Astro shines in Relativity’s summer science-fiction adventure release, Earth to Echo in theaters now. This film brings back a familiar, but fun sense of wonderment of a close encounter with an extraterrestrial being, while reaffirming the importance of the power of friendship for young audiences.
Earth to Echo directed by Dave Green, follows the final adventure of three best friends, Tuck (Brian “Astro” Bradley), Munch (Reese Hartwig) and Alex (Teo Halm). The trios’ neighborhood is being destroyed by a highway construction project that is forcing their families to move away, but, just two days before they must part ways, the boys find a cryptic signal has infected their phones. Convinced something bigger is going on and looking for one final adventure together, they set off to trace the messages to their source and discover something beyond their wildest imaginations. The boys go on an epic journey, that will test the limits of their friendship and change all of their lives forever.
I sat down with Brian “Astro” Bradley, known as The Astronomical Kid, to get the inside scoop on his new film Earth to Echo. We discussed his character Tuck, life after the X-factor, healthy tips and his favorite food finds and eats.
Chef Huda: How was it working on this film and with this cast? Do you have any favorite scenes?
Astro: Doing this film was awesome because for the majority of us, (the cast) it was our first time doing something this major. This was Dave Green’s first time directing a major film. Everyone was pretty much open to suggestions and different ideas. It was a fun set to be on. The whole movie is my favorite.
Chef Huda: What’s next for you? What’s the next big thing fans can look for?
Astro: Music of course. I am putting out an EP this summer. I am in a movie with Liam Neeson called The Walk Amongst the Tombstones, coming out in September. I’m also doing a TV show. After that, I will focus on more music.
Chef Huda: You are working on so many different projects, do you have time to cook? If so, what do you like to make?
Astro: My signature dish is Curry chicken, I like to make breakfast dishes like pancakes, Belgian waffles and eggs. I have a rice maker that I like to use, too.
Chef Huda: What do you do to make sure that you stay healthy, active, and energetic to do all of the great things that you are doing?
Astro: Luckily for me I’m skinny. I eat a lot of fruit. I take a lot of walks. I walk from Bed-Stuy, NY to other parts of Brooklyn, NY, which is about a 30-45 minute walk. I go to the gym every once in a while.
Chef Huda: Do you have any favorite restaurants or favorite foods?
Astro: Well if you’re ever in New York, you have to go to Mac Shack in Brooklyn is a good spot. It’s a macaroni and cheese spot but they mix any type of meat of your choice in with the macaroni.
You can ask for macaroni and cheese with jerk chicken. I know it’s probably not healthy, but it’s good! Lizzmonade is a really good lemonade spot in Brooklyn. I go there and order the strawberry lemonade with low sugar and extra strawberries.
Chef Huda: In the beginning of the film you talk about how you don’t fit in and how you’re not the “cool kid”. What advice do you have for people who feel the same way and can identify with your character in the movie?
Astro: Just accept who you are and be yourself. If you’re “not cool,” don’t try to be cool because that’s what makes you “uncool.” I wasn’t one of the cool kids in school but because I acknowledged that I wasn’t one of the coolest kids, everyone was cool with me.
When AOL instant messaging was in, my username was Lameboy Astro. I never tried to fit in because I understood that that was not my lifestyle. Once, you accept who you are and get comfortable in your own skin, then everyone around you will respect you. Don’t go wearing leather pants because you want to look “cool.” Just be yourself!
Chef Huda: What would be your advice for anyone that is looking to fulfill a dream?
Astro: Just stay focused. I know plenty of people with dreams. There are people who are better basketball players than Michael Jordan but because they’re not focused on sharpening their skill every day, they treat their dream like a side thing. As long as you stay focused and take whatever that you are trying to do seriously and also understand that it’s going to take time to accomplish.
Chef Huda: In the film there are alot of take aways. Friendship and a sense of belonging were two of the important themes. What do you think is the main message that people should take away from this film?
Astro: When people watch this film, they should leave the theater understanding that once you get together with people you love, you can conquer the world and do anything basically. It shows the power of friendship. It doesn’t matter how little or big you are. Once you team up with your friends and/or family, you can go on an adventure!
Earth To Echo opens today, July 2, 2014, just in time for the long weekend. For showtimes and theaters in your area visit www.earthtoecho.com
Inspired by some of Astro’s Favorite Eats, here are two recipes that are perfect for the 4th of July. So this weekend invite some friends over and go have an adventure all your own. Enjoy!
Homemade Strawberry Pineapple Lemonade
Recipe and Photo By: Chef Huda
What You Need
1 cup fresh lemon juice
4-6 cups cold water
1 cup of pineapples-sliced or crushed
1 1/2 cups whole or half strawberries-frozen
1 cup sugar
Now, let’s make something Pretty and Delicious™. Start with your freshly squeeze the lemon juice. Use a strainer when squeezing lemon to insure seeds don’t get into your lemonade. Add lemon juice, water (start with 4 cups of water) and sugar in to a large pitcher and stir then taste (add more water, if it is too sweet). Pour in the frozen strawberries and pineapples into the pitcher and stir. Refrigerate the lemonade for about 10-15 minutes before serving. This allows all of the flavors to get friendly. This is a good thing! Taste, Pour and Enjoy!
Chef Huda Tip: Add one cup of your favorite vodka for an adult summer kick.
~Please drink responsibly~
Grilled Jerk Chicken Skewers
Photo and Recipe By: Chef Huda
What You Need
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup spiced dark rum (may substitute white rum)
4 red and yellow bell peppers (2 of each) – cut into 1 inch pieces
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast – cut into 1 inch cubes
Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Now, let’s make something Pretty and Delicious™.
In a large bowl mix together the spices. Place cut chicken pieces into bowl and toss. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Chicken can be marinated over night. On a clean cutting board cut bell pepper and onions in large pieces (1/2 in). Once your chicken is marinated you are ready to assemble your skewers.
To prepare kabobs alternate between chicken and peppers. Make sure to leave at least 1/2 inch from at the top and bottom of the skewer.
Chef Huda Tip: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before using them on the grill. This will make them less likely to burn. Soaking overnight is best.
Grill kabobs over medium heat, 8- 14 minutes depending on chicken size and grill heat. Rotate to insure even cooking. A slight charred is a good thing.
Once the chicken skewer are done remove from heat and let rest for 3-5 minutes. Serve as desired and Enjoy!
Chef Huda is a multi-talented personality in the worlds of Food, Fashion & Entertainment and has gained international notoriety for her pretty and delicious dishes and expertise in Healthy Comfort Food. She has been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, Howard Stern’s Show, Donald Trump’s Show, The Ultimate Merger, Vogue (Italia) to name a few and is a food and entertainment contributing writer for an array of media outlets including; The CW Network, The ROOT and a lifestyle expert for Monarch Magazine. The multi-talented Chef Huda was recently a featured favorite on ABC’s hit show, “The Taste” that debuted at #1, with celebrity chef judges Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson and also serves as an Ambassador for The American Heart Association.
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