Jason Ritter, son of the late, beloved actor John Ritter, says he still has people pull him aside to tell him ways in which working with his dad touched their lives. Namely, John Ritter never wanted anyone treated with inequality in his presence. And he wouldn’t stand for it.
“Both my parents were really big on the golden rule: treat others as you would want to be treated,” says Ritter. “One thing that they’ve taught me, more than anything, is that we’re all equal. No matter who you are or what you do for a living, no one is better than anyone else. You’re only a couple life experiences away from everyone else. My dad and my mom always reminded us of what was important in life. And the main thing, the thing that counted the most, is that we treat one other with respect.”
Jason Ritter, 34, also an actor and star of the Disney show Gravity Falls, says that growing up around this attitude was just “a way of life.” John Ritter was just the man he knew as dad. This way of treating others was just how he grew up thinking was the way you behaved if you were a good person. “What’s interesting now,” Jason says, “is running into people who say things like: listen, I was working on this project with your dad, and I was just a PA, and I was just starting out, and one of the stars was rude to me. And your dad pulled me aside and apologized on behalf of that person.”
Jason says there are seemingly never-ending stories like this. “It’s been really nice to hear,” Jason says. “My dad would take the person aside, and confront the other person who had been speaking to them like that. He made people take a look at their actions.”
Jason’s character on Gravity Falls is Dipper Pines, who he says is uncannily similar to the kind of kid he was. He says he was an adventurous kid. He loved solving mysteries and cracking codes. He spent lots of time in nature. Just like Dipper.
“I had a wild imagination. I remember my friend Jeremy and I, we found this flower in my backyard when we were 12. It looked so crazy. We called it a UAF, for Unidentified Alien Flower.”
Jason says he was the kind of kid who looked for mysteries and saw possibilities everywhere.
“As a kid,” he continues, “so much of life is a mystery, and it’s so fascinating for kids to realize at a certain point, that there are questions that even your parents can’t answer. You start asking them about Bigfoot or aliens, and it’s so fascinating — that moment as a kid when you realize that some things are mysteries even to adults.”
Update: The UAF has finally been identified! Jason Ritter shared a photo on Twitter – check it out:
— Jason Ritter (@JasonRitter) August 1, 2014
You can watch Gravity Falls onDisney Channel.