Spencer for Hire

updated 08/07/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/07/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

You'd think playing alongside a big movie star like Bruce Willis would be a thrill. But Spencer Breslin is 8 years old and ranks his thrills accordingly. "The coolest things of all," says the bubbly costar of Disney's The Kid, "were my breaks. I drove golf carts all around the lot. Sometimes I would ride around and just scare people."

When he wasn't terrorizing cast and crew, he was charming them. "He's so goofy," says director Jon Turteltaub, who helped pick Breslin over thousands of others in a nationwide search (and later joined him in the golf-cart joyrides). "He's not jumping up on tables screaming, 'Look at me!' There is nothing bratty, nothing spoiled about this kid at all."

The reason, says his homemaker mom, Kim, 42, is that he's doing what he loves. Even as a baby, "his temperament would change" when he had an audience, she notes. "People kept telling me he should be in commercials." Starting at age 3, he was starring in a slew of TV ads. Kim, who homeschools Spencer and his siblings Ryan, 15, and Abigail, 4, insists she's no stage mom. "We do this for now," she says, "and if it doesn't work out, then we're at the playground and everything is fine."

These days, at least, Breslin—who lives in downtown Manhattan with his family (dad Michael, 58, is a consultant)—certainly seems to be enjoying himself. Willis, he says, was "cool and helpful. He helped me think about the scene and stuff." And Spencer's become pals with actress Skye McCole Bartusiak (The Patriot), 7. When she visited him on the Los Angeles set of The Kid, he shouted, "Bruce, come meet my girlfriend!" "They're Hollywood's newest power couple," says Kim. "Tom and Nicole have to look out."

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