You may recognize 17-year-old Jace Norman from the likes of Disney and Nickelodeon. The New-Mexico born teen made his acting debut in 2012 in a guest-starring role for an episode of Disney’s series Jessie. However, arguably his biggest success to date is on the acclaimed Nickelodeon TV series Henry Danger where he plays Henry Hart and moonlights as his alter-ego Kid Danger. His popular superhero role on the show earned him the award for Favorite Male Actor at the 2017 Kids Choice Awards last year. Henry Danger has gone on to become the #1 children's show (from the ages of 2-11) on television.
The now Southern California teen has been playing the role of Henry since he was 13-years-old and naturally he said he feels a deep connection with his character. When asked him if he had any similarities to Henry, he unsurprisingly replied, “Oh 100%, I mean I literally grew up on set and so I feel like Henry and Jace have grown up together in a way.”
The Adventure of Kid Danger, which is a half-hour animated series inspired by the show Henry Danger, recently premiered on Nickelodeon last Friday. It follows a similar storyline with regular eighth grade kid Henry Hart and his alter-ego Kid Danger. He must however keep his secret identity hidden from his best friends, Charlotte and Jasper, and his little sister, Piper. The episode sees Norman’s character fighting bizarre criminals and battling evil villains.
One of the things Norman loves about playing Henry is the evolution of his character and how carefree he is. “I think that what makes the show really great, in my opinion, is that the superheroes are the most irresponsible people and they should not be defending anybody. They can barely take care of themselves. People still think, ‘Oh, there are these amazing superheroes,’ but you see the behind the scenes of us and we don’t even know what’re doing. I’m literally more mature than my superior superhero,' he says. "Behind the scenes it’s a mess, but you can see from other people’s perspectives it looks like we’re actual superheroes.”
As well as The Adventure of Kid Danger, Nickelodeon is premiering the new original TV movie, Blurt, on February 19 which stars Norman, JoJo Siwa, from Lip Sync Battle Shorties, and Daniella Perkins from Knight Squad. The live-action comedy tells the story of Jeremy Martin [Jace Norman] who, after a comical virtual reality mishap, starts speaking every thought he has out loud and to complicate matters, he happens to be running in the school election.
When he’s not posing as Henry Hart, cartoon or real-life, Norman maintains his down-to-earth normalcy. To remain grounded the teen star revealed it’s imperative he takes small breaks from the industry. “You definitely have to keep your head on straight and have moments where you take a step back,” he explained. However, Norman couldn’t be more grateful with his situation and success. “Overall it’s been a great learning experience. I don’t know what I would have done without it, honestly, because I was not very good at school.”
He speaks candidly about his struggles with school and how he suffers from dyslexia. “I think people look at it like a major disadvantage, and it is when it comes to school but as I’ve got into entrepreneurship and got into business a lot of these high up people I talk to like Kevin O'Leary and all these great entrepreneurs they have dyslexia as well. So, it’s like I’ve learnt it can be a great advantage if schools were to promote it.”
When asked what advice he would give to young children with dyslexia he said, “I want them to know that they’re not stupid and there is another way, so keep pushing.” He then went on to talk about how other people with the same learning disorder inspire him. “I see all these success stories like Steve Jobs and all these crazy successful people who are dyslexic, so there are two sides to the coin.”
Norman added that he believes one of the most important things he can do is to let other kids know that they’re not alone, he said that’s his main goal. “I've met with a lot of business and entrepreneur people and literally half of them have dyslexia. We connect brands with millions of people using social media, using people who have millions of followers. We can use and work with those people to get messages out and connect brands with companies and get products out.”
“My main thing is giving the message to anyone who has anxiety or ADHD or dyslexia that there is hope for sure and that it is an advantage,” he adds.
At just 17-years-old Norman has a dedicated and growing following on social media, boasting over 2.5 million followers on Instagram. He said that although he knows he has a huge responsibility, he tries not to overthink it. “Yeah it’s this weird balance between you have all this pressure and if I think about it too much it freaks me out. I just try to be the most authentic I can be and you know sometimes when it gets overwhelming I’ll just delete the app because you can get sucked into it. It sometimes sucks you away from your true self, you’ve just got to disconnect from it and hang out with your friends and stuff. So, that’s what I do to stay grounded I guess.”
His beloved fanbase will be happy to know that when he’s not fighting uber crime as a superhero, he’s pretty much just chilling with his adorable Golden Retriever pup, who is ironically also called Henry. “It sounds weird but I like to just walk my dog and watch Netflix. I just have to disconnect from it all and kind of remember there’s a real world out there I guess.”
Photography by Stephen Busken
Grooming by Mara Capozzi
Styling by Monty Jackson
Written by Michelle Ganney