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'Housewives' teen with electric smile goes acoustic

Helen Anders

The red-headed 15-year-old from "Desperate Housewives" was happy to be in Central Texas for the holidays, happy to have just eaten a burrito at Freebirds and especially happy with what he got for Christmas.

"I got an acoustic guitar," said Joshua Logan Moore, who plays Felicity Huffman's son Parker Scavo on the ABC series and has, seriously, the most gigantic grin I've ever seen on a teenager's face. The series took a break from filming its sixth season just in time for Josh to make it home for Christmas.

"I already have three or four electric guitars, and now I have an acoustic one," he said. "I'm also learning drums." He's eager to get it back to Los Angeles to jam. "Some of my friends have studios in their homes and we just rock out."

Josh's dad, Cary Moore, drove him to Dominican Joe Coffee Shop because Josh doesn't have his driver's license. Moore, who coaches tennis at Ellison High School in Killeen, worked on his computer while Josh finished off the Pepsi he got at Freebirds, then ordered a mocha with whipped cream. He insisted on buying my coffee, too, well-brought-up kid that he is.

"I have to start driver's ed soon," he said. "Actually, I've been driving for a long time at my grandparents' place." He's talking about a big piece of land in Comanche; he's gone nowhere near L.A.'s scary freeways — or Austin's for that matter — and doesn't plan to until he's fully certified.

Talking about it, he sounded (aside from having lost the Texas accent) like the typical Texas kid he is. He was born in Temple, grew up in Goldthwaite and these days likes to hang with his dad in Killeen when he's not working in L.A., where he lives with his mother, Mitzi Wilson. Like most 15-year-old boys, he likes to talk about football, guitars and goofing around with his friends, who include his fellow cast members.

"I love my older brothers on the show," he said. "We like to just do crazy stuff."

Such as? "At the end of last season, we tried to Saran Wrap Ricardo's toilet," he said, referring to fellow cast member Ricardo Chavira. "It didn't really work, though."

Josh's giant grin works well with the red hair, but it turns out he doesn't really have red hair. It's his character who does.

"I'm a natural blonde," he said, "but I kind of like the red. I tried to go back to being blonde for a while last summer and I sort of looked like a Nazi, so I dyed it back."

In addition to "Housewives," which is now planned to last nine seasons, he was in the 2008 film "The Changeling," in which his character died a horrible death early in the film. "If I have to die, I'd at least like to be killed at the end next time," he said. This year, he has a part in an independent drama, "Touchback," in which he remains alive. He's hoping to do more films, and he's also taking some cinematography classes, aiming to do some behind-the-camera work.

"College, I don't know," he said, indicating that if he keeps getting roles he might put that off.

Josh has come a long way from the moment several years ago when he met his first celebrity, Jeff Foxworthy, while filming a promo for "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?"

"I thought that was so cool," he says. "I'd never met a celebrity before."

And now he is one. Any close personal relationship to get the gossip sites chattering?

"Nothing serious," he said. He called the girl he took to his homecoming in Los Angeles "my best friend — we can talk about football."

Finally, I asked the inevitable question — What's going to happen on "Desperate Housewives" in the coming season? — which, equally inevitably, wasn't answered.

"Our family is really pulling closer," he said, flashing the giga-grin. "It'll be interesting. The show is just getting crazy."

handers@statesman.com; 912-2590