Christian J. Simon Stars In Disney’s “Under Wraps” Reboot Just in Time for Halloween Szn

By Anissa Gabbara

The premiere of Disney Channel’s remake of its first-ever original film Under Wraps drops Oct. 1 at 8 p.m., and whether you’re coming for the haunts or the hilarity, you’ll be all the way here for it. Taking place just days before Halloween, three friends discover a mummy in a neighbor’s basement and accidentally bring it back to life.

“I play Gilbert … an honest and smart 12-year-old. He does not like scary movies and is not afraid or ashamed to admit his fears,” says Christian. “In the movie, Gilbert meets Harold the Mummy, and it was one of the scariest moments of his life. Although he is terrified, he eventually lets his guard down and starts to like Harold for who he is on the inside.”  

Already in with the Disney crew (he plays Leo Webb on Sydney to the Max, a role that’s gotten him two Emmy noms), Christian was invited to try out for this new role. “Like I always do, I read the breakdown of the character, the story line, and fell in love with it,” he says. “I auditioned a few times and then went into a chemistry read with Sophia [Hammons] and Malachi [Barton], [and] we immediately clicked.”

Besides his two Disney roles, Christian’s also done voice-over work as Darwin Watterson for more than 80 episodes of Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball, and he’s secured TV credits in HBO’s Insecure and TV Land’s Teachers.

Mastering his craft since day one, the 13-year-old, Louisiana native would mimic characters from various TV shows and recite lines in front of his fam. In fact, it was the first episode of Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven that inspired Christian to pursue acting in the first place.

Christian J Simon, wearing a yellow and blue striped shirt, dark blue jacket, and backpack stands next to co-star Malachi Barton in front of a house decorated for Halloween in this still from "Under Wraps."
(Disney/David Bukach)

“That show was super funny, entertaining, and it looked like they were having so much fun,” he says. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been telling jokes and making people laugh. … I would always copy lines and try to put my own spin on them, and I would go around the house testing them out,” Christian continues. “My mom saw how much I enjoyed this, and we were presented with an opportunity to go to a talent expo in Dallas [Texas], so we took advantage of the platform. From there, I connected with my current agency and manager whom I’ve been with since I moved to Los Angeles.”

Making the move from Louisiana to the other LA was definitely an adjustment for Christian, who says being the new kid in town was tough, which is high-key relatable. But eventually, he started meeting people through dance classes, school, and auditions. “I’m super grateful to my parents for supporting me in pursuing my dream at such an early age,” he says. “They took a huge leap of faith for me and did not think twice.”

And while hearing the word “no” might discourage some, Christian knows it’s all a part of the journey, and it only motivates him to keep going. “I don’t believe in failures, only setbacks,” he says. “It becomes a challenge for me to prove that it can be done.” His relentlessness is also inspired by his grandmother, a cancer survivor. “Witnessing her fight throughout that journey has taught me how to be strong and never give up.”

As he continues his ascent to stardom, Christian still manages to keep his feet on the ground. The trick? “It helps to be surrounded by your family and genuine people because they will always be honest and provide a sense of normalcy,” he says. “I also think it’s a mindset. I’ve always been taught to treat people the way you want to be treated.”

Under Wraps premieres Oct. 1 on the Disney Channel and Oct. 8 on Disney+. You can also catch new episodes of his talk show Kickin it with Christian on Instagram.

Main Image: Photographed by Ben Cope, Styled by Patrick Lynere, Grooming by Eliven Quiros


Quarterly print teen magazine for Black girls ages 13 to 19. Covering The Black Girl's Mainstream™