Actor Blake Cooper Griffin is one to watch, breaking out this year with quite a few notable roles.
He is currently appearing opposite Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding Jr. in the drama Life of a King, available on Netflix. On May 1st he hits the big screen with Academy Award Winner Helen Hunt in her feature directorial debut Ride.
He also joins the cast of Disney’s sensational hit sitcom JESSIE for its final season.
Blake will also appear in the feature-length adaptation of the critically acclaimed, award winning short film Love is All You Need? from writer/ director Kim Rocco Shields. We asked Blake about the film and a few other Qs….check out his answers below!
Hi Blake, nice to e-meet you! First off, since our audience is mostly teens, let’s talk about your role on the Disney hit “Jessie.” Who do you play?
I play a character named Scott. Scott meets Jessie and the rest of the gang in the park at MENSA meeting…sort of like a high- IQ club. But, Scott may turn out to be too good to be true. In addition to the main cast, I got to work a lot with the very talented Francesca Capaldi from Dog with a Blog. I had a great time.
And what was the funniest thing that happened on that set?
First day at lunch. First thing, I spill a drink all over me. No one even knew my name yet. Great first impression.
Another topic which is heavily on teens’ radars these days is bullying. Your upcoming film Love is All You Need deals with it from a pretty unique perspective. Tell us about it and your role.
Love is All You Need is going to blow you away. It’s one of those movies that is a dream for an actor. The script is incredible. The cast is awesome and includes Briana Evigan, Emily Osment, and Tyler Blackburn. And the story is important and told in a way that’s never been done before. It’s about a guy and girl who fall in love in a world where being gay is the norm; the couple gets bullied once their relationship goes public.
I play Bill Bradley, a college quarterback and frat President, who has major problems with the couple’s relationship. He’s pretty complex which made the role interesting to work on. We are long overdue for a movie like this. It’s a story about what it means to different. It’s a story about the power of our actions and the power of love. It is also a story about bullying. All types of bullying.
[Here is the original 20 minute short film that the new full feature film is based on:]
And you campaigned heavily for this part, including writing the producer and director, right? Why did you want it so bad?
That’s right. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to go after what you want no matter what. When I read the script for Love is All You Need, I knew I had to be a part of it. As an actor, I want to tell stories that matter. The writer and director of this film, K. Rocco Shields, has poured her heart into making a movie inspired by true events. That came through in the script. I also want to play interesting characters and Bill Bradley is one of those characters. So after auditioning I wrote Rocco and her co-writer David Tillman telling them how passionately I felt about playing this part. I had never done that before. But it paid off.
Have you experienced bullying yourself? If so, how did you get through it?
My family moved a lot growing up so I was constantly the new kid and I can remember that sometimes people were less than welcoming. I also witnessed other people being bullied at school. During hard times, I try to remind myself that my worth is not decided by other people. As an actor, that can be hard to remember sometimes. But it’s true. Your worth is based on the actions you take, how hard you work, the dreams you have, and how you treat others.
I also have a little trick… when someone really makes me mad or hurts me… I use it. I let it motivate me to focus more on the things I want and the kind of person I want to be. And, it makes me feel sorry for them, because while they were wasting so much energy trying to hurt me…I was moving forward.
One more thing. If you see someone being bullied, speak up. Befriend them. If the bully is a friend of yours, tell them to stop. A little goes a long way.
You are riding on some serious momentum in your career right now, which is awesome! Tell us about your other projects just released or being released soon, like Life of a King and Ride and what has been the best part about working on each of them.
Life of a King stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and is based on a true story about a group of inner city kids who learn to play chess from a man name Eugene Brown who is working on turning his life around. I play J. Thomas Gaines, the world chess champion. I had a blast working with Cuba Gooding Jr. and I learned how to play chess. I had to do chess bootcamp for the role.
Ride is written and directed by Helen Hunt. She stars in the movie as well. I have a small part in the film but it was a dream come true for me to work with Helen Hunt. She’s a role model of mine. Plus, it’s a surfing movie and we got to work near the beach.
Brag to me about your biggest failure…and what you learned from it? (could be either personal or career related)
Biggest failure…An epic bowl cut for all of high school. Parted right down the middle. What I learned: Don’t have an epic bowl cut for all of high school.
How often do you have to say “NO, I’M THE OTHER BLAKE GRIFFIN — I DON’T PLAY BASKETBALL!” in a typical week ? : )
I’ve lost count. And it’s Blake Cooper Griffin! But I did play basketball in high school. I was good, but not “Blake Griffin” good. Wait, but I am Blake Gri–..huh? what? Next question!
What are you working on next?
I’ve got a couple things coming up but nothing I can talk about without getting in trouble. I don’t know why they make us be so secretive!
We like to keep it real around here, so can you send us a selfie of whatever it is you are doing right now? Hugging your pet, throwing up a peace sign, whatever!
Here’s a pic of my dog and I at our favorite coffee shop writing this interview. She did most of the typing.
Follow Blake on his social media!