been working with the filmmakers on developing the screenplay for months now, how was your experience? It would be great if you could share some interesting interactions or moments from your meetings with them.

It’s amazing what they’ve done, and I’ve learned so much. Mostly, that people see my ideas differently than I do. That POV enables them to build on my story, add some twists and turns, and take it further than I imagined. It was hard to let go, but well worth it. We meet at a restaurant in Studio City and discussed things over french fries, pancakes, and fruit. It’s surreal discussing ideas with icons like George and Nick. I hope to become an Academy Award winner, too.

Are there any specific directors or actors you aspire to or would like to work with in the future?

Of course! I’d love to work with Robert Rodriguez again. He was amazing to work with on Spy Kids: Armageddon. He does it all — writes, directs, photographs, edits, produces, arranges music, and even cooks (the best pizza I’ve ever had). I aspire to build a career like his, being involved in all aspects of filmmaking.

Steven Spielberg - he needs no explanation. He just makes blockbuster films and knows how to feature kids in a way few directors can.

For actors, I’d like to work with Adam Sandler, John Cena, Pete Davidson, and my friend Aliyah Camacho. I’d also like to work with Christian Convery because of his iconic role in Sweet Tooth. He’s also making waves as a young actor (even though he’s a few years older than me) and it would be cool to create a new Brat Pack.

To conclude, after Little Wiseguy, do you look forward to writing any other film treatments? If yes, what genres would you like to explore?

I’m already working on a new treatment. I love anime, so I’m writing a live action anime. It’s live action, because I don’t have an animator to work with (if you know one, DM me please). I’d also like to explore the horror genre. Writing is a creative process, so I guess my interests will continue to change.

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