The IRL Coconut Head Shares 14 'Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide' Secrets
No character was more memorable on "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" than the one and only Coconut Head. He was goofy, eccentric, cute and tossable.
After learning actor Rob Pinkston actually has really flawless hair, we hopped on the phone with him to talk all things Coconut Head.
Pinkston literally screamed during his audition, which honestly sounds like a very Coconut Head thing to do.
"[Coconut Head] was a very small role when I auditioned for it, in fact it didn’t even have any lines. I went in and I was really nervous, so my acting coach told me that to let out my nerves I should just scream to get all of the jitters out.
...I took that literally, and so when I walked into the audition room, I actually screamed at the top of my lungs and scared the hell out of the casting director. [laughs] She didn’t know what to do with it. But I went ahead and did the audition jitter-free and I guess I aced it."
The iconic hair was initially going to be spiky, NOT a bowl cut.
"Originally, the haircut was going to be short and soft and spiky, like a coconut on the outside, and they were actually going to shave my head. And they asked me when I auditioned... 'Are you comfortable with shaving your head for this part?' And I had a bowl cut at the time and I said, 'Yeah, of course,' [because] I'd do anything to get rid of the bowl cut."
Coconut Head doesn't actually have a real name.
After seeing the name "Peter Scholl" on the "Ned's Declassified" Wiki page, I asked Pinkston if that name was true. According to him, it definitely wasn't. (Shocker, Wikipedia was wrong.)
"No, as far as I know, he never had a name... I always kind of thought his real name should be Cornelius... He felt like a Cornelius."
There was supposed to be a surprise ending to Coconut Head's story, but it never happened.
"There was talk that they were going to have an episode at the very, very end or for the movie that my character was going to come back and have a brand new haircut and be the coolest kid in school, but I’m kind of glad they didn’t go that way."
There was a stunt wig, because of course there was.
"There were two [wigs]. There was the one that I wore all the time, and then there was the stunt wig, just in case."
And the wig fell off a lot during filming.
"I'd never worn a hair wig thing before so I didn’t know what to expect, but they actually put this stocking on your head before they put the wig on and then they pin it to the stocking so once it was on it was pretty much on all day, but it was pretty hot... And with how much I spazzed out, I kind of knocked [it] off my head a lot."
One of the wigs ended up where it belonged — in Pinkston's possession.
"I actually kept a bunch of props from set. We weren’t supposed to, but I totally stole the wig. I also stole some of the signs that were around school."
The cast pretended a tiny man lived in Pinkston's wig — no, seriously.
"I used to pretend that there was a tiny man living in my wig and I would talk to him in-between takes. We had this running gag where everybody would have conversations with my wig [in-between takes on set]."
The episode with Fabio was one of Pinkston's favorite moments, because duh.
"That was probably the greatest moment of my life, getting a picture with Fabio carrying me. [laughs] He is exactly like he looks... in the pictures. You don't realize that he is a giant strong man with this long hair and giant pecs, and it was just hilarious watching him walk around on set."
Pinkston loves the Coconut Head fandom, even though it's weird AF.
"I’m a total geek and so I’m pretty keen on all the stuff that’s going on in the weird corners of the internet. I have a lot of friends who always send me things that they find of me. [In the anime show 'Attack on Titan'] there’s this wimpy little kid character who’s always screaming other people’s names and he wears a coconut head and so somebody drew that character on top of me... Basically there’s this whole anime movement of having Coconut Head play this character. So I’m pretty proud of that one."
Not even Coconut Head is safe from the "Dad" comments.
"I don't understand what’s going on with that, and I have gotten a lot of dad comments... And I was thinking, I don’t know how old these people are, but it could be very bad if they’re not over a certain age."
Pinkston's real dad played Coconut Head's dad.
"[My real dad] played my [stage] dad for a brief moment in the car wash episode... There’s a moment when all the cars are backed up in the line because we’re not doing our job well, and one of the guys in line is wearing this awful, awful larger version of a coconut head wig... that’s actually my dad."
Pinkston knows exactly what Coconut Head grew up to be in life.
"Oh, [he's] obviously a hairstylist... [but] I can see him definitely being on 'The Voice' or 'American Idol,' and having a big moment of stardom... Either that, or he’d go viral on the internet for some dumb thing."
Coconut Head and Pinkston actually weren't that different growing up.
"I was the short weirdo in middle school and high school. So, I was basically like Coconut Head. I was bullied all the time and had the weird haircut and people would always comment on my looks. And I would be embarrassing myself in ridiculous ways. So, I actually learned a lot of those lessons [from 'Ned's Declassified'] just from my own experience, before the show started. And then when I started seeing [the tips] in the show, I was like, 'Man, if I had only known earlier.'"
Coconut Head is internationally famous (as he should be).
"I was traveling with my family in Germany, and I saw the show in German and everybody called my character 'Kokosnusskopf.' And I was really, really impressed. I have a huge following in the Latin countries. I have a ton of Spanish-speaking followers. I believe it’s from South America, but I’m not too sure. But it’s insane. More than half of my fans come from there.
...I got a bunch of fan mail from people in Germany and including one person who said that since the show had come out, the Coconut Head bob haircut had become a huge thing at their school and everybody at the school started getting a haircut."
If you're wondering what Pinkston is up to now — besides having fantastic hair — he has a new project in the works.
"I took a break from acting for a little bit to go to film school... I graduated and then I started making TV shows. So now I’m actually writing and directing a show very similar to 'Ned's [Declassified'] that I’m not allowed to talk much more about it.
But, I created the show and I’m in it and if you go to my Instagram and Snapchat [username 'pinkypinkston'], you’ll see me taking some stuff behind the scenes and get a sneak peek about it."