‘The Middle’s Atticus Shaffer: ‘I’m A Prepper!’

Star also addresses departure of TV brother, Charlie McDermott

Atticus Shaffer of 'The Middle'

Atticus Shaffer will be ready when the next disaster strikes!

“I am known as a prepper,” he tells me.

“I gather information and supplies and camping stuff in order to be self-sufficient should an emergency happen.”

Atticus — best known as Brick Heck on ABC’s THE MIDDLE — has been “prepping” for close to three years.

He discovered the culture on YouTube while recovering from leg surgery in 2012.

“I thought, ‘I should probably do that,’” he remembers.  “So I did all this research on how to build a bug out bag, how to purify water, how to build a fire…”

Most of the actor’s disaster supplies are stored at the southern California home he shares with mom, Debbie, and dad, Ron.

“Pretty much my room and the garage are my man caves,” he says.

Atticus, 16, has inspired many around him to also become better prepared for life’s unexpected crises.

“Since I got in to prepping, literally four or five of my friends have now become preppers,” he says.  “I have this little network now.”

Atticus says he frequently encounters fellow preppers at church — as well as on the set of his hit TV show.

THE MIDDLE is currently in its 6th season and enjoying record high ratings.

It hasn’t been officially renewed for next season but few doubt it will return.

Season 7 will be a bit different, however, as co-star Charlie McDermott (Axl Heck) is leaving the series to topline his own CBS comedy.

“Will I miss him?  Yes,” Atticus admits.  “[Leaving] was Charlie’s choice and it is up to him.”

“If Charlie is successful at that, awesome.  Good for him.  We are just going to keep [THE MIDDLE] going forward.”

Here’s more of what Atticus had to share in his exclusive interview with TheTVPage.com:

Do the writers and producers have a plan for the show once Charlie leaves?
To be honest, they said that they have a plan, but they haven’t told me, “This is what is going to happen.”  They actually gave me a bunch of different things that could happen.  I personally think it will work out.  I have confidence in our writers.  They are amazing writers and they have done a huge amount  of things with the show.  I just hope to see that the show does continue and the writers are able to do what they do best.

What do you think you will do whenever THE MIDDLE is over?
I am going to be 17 in June.  I have tried to maintain my school studies.  I love animation, so continuing with animation would be a huge blessing for me.  Personally, I want to focus a lot more on school and being able to go in to college and film school so I can take up directing and writing.

So you will take a hiatus?
Maybe more so from theatrical — unless something comes up.  [laughs]  But yes, presumably taking a step back from theatrical work, focusing more on my studies.

Do you know where you would like to attend college?
I have been looking at a lot of film schools and because it is right in my back yard, Cal Arts would be one of the top choices.  Then after that would be USC, UCLA and schools like that.  You are not going to find me in Arizona or New York.  I am a Californian, I am staying in California.

What do you remember about your audition for THE MIDDLE?
It was a very long audition process.  For the screen test I was so worried because I had a very bad cold.  I had a tissue box and there was an empty trash can that I filled up with all my tissues and my snot rags and everything like that I was just like “Please let me go in and not feel congested.”  So I went in, I wasn’t congested and I did well, I guess.  So I am very blessed.

THE MIDDLE airs Wednesdays on ABC.

Photo: Vince Trupsin

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly