Cody Linley is making a huge splash this summer with a starring role in Syfy’s latest installment of the smash hit “Sharknado” franchise – “Sharknado The 4th Awakens” premiering July 31.
Cody’s character Matt is the eldest son of Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid). After surviving the first Sharknado, Matt finished flight school and joined the Army. He’s experienced the events of the last six years from afar and longs to reunite with his American Hero father.
Cody is perhaps best known for his role as Jake Ryan (Miley’s boyfriend) on Disney Channel’s hit tv series “Hannah Montana.” Cody danced his way to the “Final Four” on the seventh season of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” with partner Julianne Hough, and subsequently appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Cody has guest starred on ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey,” Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven” and CBS’s “Walker, Texas Ranger.”
When he was just eight years old, Cody acted in his first feature film, the coming of age drama “My Dog Skip” with Diane Lane and Kevin Bacon. He would go on to star in a variety of roles that evoked an endearing charm which quickly become his trademark. Among his many feature film credits are “Cheaper By The Dozen,” “Miss Congeniality,” “Where The Heart Is” and “Hoot” opposite Brie Larson.
His latest projects have included “The Playroom” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival; and “My Dog the Champion” in which he starred as Eli, the heartwarming dog trainer, alongside Lance Henriksen. In 2015, Cody starred as the title character in “Hoovey” directed by Sean McNamara.
Cody’s passions include yoga, making music, playing sports and inspiring others.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Generous, Goofy and a Gentlemen.
How did you get started in the industry?
My Mom is an acting coach in Texas, and I saw my older brother acting and I wanted to get into it. So my Mom helped me get into modeling first, and then I was in my first feature film when I was eight years old. The modeling helped break me out of my shell. I was a shy kid it and gave me a lot of confidence to then take on other roles throughout my childhood.
Now tell us about “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens” and also your character Matt?
The film picks up five years after the last one left off, and answers a lot questions fans have had to wonder about over the last year since “Sharknado 3.” He’s an air force pilot, but he’ll go to any lengths to save his family from a disaster. He is Finn’s son played by Ian Ziering, and there are many surprises that his character goes through all the way up until the end.
Why do you think is the hit of this movie in the past?
It is a fan favorite because it’s got blockbuster ambition on a budget, and always gives a storyline that science-fiction lovers rave about. The franchise continues to offer bigger and even more fantastic storylines, and it never fails to out-do itself.
Also you have been on one of the most viewed shows on Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana”? How did you managed the success?
The show was such a gift to all of us. Like many of the cast, I grew up through that show. There are fans that come up to me still today who watched Jake Ryan go through his early years. I appreciate all of my Hannah Montana fans, and hope to keep delivering projects that excite their early adult life as much as their teenage years.
What projects are you working on in 2016?
I’m currently auditioning for a few stage productions, so I’m hoping to get in front of some live audiences in the future, to experience a change of pace from doing only television and film. I’ve always been a fan of the theater, and I’m hoping to make my stage debut soon!
Do you have a favorite actress or actor that inspires you?
It’s always been Tom Hanks. From the diversity of his characters to the longevity of his career, he’s a class act.
How do balance your personal life with your acting life?
I’m a pretty regimented kinda guy. The key to balance for me has always been to ensure that I get in some exercise, meditation and a protein shake regardless of where I am. The key to balance I believe is consistency in self-care.
What is the best and worst part of being an actor?
The best part is that you get to play for a living. The worst part is that it’s relentlessly uncertain.
And on DWTS, you were in the Final Four, how was this experience?
It was awesome, I loved learning from my partner Julianna Hough, and from Edyta Sliwinska who subbed for Julianne in season 7. It was a huge growing opportunity for me to show myself that I actually could dance. The fan support and the live audience was awesome! I still go back to the ballroom to welcome new seasons and cheer on future mirror-ball trophy winners.
Did you have dancing skills before DWTS?
Nope, everything you saw in that season I learned on the spot.
Best advice ever given?
To always remember that when things don’t go your way, it doesn’t mean no, it means “not this.” It means that “if not this, then something better is on its way.”
Name one your strengths?
The heart my Mama gave me, it’s a good one and I’m proud of it. It’s taught me to help others and work hard.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still working in the entertainment industry, doing projects I love, and continuing to give fans something to look forward to. I also hope to direct and produce someday soon. I would enjoy being behind the camera as much as I enjoy being in front of it.
Do you support any charities?
Yes, several, I’ve supported many animal welfare causes as well as NGOs I’ve encountered in developing countries during my travels abroad.
What do you think of Social Media?
It’s awesome, it’s a great way to stay in touch with my fans and friends and to see what they’re up to as well.
Where we can follow you?
Holiday Destination: My favorite place I’ve ever been is a small island in the Caribbean called Nevis. I also hope to go to New Zealand soon.
Food: I love vegan food!
Restaurant: Shojin Vegan Sushi in downtown LA for sure!
Drink: Protein shakes