What does a guy do after squeezing into tight polyester pants on That ’70s Show? Wilmer Valderrama, 26, has been busy on the big screen, playing an illegal immigrant in Fast Food Nation and taxiing into theaters as an airport worker babysitting stranded kids in the family film Unaccompanied Minors. Is the nightclub iron man all grown up? PEOPLE’s Michelle Tan found out the self-described “big kid” just can’t quit his action figures.
What was it like working with little kids in Minors?
They became my little entourage. Everywhere I went—the arcade, the buffalo-wing bar or the aquarium—we would roll in together. We keep in touch. Some of my little girls would come and surprise me at my house and bring baskets of candy and drawings of me on my [MTV”] show Yo Momma.
That show is all about telling “yo momma” jokes. What’s the best one you’ve ever heard?
My favorite was when a guy said, “Yo momma is so fat that she sweats butter and syrup and has a full-time job at Denny’s wiping pancakes across her forehead.”
How appetizing, just like your planned movie version of CHiPs ! Are you stuck in the ’70s?
No. It’s just you can’t say no to doing Ponch! For me, if you’re going to play a superhero, it’s got to be Ponch.
Most people would say Batman or Superman.
I know. I’m a little ghetto.
There has to be some quirky thing people don’t know about you.
I know how to unicycle! I lived in a very small town in Venezuela. We had a circus that came to town, and I said, “I wonder how hard that is …” My dad got me one so I just went for it.
Oh. I was hoping you collected action figures or something.
Well, I actually do collect that stuff! He-Man, Transformers, G.I. Joes! Now I’m collecting Spawn action figures. I have a toy room …
I’m sorry, you have a what?
I have this little room I made into my “trophy room.” But my trophies are three Teen Choice Awards and a couple others. The rest is literally action figures all around my walls! Okay, great. I just lost the respect of the nation thanks to PEOPLE magazine.