The ‘She’s All That’ star keeps a low budget: ‘My habits are video games and martial arts, not cocaine and Ferraris’
Freddie Prinze Jr. put acting on the backburner.
The 41-year-old star, whose career peaked in the 90s with America fawning over him in rom-com hits like “She’s All That,” quit acting for cooking, and says if you want to make a major career change, you have to take a gamble.
“You just have to go all in no matter what it is. If you don’t you either: A, won’t finish; B, it will take you twice as long; or C, you’ll lose your passion at some point,” Prinze Jr. tells Moneyish.
Speaking of gambling, Prinze Jr.’s first job at a restaurant that was taking illegal sports bets paid him so well he almost didn’t take his first acting gig.
“I remember being really nervous to take the job because it paid less than the Greek sportsbook that I was working at. Can’t say the name of it because it was where people gambled on sports illegally. It was a restaurant,” he tells Moneyish.
“I made $900 a week cash and to book my first movie [‘To Gillian on her 37th birthday] you’d think it’d be exciting, but all of the sudden I thought, ‘now I might not be able to pay my bills if I take this job.’”
The former teen heartthrob, and son of the late actor Freddie Prinze Sr., went on to star in films like “Summer Catch” with Jessica Biel and “Head Over Heels.” His movies released between 1996 and 2008 have cumulatively grossed more than half a billion dollars. He hasn’t put out a movie since, and has been married for 15 years to fellow 90s royalty Sarah Michelle Gellar, 40, who gained a cult following for playing “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” around the same time.
Both have remained out of the limelight and managed to literally cook up new careers — Prinze Jr. put out a cookbook “Back to the Kitchen” last year, and Geller started a subscription baking service with healthy, organic prepackaged ingredients.
“I cook, she bakes, that’s pretty much how it goes,” Prinze Jr. quips, of Gellar, who wrote the foreword of his cookbook.
“When Sarah and I started dating, I cooked for her three or four nights a week. We ate in way more than we went out. We’re like the only young couple that didn’t go out and party because she liked the way I cooked,” he gushes. “Sometimes I do pulled pork tacos, they’re called the ‘Holy Bleep’ tacos because that was the first time I got my wife to curse in front of her mom when she tried them.”
Prinze Jr. put on a cooking demo for reporters to promote Dunkin Donuts’ new at-home cold brew coffee Thursday, whipping up easy breakfast foods like scrambled eggs and his spicy green chile — a nod to New Mexico where he grew up. He did it all with one hand, while joking about his “arthritis.” (RIP glory days).
Prinze Jr. loves to eat, but admits he doesn’t have “expensive taste.” Back home, he and Gellar split the bills 50/50, so Prinze Jr. doesn’t mind when his wife indulges in a splurge every now and again.
“It’s not like ‘Hey you spent $250 on shoes – if she spent $1,200 on shoes I’d say ‘right on.’ It’s her money. We work hard for it.”
Aside from the fancy sushi dinner date nights out in Los Angeles, always accompanied by some good wine, Prinze Jr. keeps it low maintenance.
“My habits are video games and martial arts, not cocaine and Ferraris – that’s how people go broke,” he says.
“I drive a car from 2011, it still runs and it has over 100,000 miles on it. I guess you could say I’m a cheapskate about it, I just think I’m really smart.”
© 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved