T.J. Kuhn, now a real estate agent in Phoenix, shared how a motorcycle helped him get the gig, and why the film is still his father’s most popular holiday gift.
By Ashley Lee
Today caught up with T.J. Kuhn, the child actor who played Nathan Arizona Jr. in the 1987 cult comedy classic Raising Arizona. The film stars Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter as a couple who struggle with fertility issues and kidnap a baby—one from a set of quintuplets—and are then chased by a bounty hunter.
Kuhn told Today on Wednesday that he was only a year old when he was featured in the film. “It’s surreal to sit there and watch,” he said of the footage, while his mother recalled, “He was just so laid back — i think during the auditions, he just didn’t care. they passed him all around!”
Kuhn’s father first heard about the opportunity while working at a jail and spotting the ad in the newspaper. “I thought it’d be a fun thing to do, to take him to the interview,” he said, as they noted that the casting process included putting baby Kuhn alongside a motorcycle to see how he’d react.
However, Kuhn is now out of the acting game—shortly afterward, he did film two commercials, but is now a real estate agent in Phoenix. Still, his father gives out copies of Raising Arizona as gifts. “I’ve even had him sign a couple of copies!” he said of his son.
The Today segment follows the morning show’s catch-up with twins Kristina and Michelle Kennedy, the twins who rotated in as Elizabeth Wiatt in the Charles Shyer’s 1987 film Baby Boom with Diane Keaton, Sam Shepard and Harold Ramis; and twins Lisa Blair and Michelle Blair Ontonovich,who played Mary in Leonard Nimoy's 1987 hit, Three Men and a Baby, starring Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck.