Nickelodeon's "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" hit TV screens everywhere starting in 2004. For three seasons, the show followed three best friends as they navigated the complicated world of middle school. Along the way, Ned Bigby (Devon Werkheiser) shared his top secret tips to make the best of those awkward teen years.
MTV News recently caught up with Werkheiser, pictured below, to talk about his acting and music career and what his updated “Ned’s” declassified ~life~ survival guide would look like. (Tip # 1 is to “always be learning.”)
Werkheiser was kind enough to share some truly spectacular behind-the-scenes photos from the show's set with MTV News. Check 'em out below and get ready to drown in a hole of nostalgia.
"It helped so much that we had 16 kids on the cast, because we were able to still have that social life," Werkheiser told MTV News. "When you’re working as a kid, you don’t get a chance to hang out with anyone. There is no social life beyond the work, because you’re so exhausted when you get done filming all day. It helped so much that it was like a real school experience."
"He was called a weasel, but he was played by a ferret," Werkheiser clarified.
Ned, Moze (Lindsey Shaw) and Cookie show true James K. Polk school spirit.
Speaking of which, go Wolves!
The trio try this whole science thing...
...and it does not bode well for Cookie's face.
In the series finale, Ned must choose between his longtime crush Suzie Crabgrass (Christian Serratos) or longtime best friend Moze. I know you remember how this one ended. ?
Those matching dresses though. Remember in this episode when Ned went to kiss Suzie at the school dance but accidentally kissed Moze instead and your preteen heart exploded into a bajillion tiny pieces? Still not over that moment, to be honest.
Look at how young "The Walking Dead" actress looks!
Hear Ned roar.
"All of us kids on the show became best friends," Werkheiser said. "We would play tag, foosball, football, dodgeball and everything at lunch, and we all became really, really close. I’m still close to most of the cast today. And shooting it was one of the most fun [experiences] I’ve ever had. We all remember it so fondly because all day we got to run around and play and do what we love."
They see Ned rollin', they hatin'...
Just horsing around.
"I’m still really close with Carlie [Casey], who played Missy Meany," Werkheiser continued. "Her and her boyfriend and I are good friends. We are actually working with a charity ... and in about a year, we’re going to go build a school in Nepal. I see her maybe once every couple of months, but now that we’re doing this charity thing, I’m going to see her a lot more. We’re really close."
"Billy Loomer, who is Kyle Swann, he’s one of my really good friends, but he doesn’t live in America anymore," Werkheiser explained. "He stopped acting after 'Ned’s.' He’s super smart. He went to school for marine biology and film. He double-majored and then went to New Zealand for grad school in marine biology and film. He’s been there for two years, but I just saw him a month ago [when] he came back for a week. He’s like a big bearded wild man who goes on scuba dives with sharks and shoots underwater documentaries. He’s a mad man." (laughs)
"Lindsey, we talk a couple times throughout the year and go get lunch to catch up a few times," Werkheiser said. "We all have so much love for each other still, because we went through so much together and grew up together. I try to see Lindsey at least once a year just to catch up and see what’s going on."
Oh. My. God. My 11-year-old self would not be able to handle this pic.
Hey there, Gordy (Daran Norris)!
"Scott [Fellows] was such a funny, silly, amazing executive producer who encouraged us to go really big and make the show the live-action cartoon that it was," Werkheiser said.
? I wear my sunglasses at night ?
"It was a lot of work, but it felt like three years of a dream -- playing and getting to be the lead on Nickelodeon at the age while I was watching Nickelodeon," Werkheiser said. D'awww!