What has been given to you?
In my position, a lot of things. I have a very excellent family and a home. I have financial means and influence. People will listen to me because I was that kid on that show. Which doesn't make any sense in my mind; but to them, it changes how they think. God has placed me in [that show] knowing that one day I would come to him and come to know him truly. Now I am working from the inside out, more or less.
Tell me about your involvement in the Pacoima Valley Crossroads Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
Right now I am taking an evangelism class, learning how to give Bible studies, how to teach and do small groups, how to witness door-to-door. Once that work is finished, I am going to be an intern there.
How did you end up attending an African American church?
I was going to three of four churches on the weekends looking for a congregation to join. A friend of a friend had gone to the church a few times and told me about it. The first time I went there, the message was tailor-made for me.
What resonated with you there?
The spirit of the people: they are so loving, so accepting. It's powerful.
How did they react to you as a celebrity?
It's still a slow change. The pastor says he remembers seeing me there the first time and thinking, What's this white boy doing here? It's as much a learning experience for them as it is for me. I am completely comfortable in my own skin. I don't care what anyone thinks about me. I am there for the Word. I am not there to impress anyone.
What do you see yourself doing in five years?
I want to do something with proper health and diet and learn how to grow fruits, plants, and vegetables naturally, completely organically—how to prepare the soil right, how to do basic agriculture. I have farmland out in Texas so if I figure it out, there is a possibility of creating a farm that can supply homeless people with healthy food. They are getting the slob of the slob: high-fructose corn syrup, white bleached flour, everything that is processed. I would love to get healthy food to them.
As the highest-paid child actor, how did you maintain a normal life?
Of course when you are a kid it goes into a Coogan account, which is protected. So it was never a thing where I could go and do this or that with money. If I wanted video games, my parents would buy them. I was a kid going to school, going home playing Legos, playing video games and my guitar. I wasn't trying to be a big shot, because that's just not my personality. If you are really looking for the celebrity paparazzi thing, you are going to get it because all you have to do is be a little bit out of line. It's not hard; it's very easy to do that. But I wasn't out in public. I wasn't in the scene, and I wasn't hanging out with the people who were in the scene. I was only friends with kids at school. I felt totally protected and insulated by my parents and God. They kept me from all that.
How did you fit in with the cast and crew? How did that change as you grew up in front of the camera?
Excellent, I loved it. It was my work family. I was always just the kid on stage. I loved Charlie [Sheen] and Jon [Cryer]. People always ask what it was like growing up on TV, but I was just growing up. I have just been documented more thoroughly than most people, and the documentation of my life was televised to the world. It's definitely an interesting way to grow up, but I can't get upset with that. When people recognize me, I use it as an opportunity to witness.