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'Red Dawn' actor recalls his first vote

  • 'My First Time' explores the first time your favorite celebrities did something significant
  • Josh Peck plays Matt Eckert in the upcoming remake of the 1984 movie 'Red Dawn'
  • He explains why voting is so important to his generation and who he plans to vote for in 2016
'Red Dawn' actor recalls his first vote
Josh Peck

Editor’s note: Every Friday, HLN brings you the "My First Time" series. It explores the first time your favorite celebrities did something significant or memorable (so get your mind out of the gutter!).

In this installment, actor Josh Peck -- who stars in the upcoming remake of the 1984 movie “Red Dawn” alongside Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson -- talks about the importance of voting.

HLN: When was the first time you voted?
Josh Peck: It was in the 2008 election. I missed the cutoff for the 2004 election by a few days, because my birthday is on November 10th, so I wasn’t quite 18 for the 2004 election.

HLN: What was the experience like for you: Did you wait in a long line? What did it feel like to vote for the first time?
JP: I remember going to my local polling place and waiting in line for about two hours. I felt empowered -- I felt like I was doing my civic duty. Especially because I wrote myself in!

HLN: Did you really write yourself in?
JP: No, I’m just kidding!

HLN: Ha! Well, why do you think it’s important to vote, especially for your generation?
JP: If you don’t vote, you almost don’t matter. It’s so much a part of the democracy and the freedoms we get for living in this country. I feel like I’m guilty of not doing enough. So the ability to show up and feel as though I’ve had a part in the process is a step in the right direction.

HLN: The film “Red Dawn” is about fighting for your freedom: Did you feel that spirit translate into the election season this year?
JP: I don’t know. In “Red Dawn,” the circumstance is that you’re fighting for your family. For me, it’s more if the fight was brought to your front door: What would you do? It’s about everyone having a visceral reaction to their home and family being threatened.

HLN: What kind of lessons did you learn from the film would you pass on to your fans?
JP: Just losing personal focus and focusing on taking care of the whole group more than you. If you take care of the group, the group will take care of you. So losing those preconceived notions and living in the world as it is rather than in the world you think you deserve.

HLN: What would you take away personally from your character?
JP: Let’s see -- my character’s way more masculine than I am in real life. If I’m able to hold on to any of those positive attributes, I’d be better off. He’s tough -- and not bad with an AK.  

HLN: What did it feel like filming a remake of a beloved movie that was made more than two decades ago?
JP: Doing a remake of a film is inherently challenging and can be dangerous territory because you’re reimagining something that’s really important to people. What I loved about our approach to “Red Dawn” is doing our best to pay tribute to original film while, 20 years later, utilizing technology that we’re afforded. It’s really broadened the perspective of the film and I’m proud of the fact that lovers of the original will be fed with nostalgia and love the new film at the same time.

HLN: I understand you didn’t vote in this year’s election. Why not?
JP: I didn’t know I was going to be out of town and missed the cutoff date to file an absentee ballot. But the race this year was interesting to watch. It was so contentious and more talked about than ever before. And if I do get enough a big enough movement going, I will write myself in for the 2016 election!  

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