In this Exclusive Interview, we hear from rising star Aedin Mincks about his roles on Cobra Kai Season 3 and A.N.T. Farm, as well as his experience starring in Seth MacFarlane’s 2012 feature film Ted, the latter also starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis.
You are only 20 years of age and have already done a variety of projects. How old were you when you decided to become an actor?
AM: I actually started acting when I was seven. My brother wanted to get into it first – we were both obsessed with Lord of The Rings and stuff. We watched the extended versions, then the behind-the-scenes stuff and that’s when we found out what acting was. We got really interested in it. We would audition for agents, go in together and then they would be like: “Oh, nice to meet you. Who is that?” I would be in there too, on my Gameboy or whatever. My mom would say: “Oh, you don’t want him. You’re lucky he’s wearing pants right now, he’s a free spirit. He doesn’t take direction”, all that stuff.
Later on, I told her: “I want to try it, I want to do it”, so I auditioned for an agent. It just kind of went from there. I booked like the second thing I auditioned for.
One of your early roles was as ‘Angus Chestnut’ on Disney Channel’s A.N.T. Farm, which aired from 2011-2014. How different was that audition process compared to your more recent ones as an adult?
AM: All auditions are kind of the same, but the funny thing about A.N.T. Farm was that there was no Angus. I was auditioning for Fletcher originally. We did the audition and the callback then had us in for like seven more callbacks. They just couldn’t decide between me and Jake. They ended up just writing a whole other character and that’s how Angus was made. That was cool, to have my own character made for me.
In the third and final season of A.N.T Farm, you were promoted to series regular. What did that accomplishment mean to you at the time?
AM: It was cool. Yeah, just getting to be on the intro of the show, when I was running up and all that. The part I’m mad about is I still haven’t gotten to do the Disney intro with the wand. I was like: “Alright! I’m a series regular, now I can do it.” All we did was shoot the intro for the third season. They were like: “Everyone except for China, Sierra and Jake can go home.” That’s what they were doing when I left.
A.N.T. Farm is also now streaming on Disney+. What are you most excited for fans, new or old, to experience with the show in its new iteration?
AM: Yeah, it’s kind of funny. I have a lot of people from Cobra Kai going: “I didn’t know you were the kid from A.N.T. Farm“ and a lot of people from A.N.T. Farm going: “I didn’t know you were the kid from Cobra Kai.”
As mentioned, you currently play the recurring character ‘Mitch’ in Netflix’s Cobra Kai. How would you describe Mitch and his role in the story, for anyone who is unfamiliar?
AM: So, Cobra Kai wins the All Valley and I think pretty much what happened was we saw it happen. We saw that Cobra Kai won. So, me and a bunch of other people joined Cobra Kai – well, tried to. Chris (Khalil Everage), ends up being the ones that joins. We went off from there, kind of Hawk’s (Jacob Bertrand) goons for a little bit. First, we were like WWE nerds, that’s all we talked about. We still wanted to be fighters and cool with it. So yes, Cobra Kai Karate is doing all that, then [Mitch and Chris] both went our separate ways. I stayed with Cobra Kai, but Chris didn’t like being a bully. Now in the third season, we rebuild those burned bridges.
Had you ever studied karate before the show? If not, has playing this role made you want to?
AM: I feel like every kid did karate when they were little. Did a couple of belts or whatever. It was more of a lucky coincidence that I was doing kickboxing at the time I got the audition. I booked it and then we went there. When I came back, I got my own punching bag and speed bag, so I could do it all the time in my garage. After the first season, I also took a couple of private Jujutsu classes so I could get the flow and moves down.
Before being cast on the show, how familiar were you with actors such as Ralph Macchio, William Zabka or Martin Kove?
AM: It’s really awesome, getting to meet all those guys. Originally, I only saw the 2010 remake and I didn’t know that there were originals. When I got the part, my parents were like: “Oh my God, it’s the remake of the originals!” I was like: “What originals?” They ended up taking it personally: “How could we not have told you about this?” We ended up watching all the originals, I think the third one is my favourite. It’s just awesome.
On the show, Mitch has some very ‘colourful’ nicknames. Did you have any input regarding this, or was it just the writers?
AM: The writers. We would try different takes with alternate lines and alternate nicknames that were all funny but you were not allowed to put out. We’re just like: “Alright, let’s keep it simple with those ones.”
Aside from yourself, other actors in Cobra Kai – Tanner Buchanan, Jacob Bertrand and Peyton List for example – also started their careers on children’s programming. How much have you been able to bond over shared experiences?
AM: It was kind of funny, because we didn’t realise it completely. We knew, but we kind of didn’t acknowledge it in a way. Almost all of us were on Disney. It was kind of funny to just talk about it and bond on it.
Some fans may also recognise you as ‘Robert’ from the 2012 film Ted. Considering how early that was in your career, what learning experiences did you take away from doing the movie?
AM: It was probably my favourite film to go and do, movie-wise. It was just awesome because of all the legends – Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis. They were all awesome. I loved being in Boston, it’s really nice over there. They still have brick roads, museums all over the place. It’s really cool, the old-timey feel of it. I also told Seth MacFarlane how I was such a big fan of Family Guy, make references and stuff to it. The whole time I was on set, he would be directing in his different Family Guy voices – Quagmire.
Seth MacFarlane, who played Ted, also directed the film. When you had to imagine Ted in scenes, did having a personal relationship with Seth have any influence in how you played your character?
AM: It was weird, because there wasn’t really a teddy bear there on set. They had models to look at, like: “This is what it’s going to look like.” The whole time, it was just a black stick with green tape on the end of it. They were like: “See the green tape, look at that. That’s your eyeline.” It was also funny that he wouldn’t say most of his lines completely. He would leave out most of the stuff – they pre-recorded the scenes and after they hit the ADR booth, he added all these other lines. When we went to the actual premiere, I was just sitting there and there’s all these other words and lines of things I never heard.
If you were out and about and someone recognised you, can you normally tell from which project?
AM: I used to go around and a lot of time, the parents would recognise me from A.N.T. Farm, because their kid watched A.N.T. Farm, therefore I watched it. Kids, teenagers, my age would recognise me from Hangover 2, the adult movies. Completely different demographics. The parents recognised me from A.N.T. Farm usually, but the kids would from R-Rated films.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2021?
AM: I just kind of want Cobra Kai to go on forever. I love being on this show, it’s really fun and welcoming. I love everyone on the set. I just hope it goes on forever.