Newcomer Drew Van Acker Takes On Mysteries Of Cartoon Network's 'Tower Prep'

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: The character Drew Van Acker plays in Cartoon Network’s “Tower Prep” doesn't have super powers.

But Ian Archer, the character who finds himself waking up one morning in a mysterious school, does have special abilities. And so does every other student.

“It’s not quite X-men,” Van Acker said. “It does not have that super-power aspect to it. Each student that goes to Tower Prep, they've more heightened abilities, if you'll. They are kind of like 6th senses that each student there has.”

Van Acker’s character is always one step ahead of his opponent, whether it be mentally or physically. It’s a power -- pardon -- ability that makes him great in a fight.

It makes for a challenging role, too, but Van Acker said his athletic background helped a lot.

“When I got to Vancouver, I realized just how physically demanding it was going to be,” he said. “I did martial arts growing up, which I think really helped out a lot. I was very athletic my whole life.”

In the pilot of “Tower Prep,” Van Acker’s Archer passes out one night and wakes up in the school. He doesn’t know how he got there, and furthermore, does not even know where the school is. The faculty and teachers have no names. They only go by their titles, such as “Headmaster,” “Coach” and “Science.”

Archer eventually makes friends with 3 other students, and they vow to find out where they are and how to escape.

The mystery of the story is what intrigued Van Acker about the part of Archer.

“The fact that in any given episode you can be talking about one thing and thinking about one thing as a viewer, and then in the very next episode there’s something completely different than what you had thought before,” he said. “There’s so many twists and turns and mystery involved with the show; I just love that aspect of it.”

This is the 1st leading role for the 24-year-old Van Acker, who’s only been acting for about a year and a half. He's had a few guest-starring parts on “Castle,” “Greek” and The’s “The Lake.” He’s also recently completed an indie film called “Fortress,” that he hopes will be released soon. But he said he became really passionate about the role of Archer.

“I thought that from the moment I read the pilot that I was meant to do this role,” Van Acker said. “It was something that I was interested in the moment I got it, the moment I read it.”

And Van Acker said he's no problem being in his mid-20s and playing a teenager.

“I look pretty young, so I might as well take advantage of it while I still can,” he said. “It kind of takes you back to when you were that age. You feel like you were in school again.” Van Acker said that the 1st thirteen episodes of “Tower Prep” are ended, and now he is just waiting to see how well it’s received.

“I think, honestly, when people see the show, they are going to love it,” he said. “I thought it was special from day one. I’m excited to see how people are going to react to it. It’s an amazing show.”

OK, so according to Van Acker, his character does not technically have a super power. But if Van Acker the actor could have one, what would it be? “Mine has been the same since I was a kid. Mine would always be to fly. And that hasn’t changed,” he said. “I mean, how cool would it be to be able to fly?”

“Tower Prep” premieres Oct. 19 in its regular time slot at 7 p.m CDT on Cartoon Network.


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