Whatever Happened To Brandon Baker From Johnny Tsunami?

Throughout the 90's to 2000's, Disney Channel Original Movies (aka DCOMs) were all the rage. From Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century to Brink!, each film got better and better. In 1999, Johnny Tsunami aired — "one of Disney Channel's most popular original movies ever," according to Page Six — and it is still beloved by many 20 years later. The film follows Johnny as his family moves from Hawaii, where he surfs 24/7, to Vermont, which is known for winter sports. Ultimately, Johnny has to learn to fit in with his new prep school friends all while learning how to snowboard. 

While some Disney Channel stars have remained in the spotlight — Ryan Merriman from Smart House appeared on Pretty Little LiarsKirsten Storms from Zenon is still on General Hospital — others have walked away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. For instance, Brandon Baker, who played Hawaiian surfer Johnny Kapahala on Johnny Tsunami, hasn't appeared on the big or small screen since 2015, per IMDb.

Even though Baker is no longer in the spotlight, the actor is still recognized by fans to this day. "It's one of those things where simultaneously it's a lifetime ago, but also feels like yesterday to an extent," he told Page Six in July 2019. "It's like very much like a fabric of my everyday or weekly life to be talking about Johnny Tsunami."

So, what is the Disney star up these days? Keep reading to get the scoop below.

Brandon Baker was 'just totally lost' about his career path

After Johnny Tsunami aired on Disney Channel in 1999, Brandon Baker, who played Johnny Kapahala, continued to star in a few other shows, including Even Stevens and The Proud Family. In 2007, Baker reprised his role as Johnny in the sequel, Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board. However, the television star didn't seem to have the same passion for acting anymore. Baker opted to go to film school at the University of California at Santa Barbara and later moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career "working behind the camera," according to Vice, but it didn't pan out exactly how he planned.

"I was just totally lost," he told Vice in December 2019. "I was trying to stay in the business because so much of my life was insulated within that — my friends, my contacts, my livelihood — but I wasn't happy, and I was trying to come to grips with that."

"I feel like what I've gone through in my life is akin to a midlife crisis," he said. "I had a 20-year career by the time I was 30. And so it's not like a quarter-life crisis where that's typically more like, 'I just got out of college and I don't know what I want to be.' This was like, 'Oh, I'm 25, 30, and I already have this identity that I'm so wrapped up in, I have to tear it apart to understand if it's who I truly am or just what I know." 

Brandon Baker 'loves' his new job

After Brandon Baker left Los Angeles behind, he moved to Colorado and embarked on a new career path: officiating weddings. Yes, that's right, Baker works for the company Simply Eloped, and its mission is "to make getting married fun, easy, and affordable!" according to its website. Baker is enjoying his new adventure immensely. "I get to be with people in love, I get to be outside, I get to be with people connecting with people in an emotional way, a specific way and a pretty momentous way," he told Page Six in July 2019. "I love my job, it's fantastic."

However, the Disney Channel alum is unsure if officiating is something he will stick with forever. "I don't know what the next chapter of my life is specifically," he said. "I know it's somewhere along those lines of where I want to be impacting people's lives in a meaningful way."

At the end of the day, Baker will never forget how much Johnny Tsunami changed his life. "I'm grateful the film itself had the ability to make people happy," he explained. "I think that's a really cool thing to be able to do in a life." But don't expect to see Baker acting again any time soon, since he is "more and more grateful that [he's] not doing that anymore."

Brandon Baker is now in 'the best relationship'

Along Brandon Baker's journey, the actor fell in love with a woman named Karyn. Baker asked out his now-girlfriend after he experienced "an ayahuasca-induced vision," he told Vice in December 2019. "I'm a pretty big believer in plant medicines," he added. "She's beautiful and brilliant and I love her. It's the best relationship I've ever been in."

Baker gushed over their strong connection via Instagram in April 2019. "This is Karyn. I love her. For many, many reasons," he began. "Because she is kind and considerate and because she is infinitely cuddle-able. Because of how she treats me and treats herself, her friends, her family, strangers on the street. Because she is smart and funny and sexy."

"What a gift it is, to fall in love," he continued. "How miraculous. To not only find attraction and compatibility and partnership, but MAGIC. This mysterious, unexplainable alchemy that is felt in your core, outside of logic and reason. Intoxicating and exciting, warm and comforting. The knowing."

In April 2020, Baker gave his fans an update on how his relationship was going in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. "This period of time in all of our lives has been such a rollercoaster, and I can't imagine doing any of it without her," he wrote on Instagram

Baker took a page out of Johnny's book and swapped sun for snow, and it seems to be working for him!