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David Moscow is kind of a big deal. Twenty-five years ago this week, the Tom Hanks body-swap movie, “Big,” was released, and Moscow played the young Josh Baskin. You know, the kid who bookends the movie in all the not-Tom Hanks parts.
Moscow, 39, doesn’t hide from the notoriety he earned in his pre-teen years. Still, he told MTV News it’s been “a long time” since he watched the 1988 movie in its entirety.
“Someone [will] text me every once in a while and say, ‘Hey, it’s on Showtime and you’re about to come on!’ Usually it’s when I’m in a big suit, right at the end,” Moscow said.
“It feels like such a different person at this point because it was a long time ago,” he added of watching his performance before admitting that he genuinely likes the flick. The Penny Marshall-directed movie follows Josh Baskin, a boy who gets his wish when he suddenly gets to be “big,” going from young Moscow to the adult-size Hanks overnight.
“What’s wonderful about being in a film that good is that I can enjoy the movie,” Moscow explained. “It’s just that good. So I can sit there and Penny did a killer job, Tom did a great job, everyone did a great job on this. It’s one of those rare things I’ve done where I can actually watch it and not cringe and want to turn it off.”
To celebrate the anniversary of the classic movie, we got the actor to give up 12 behind-the-scenes secrets about “Big”:
Tom Hanks Had Big Shoes to Fill
It would be easy to think that Moscow would be intimidated by Hanks, but as it turned out, it was Moscow’s shoes that were tough to fill — literally.
“My feet were growing much faster than the rest of my body, so I had this very strange walk,” he said. “Also I was wearing Converse at the time, and Converse are like a size bigger than normal shoes, so I would walk almost like this duck walk. There was this weird-kid duck walk, and [Hanks] asked for larger shoes so he could imitate that walk. So in the movie, he’s kind of flopping around in these shoes.”
No, Josh Baskin Won’t Shimmy For You
Believe us, we asked for a rendition of the “shimmy shimmy cocoa pop song” straight from the source. “I’m not singing for you! I know you want it, and I’m not going to give it to you,” Moscow responded.
But does he remember all the words? “I do remember all the words,” he said, joking that he sometimes uses them: “[I sing it] at night, before I go to bed, every night.”
David Moscow Had a Very ‘Big’ Birthday
Moscow turned 12 on the set of Marshall’s film, and said that the birthday celebration was throughout the movie. So while Hanks didn’t personally bake him a cake or anything, it wasn’t a terrible way to spend a birthday. “Everyone was just smiling and letting you go on rides and do whatever you want as a 12-year-old kid,” he said. “The birthday celebration was throughout the whole thing.”
‘Big’ Stars Weren’t Just Onscreen BFFs
“Jared [Rushton, who played Billy] and I were pretty close after that movie. When I moved out to L.A., he was the only person I knew out here, so I’d be hanging out with him pretty much every weekend in Orange County,” Moscow said. “It must have been pretty wild for [people] to see the two kids from ‘Big’ actually being best friends hanging out on the street, skateboarding and stuff. Their minds were blown watching us.”
Some actors collect tokens from their sets, but Moscow could build a small shrine with his “Big” paraphernalia. “What don’t I have? Most of them I don’t carry them around with me, but my mom has the milk carton with my face on it that says ‘missing.’ She has the letterman jacket that I wore. It’s probably downstairs in the basement.”
Another “Big” memento you’d find in that basement? A giant piano. And no, he can’t play “Chopsticks” on it.
Or, if you don’t take into account his sarcastic tone, he totally can.
“Yeah, this is how I make my living now. I go around the country doing like ‘Big’ revival things. I sign autographs, I dance on the piano,” he laughed. “No, no. The premiere was at FAO Schwarz and it was bananas. They had fire-eaters and clowns and jugglers. As a parting gift, I got one of those pianos, which is probably also in my mom’s basement. She could kill on eBay, I bet.”
What Happened To Susan?
Of Susan, the co-worker who beds Hanks’ version of Josh — after he reveals that he’s an adult child, she drops him off at home with a chaste kiss to the forehead — Moscow speculated that the two might reconnect in a fantasy sequel. “The future! Does she keep looking for him? There are these teachers who sleep with their students,” he remarked. “Maybe she figured it all out. They get together, then after she gets out of prison, they get married, have a baby, it’s beautiful.”
How To Respond To An ‘Adult Child’ In Real Life
If an adult claiming to be Moscow’s kid came to his house, things would turn out much differently than they do in the movie. “That guy’s going to jail, yeah,” he said. “I’d call the cops. … Try and hold the person down for as long as you can until the cops get there, and then they’re going to jail for a while. That movie would have turned out very differently if that had occurred [in real life]. That would just be Josh in jail. That’s ‘Big 2’! That’s the darker one. You have to get out of the house in time before the cops come.”
Moscow’s ‘Big’ Problems (Last Pun)
“You’ll be in a bar, and someone will be like, ‘Hey, Josh!’ And it’s like, ‘Ugh, hi.’ ” Moscow doesn’t even look up anymore when that happens. “Now I’m resistant to it. I just pretend that no one said a thing, and then someone comes up and apologizes for their drunk friend.”
The other problem with having been in the movie: The title is infinitely pun-ny. It’s impossible to talk about the famous cast, the box office numbers or the cultural impact without making a dumb joke. (They were all big.)
The ’13 Going On 30′ Betrayal
“There’s an ongoing war,” Moscow laughed of Jennifer Garner’s kid-is-suddenly-an-adult movie, “13 Going On 30.” The 2004 flick’s premise is “I wish I was 30!” instead of “I wish I was big!”
“They’re trying to rip us off, and we’re not gonna take it,” Moscow joked. “That’s why I won’t see that movie.”
Except ‘Big’ Was The ’13 Going On 30′ Of Its Day
” ‘Big’ was actually the third of three body-switching movies, but the best. So we actually were kind of like the ’13 Going On 30′ of those films, we were ripping off their thing. There was one with Fred Savage and Judge Reinhold [‘Vice Versa’]; there was one with Kirk Cameron and Dudley Moore [‘Like Father, Like Son’]; and then we were the third. The others were OK, but ours was, you know — if it works, use it.”
Moscow Has Terrible Things to Say About Tom Hanks
Just kidding. “No one hates Tom Hanks,” Moscow admitted. “Next interview I’ll come up with something mean about him.”
#big#David Moscow#Penny Marshall#tom hanks