How ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ rebooted its middle-school film franchise with a whole new cast

To recast the parents — played by the gifted Steve Zahn and Rachael Harris in the first films — the filmmakers turned to two familiar faces: Tom Everett Scott, who co-starred with Zahn in Tom Hanks’s “That Thing You Do!” two decades ago, and Alicia Silverstone, who at that same time was nailing her breakthrough role in Amy Heckerling’s “Clueless.” (In an interview ahead of her appearance at the Washington Jewish Film Festival on Thursday night, Heckerling praised Silverstone’s comic gifts.)

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