Catching up with Ryan Sheckler
Earlier this decade, Ryan Sheckler was out winning skateboard comps at age 13 (making him the youngest X Games gold winner ever). The struggle to outshine young Sheck commenced immediately, but the kid never let up; season after season, he steamrolled through street courses and Dew Tour stops. Not even a broken elbow could keep him away from another gold at X Games 14. But this past summer, at XG15, Sheckler was snared midcompetition by a torn ligament between his toes. That injury sidelined him for the past five months, and although his skills are surely missed, those three screws in his right foot are about the only reason the Red Bull rider, ESPN The Mag cover boy and "Life of Ryan" MTV reality star finally had a second to sit down and talk to us. Here's what's happening from his home in Southern California.
How is life after "Life of Ryan"? Is it weird living without constant camera surveillance?
Nah, having the cameras around never really bothered me, actually. I liked it. The show feels like it was a while ago, though. It's all just a another chapter now, you know? That was that. It ended with a clean break, and when it did, it gave me time to really focus on my skating. It's all good.
I imagine fans wish they could keep tabs on you and your friends forever. How often do you get questions about Casey and Taylor getting back together?
All the time. The kids are always asking me stuff about the show. I travel with Casey and all them so, for the record, my life is the same. But the fans always want to know when the show is coming back. I don't have any immediate plans to bring it back; if anything, I'd bring back a different show with some new ideas, a fresh plot and not so much drama. Maybe someday. Who knows?
You do have a movie appearance coming out soon. You play a hockey player, right? Talk "Tooth Fairy."
Yeah, "Tooth Fairy" is coming out on Jan. 22. It's my first attempt at acting, and I had a lot of fun doing it. I'd love to do more of it. I've been reading for movies left and right. It's a lot of fun. I'll always have my skate life, but I absolutely like the fun of making movies.
The cast of the film is actually pretty sturdy. How much did you interact with vets of the screen like The Rock, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews and Billy Crystal?
I spent the most time with Dwayne Johnson ["The Rock"], we had to learn how to play ice hockey. He's an athletic guy, but he definitely was not too comfortable on ice skates. I will say that it's really cool how technology and graphics can help actors out. Dwayne was great, he is a really funny guy and a really nice guy, and he just made me feel really comfortable. He made my life a lot easier. I really appreciate his help.
How were you on skates?
I did all right. I made myself learn how to do it because I didn't want to have a stunt double. I have one for some of the crazy falls that I take, but other than that, most of the skating is really me, so that was a whole new experience.
How different has the experience of life in your own crib been treating you?
Great. I have lived in my own house for two years this December, and life is better this way. It's exactly what I needed. It's not that I don't respect my parents' authority or appreciate all that they did for me, but when I was 18 I was able to move out, and I was out. I feel like a different person since then; I mean, it's obviously a big turning point in life. I feel like I've established myself, and I'm a smarter and more mature for it.
Life at your mom's house sounds like it's been pretty eventful since you left, though. What the heck happened with Shane and the intruder this weekend?
Wasn't there some sketchy stalker guy outside of the house that Shane had to rough up?
Wow, I can't believe you know about that. Weird. That just happened Saturday. How did you hear that?
TMZ knows all, my friend.
Geez, all right, anyway, I can't really go into details because I don't really know now what I can or can't say. Basically, this guy came to my mom's house, and she told him to go away or whatever. He came back and had left a gift in the backyard. I guess Shane came out and the guy was yelling, calling him my name. I don't know what he was all about, but yeah, I know Shane was pretty shaken up about it. Of course that's scary. It's pretty weird when someone is coming to your family's house late at night and leaving gifts.
Speaking of gifts, do you celebrate Christmas?
Yeah, absolutely. I love it.
What's on your Christmas list?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don't want anything besides a healthy family. I'll buy some gifts for a few people in my life but nothing crazy. I feel like the whole gift-giving thing is so jaded. I'm just into spending time with friends and family. Seriously, that's what does it for me during the holidays.
How about decorating your house, are you a lights guy? Any Clark Griswold renditions to speak of?
Oh yeah. My Christmas lights went up Dec. 1, and my tree just went up today.
Last but not least, how about your New Year's resolution?
My New Year's resolution is to skate my a-- off. And I can't wait.
Mary Buckheit is an ESPN.com Page 2 columnist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.