Buste(re)d: Discovering ‘Arrested Development’ on campus
When child actor Jason Tinero took his role as Young Buster on “Arrested Development,” he had no idea how famous the show would eventually become.
“Mostly people are mouth agape, like, I can’t believe you were on ‘Arrested Development,’” he said. “It’s still so weird for me to think that I was on it. It doesn’t register still.”
Though the freshman prospective PNP major is a huge fan of the show now, he hadn’t watched “Arrested Development” until this past summer.
“I don’t know what I’ve done with my life before [I started watching the show],” Tinero said. “The show is brilliant. And I’m like telling everyone ‘You have to watch ‘Arrested Development’…just because you have to watch ‘Arrested Development.’”
Tinero began his acting career when his parents enrolled him in acting classes to help their shy son break out of his shell. In class, Tinero excelled at memorizing lines, and his acting teacher recommended that he seek out an agent.
In addition to his role on “Arrested Development,” Tinero acted in two commercials—one for Disneyland and one for Ikea.
From the ages of about seven to 11, Tinero’s parents shuttled him to two or three auditions per week. As Tinero got older, though, he started attending fewer and fewer auditions as his priorities shifted from acting to schoolwork.
“It was fun while it lasted, but I can’t imagine myself acting [as a career].”
While working on “Arrested Development,” Tinero met stars such as Jason Bateman, Tony Hale and Portia de Rossi—Michael Bluth, Buster Bluth and Lindsay Funke, respectively. But he mostly interacted with the other child actors like young Michael, young Gob and young Lindsay.
Tinero also worked with Jessica Walter (Lucille Bluth) during a photoshoot for Motherboy, a magazine and running joke throughout the series. Though initially confused by the all-white sailor outfit that the producers dressed him in, Tinero said it made more sense once Walter appeared in the same outfit. However, he didn’t get the whole joke until he watched the series.
“I had no idea what it was for until I watched it,” Tinero said. “They threw across a magazine, and it was the one that I was on the cover of, and I was, like, wait, that’s so weird.”
The scene in which Young Buster throws a Dustbuster vacuum at a bus because he is angry at Rosa, Lucille’s housekeeper, was Tinero’s favorite scene to work on. The scene had to be shot about six times.
“I was really weak—still am,” he said. “And I had to throw this Dustbuster at the bus. And the bus was going at a normal pace. I was throwing it, but I couldn’t throw the Dustbuster far enough. And then they’d slow the bus down for me and I had to move closer to the bus so I would be able to throw it far enough.”
Though his friends have pestered him to contact the producers and try to get a cameo on the new season of the show, Tinero does not plan on reviving his acting career.
“I don’t look anything like Buster at all nor am I young anymore. So I don’t think it would really work out,” he said.
Tinero enjoys talking about “Arrested Development,” especially quoting the show with other big fans, but he tries not to bring it up unprompted.
“I usually don’t like talking about it because I feel like I’m bragging about it,” Tinero said. “[But] when people say they love the show I’m like, yeah…I was on it.”