Life’s a pretty sweet ride for Disney stars Hutch Dano and Adam Hicks.
The duo play Zeke and Luther, respectively, on Disney’s show of the same name, which premiered in June. It tells the story of two best friends who dream of becoming professional skateboarders. And though only Hicks skates in real life — Dano prefers swimming and surfing — they both get to show off some serious moves on set, in cool kicks from brands such as Etnies and Vans.
Off screen, Dano, a John Varvatos and Mark Nason fan, likes to emulate the retro style of idols like James Dean and Marlon Brando. Hicks, more of a sneakerhead, prefers “fresh” kicks, including Nike Air Jordans and Dunks.
While their styles may be different, the two do share a love of acting.
“My grandfather, [Royal Dano], was a critically acclaimed actor, and I take great pride in watching someone I’m related to do such great work,” said Dano. “It really inspired me when I was younger and helped me make a firm decision that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Echoed Hicks, “I love acting. It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Adam Hicks (plays Luther)
Hometown: Las Vegas
Pairs owned: 30
Favorite brands: “I’ve been collecting shoes for a while. I like Nike Dunks and Air Force Ones. I also have a bunch of Vans in all different colors.”
What type of skate shoes do you wear on set? “I wear Etnies a lot. Hutch wears Vans, though sometimes we change it up.”
Favorite pair: “They’re from Jump, and I got them during the European publicity tour. The [wardrobe] people gave them to me and all they say on the front is ‘Jump.’ They’re like moon shoes — Kanye West style, sort of.”
Luther’s style versus yours: “My character is very outrageous and zany; he doesn’t really color-coordinate. I like to keep my style fresh.”
How did you prepare for the role? “Before we started filming the pilot, we had a two-week course with all these professionals, like Ryan Sheckler and Paul Rodriguez, to get up to date with everything in the sport.”
Ever had any major wipeouts while filming? “On the set we have wipeouts all the time. We’re skating all the time, so falling is just part of the whole situation. You get used to it.”
So do you like to shop? “I love shopping. Usually I’m at Foot Locker, but I like to go to all types of stores. I don’t like to go shopping with my mom, though, because then we have to shop for, like, socks.”
Do you prefer performance or fashion sneakers? “Both. It depends on what kind of vibe I’m going for. Most of the time, I go for style, but I’ve chosen one shoe over another shoe because it was more sturdy for skating.”
Hutch Dano (plays Zeke)
Hometown: Santa Monica, Calif.
Pairs owned: 14
Favorite pairs: “I wear these Mark Nason boots all the time. I have a great pair that aren’t high-tops but aren’t boots either — they’re right in the middle. And I have these John Varvatos black leather boots. Those are my constants.”
Do you appreciate skate shoes more since you’ve been on the show? “Yes. I’m more of a [Converse] Jack Purcell or boot person off set, but my character constantly wears Vans on the show and I really like the skate shoes I get to wear.”
Shoe organizational strategy: “I need a map to find my shoes. I can usually find one shoe, but the other might be across my house. It’s horrible. When mom says, ‘Clean your room,’ that means throw everything in a closet.”
What’s the best part about playing Zeke? “I get to be me all the time, so my favorite part about acting is getting to be someone I’m not. It’s kind of like a vacation for me when they say, ‘Action.’”
What celebrity’s style do you admire? “I’m a huge fan of the golden age of acting. I’ve probably seen ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ 10 times, so I’m into the white T-shirts with retro jackets and faded jeans. I’m such a fan of the 1950s in general that it has taken a role in my personal style.”
Do you and Adam share style advice? “We’re different. But he’ll wear these Nike jackets that are really cool and not something I would usually wear, but when I see it on him, I like it and end up getting it. It’s good to [look at] other people’s style because then you might discover something you like.”