Actor dressing up as life-sized ‘pizza rat’ in New York goes viral

"Buddy is thrilled about the attention"

An actor dressing up as a life-sized “pizza rat” in New York City has gone viral on social media.

Jonothon Lyons was first spotted by a user on TikTok wearing a rat head and matching brown jumpsuit in public spaces across the city at the end of last month.

@maryamkhwaja0

Charles entertainment cheese. #nyc#nycarlifestyle #halloween #idkitstheambiance

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“I just shot a movie with director Todd Strauss-Schulson (Isn’t it Romantic, The Final Girls, Harold And Kumar 3) and someone’s video of us shooting on the street went viral so I started going out and ratting around on my own,” Lyons told In The Know of the stunt.

The actor has since released a number of videos, one during which Buddy – the name given to the rat character – crawls into a subway train and sits opposite a New Yorker in the carriage.

The actor commented on the way the coronavirus pandemic has somewhat tinted the videos he posts as Buddy.

“[The outbreak] was truly devastating. I was just about to enter rehearsals at The Metropolitan Opera for Madama Butterfly when the lockdown happened,” Lysons said. “Part of what I’m doing now really is bringing live performance out to the street since I can’t ask people to gather in a theatre.”

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Asked for his thoughts on the newfound social media fame as the pizza rat, Lyons said: “Buddy is thrilled about the attention. All he ever wanted to do is travel the world and make people smile and now thanks to the internet it seems he’s got the world smiling. I hope when people run into Buddy they feel a little bit brighter for a moment.”

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