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He’s Young and Punk’d, but Not that Young

Apr 28, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Ryan Pinkston may be a “punk,” but he’s not the little boy Ashton Kutcher leads MTV viewers to believe. On a recent episode of MTV’s new hidden-camera series, Punk’d, star-creator Ashton Kutcher asked, “Why is Pauly Shore picking a fight with an 8-year-old kid?” after Pinkston traded barbs with Mr. Shore. Mr. Pinkston-who serves as a sort of guerilla red carpet reporter for the hit show, asking questions fed to him by Mr. Kutcher through an earpiece-is actually a 15-year-old high school freshman from Maryland.

However, he doesn’t mind the fact that viewers-and those who roam the red carpets-take him for a pipsqueak. “I take it as a compliment,” he said. “Not everyone who is 15 can pull off an 8-year-old. Plus, I think it’s funny. And if they knew I was 15, they’d probably blow me off.”

Mr. Pinkston got his Punk’d job after catching Mr. Kutcher’s eye as star of a hidden-camera pilot for ABC last year that never made it to air. Now he says his ability to play someone half his age has earned him the respect of grown-ups in the entertainment business. “I’m now being treated more like an adult,” he said.

Pinkston, who got his first taste of fame by performing martial arts around the world and on shows such as Jenny Jones, will have an acting role in the next Spy Kids feature.