Tommy Ragen makes his film debut in the hit film “Mighty Oak” as the character “Oak Scoggins.” Impressively enough, this all began with Tommy Ragen when he was just 8-years old with his notebook of lyrics, and his guitar that catapulted an extraordinary rock ballad entitled “Chasing”— ultimately inspiring the script for “Mighty Oak” as well as garnering the attention of several rock legends and and iconic artists.This incredible musician lights up the screen with his innocence and honesty. At 9 years old, Ragen was in the Broadway first national tour for School of Rock. Now, at just 11 years old, Tommy has released three studio albums and the soundtrack features many of Ragen’s original songs.
Take a closer look at the impressive and inspiring interview about Tommy’s experience with this film, how he began his acting career, his journey in music, and what we can anticipate next for Tommy.
Can you tell our readers what you’ve been up to this summer?
I’ve been playing a lot of music and working on my new album. I’m shooting a music video for my song “Ice Cream,” which drops at the end of July. I’ve also been surfing and playing with a couple friends. My grandpa lives with us, and so we are trying not to get COVID, and I’m also doing press for the movie “Mighty Oak” that Paramount released on streaming July 7th.
Can you tell us how you first got into acting?
My older sister Emma has always been a performer. She kind of led the way and inspired me to try acting. We were in some musicals together and it was fun. Then I was in the first National Broadway tour for School of Rock and began to get more opportunities.
What actors/actresses are you influenced by?
Shows like “The Goldbergs” and “Blackish” I love. The characters are really funny and watching those shows made me want to act. I think it’s because everyone looks like they are having a great time. That was exactly how it was on the set of “Mighty Oak.”
Are there any fun acting projects in the works you can tell us about?
There are two movie projects that I’m involved. I’m hoping one really goes because it involves a lot of rap music. I love rap and a lot of my new music is trending in that direction.
You just starred in the movie “Mighty Oak” with Raven-Symoné and Janel Parrish! Can you tell us what this movie is about and the character you portray?
I play the character “Oak” who is a 10-year old whose mom is really sick. Oak is a good musician and sweet kid (he basically takes care of his mom). A woman, played by Janel Parrish, sees Oak and it reminds her of her dead brother who was a prolific musician. Janel becomes obsessed with Oak and her friends think she’s crazy. In the end, it’s a beautiful story of hope and family. I’m really proud of this movie and grateful to Paramount for believing in “Mighty Oak.” Both Raven and Janel treated me like a little brother. They would joke with me and hang out after we’d shoot scenes. Janel and I even had lunch in LA after the movie ended. She’s incredible.
What did this role mean to you?
I fell in love with playing and writing songs when I was super young. I recorded my first album when I was 8 and 9 years old. I worked with Caroline Corn and Brian Scheuble and the band Fashion Jackson. To see so many of those songs in “Mighty Oak” makes me really proud. The role of “Oak” had some great acting opportunities. That meant a lot because it was challenging. It always feels good to work hard and put in your best effort. That is what I did for “Mighty Oak.”
What was it like working with some major names in the film industry for this project?
We all became a big family really quickly. The hardest part was when we stopped filming. I really loved so many cast and crew members, and I still miss a lot of them.
You also have been working on some original music! Can you spill any details on this?
Sure. I write music all the time. My first three albums are on all platforms. My last music video was “Heart Emoji.” Check it out on YouTube or the video “Extra Credit.” My fourth album will hit in the next few months. I was asked to do a virtual concert in August. I’ll post on my Instagram Tommyragen when they give me the actual date.
What’s your current go-to song?
There are so many depending on my mood. I love the song “Riot” by XXXTENTACION. Although this song was made in 2015. It really exemplifies the times right now.
Why do you think social media is so important for teens today?
Teens love social media because it’s fun. Especially now during COVID times, kids can stay connected, and you can share what you like and meet other people that have similar interests. My buddy Max is incredible at Trampoline-jumping, and he’s made friends all over the world thru Instagram.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
I only do Instagram. I post mostly music and “Mighty Oak” stuff.
What’s it like being in the spotlight on such a big platform like Instagram?
I’m proud of everything I do, and of course I like people to enjoy what I do. However, like with music, there are so many different genres that if you do something different, some people will not like that style. For me, I don’t listen to rock music anymore. It’s all pretty much Rap. So you’ll hear that influence in my current music, just like on my first album, you’ll hear a rock influence.
How do you want your relationship to be with your supporters?
I’d like people to just be nice, and hopefully I can inspire people to work hard and do what they love.I know a lot of people have inspired me. There is a cool charity called “Natural High.” They have a great message about finding what is your Natural High. Mine is music-learning-surfing.
What was the craziest fan encounter you have had?
Nothing that strange, just people excited to see me, which is always cool.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years in your career and personal life?
Doing the same thing I’m doing right now. I’ll only be 17, so I’m sure things will change a lot though.
Any last things you want to tell your supporters?
Thank you and check out “Mighty Oak” on Amazon Prime or Apple TV!
Mighty Oak Official Trailer: