Christiansburg High grad becomes ‘The Crunchy Nut’
This summer the big screen will be filled with superheroes from far-off places such as Gotham and New York City.
The small screen, however, will feature a more local flavor for the residents of the New River Valley.
That’s where James Moye, a 1992 Christiansburg High School graduate, will be found donning the yellow and red spandex outfit of “The Crunchy Nut,” the official new superhero mascot of Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut cereal.
The national campaign, which launched mid-June with one network spot and one web spot, features Moye as a comical masked hero battling boring breakfasts by exchanging such meals for the company’s cereal.
Though the campaign is still in its infancy, Moye said he has already seen a positive response from both his agent’s marketing research and his old friends from Christiansburg and James Madison University.
“I’ve been getting a lot of ‘LOLs’ and ‘OMGs’ on my text messages,” Moye said.
Brian Waters, who graduated from CHS in 1992 and later attended James Madison with Moye, said the nature of The Crunchy Nut character didn’t surprise him at all.
Waters recalled an instance at a local movie theater during the pair’s time at JMU in which the projector malfunctioned and Moye entertained the crowd during the film’s delay by performing an Elvis Presley impersonation.
“Typical Jim. He was always an entertainer. He always had a great sense of humor,” Waters said.
Moye relocated to New York City 11 years ago and has since appeared in five Broadway shows, his latest role being that of legendary Sun Records owner Sam Phillips in “Million Dollar Quartet.”
He said one of the biggest differences between his Broadway roles and his role as The Crunchy Nut is his ability to help cultivate the superhero’s character. He admitted looking to Batman for some inspiration.
“I tried for somewhere between Adam West and Christian Bale, but it ended up being more Adam West,” Moye said.
No matter where exactly Moye channeled The Crunchy Nut from, the character has built quite a following. As of Tuesday, The Crunchy Nut’s Facebook page had just over 180,900 “likes.”
While filming the commercials in Los Angeles, the character was also invited to make a special June 12 appearance on the late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” where Moye learned firsthand that being a superhero comes with perks.
The night he appeared, the Los Angeles Kings were also there, showing off the Stanley Cup trophy they had recently earned by winning the National Hockey League championship.
Moye, a self-proclaimed sports fan, said he immediately made touching the trophy The Crunchy Nut’s new quest. The quest was a successful one, he said. He got to hold the cup and enjoyed hanging out with the team.
Of course, one of the other perks of being a superhero is getting a custom-designed suit. Moye said his outfit, including the cereal-spoon-decorated mask, was created by the same designers who created the uniforms worn by the characters in the film “X-Men.”
Perks aside, Moye said his overall experience as The Crunchy Nut has been great.
“It’s a lot of fun, and as an actor, you hope to get fun gigs,” Moye said.
There are more adventures to come for The Crunchy Nut, Moye said, including a possible plot twist involving a new character, milkman Clarence Newman.
Is Clarence the Clark Kent of Crunchy Nut?
Viewers will have to stay tuned to find out, Moye said.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
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