Film Star Blake Cooper Griffin Discusses ‘Beerfest: Thirst For Victory’ and Weighs in on Bullying

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Let the games begin, especially for the college students. It’s time to revisit Broken Lizard’s 2006 comedy Beerfest with a new reboot of the film, Beerfest: Thirst For Victory, the first original full-length feature film on CW Seed. One of the stars of the new film, Blake Cooper Griffin, is taken Hollywood by storm, having taken on a variety of different roles in both film or television, along with being a strong advocate against bullying, being a voice for some of the victims. We chatted with Blake Cooper Griffin about his character, Scott, and the key takeaways and the message from the new Beerfest film.  

 

Cliché: First off, I can’t imagine the feelings, and especially the vibe that you got, when you first heard of the amazing news that you’d be starring in CW Seed’s first original full-length feature film, Beerfest: Thirst For Victory. What exactly was racing through your mind when you heard of getting a lead role in the movie?

Blake Cooper Griffin: Well, it was funny Justin, because just a few weeks before I found out that I was going to be even auditioning for it, I watched the original by Broken Lizard, and it sort of felt like it was meant to be. When I got the part, one of the things that I was really excited about was that it’s a fun comedy. It is just a pure joy to be a part of this film, the script was fantastic, and the people involved were so great too. Especially getting to work with CW Seed, then with Kids at Play, which were some of the other producers on it, as well as Blue Ribbon Entertainment, all those were places that I always wanted to work with. So the idea that I was getting to do that was really exciting and getting to play Scott was just a dream come true. It was just a really fun part to play.

Were you a fan of the original Beerfest before landing this role? Did you watch it for any inspiration before shooting?

Yes, I was totally a fan. It has some amazing comedic actors in it, it’s hilarious, and it’s about beer drinking. Which you know? If there is one thing that people can agree on is that they like beer drinking. So I thought it was so great. And so many people that were in that movie have had such great careers so I was a total fan of it.

Of course, we are not trying to do the same thing; our whole incarnation of it is inspired by it. It’s the appreciation and love of the movie that we see a new cast of characters picking up the torch and seeing it all in 2018. The thing that I like so much about the original and also our version is the fun of competing with your friends. My character, Scott, is stuck in a rut. He’s the ringleader of the group, and he’s looking to get his mojo back. He’s struggling with what it’s like being outside of college, trying to put his life together, and wondering, ‘How can I make it as an adult?’ and he’s going, ‘This is not that fun.’ I think what he realizes is that he has gotten away from some of the things of college that are really important to hold onto, which are relationships with your friends, always finding ways to have fun in your life, no matter what stage of life you’re in, so I really connected to that part. Every day, life can be very tedious and hard, I knew what that was like right after college, and trying to figure out how to make ends meet. I also had to juggle starting out in an acting career, getting my first apartment, and having to do jobs that you didn’t necessarily want to do. I think what the movie does is that it shows that no matter what you’re going through, if you have your friends, if you’re connecting with things in your life that you enjoy, then you can have a happy life. And I think that’s what Scott finds throughout the movie.

Can you tell me about your character, Scott? Did you relate to him at all?

I did. Oh my gosh. I mean, sure. Scott is goofy. I can be goofy too. I think Scott really loves his friends, which I really love my friends. And like I said, we all have had those moments in our lives where we think, ‘Man, this is not where I want to be,’ so I think Scott is going through that in the movie. I mean, his girlfriend just broke up with him, he is in a job that he really doesn’t like, and he’s trying to figure out how to make things better. I definitely had times like that in my life. Also, one other thing, Scott is very competitive. I have to say, I am pretty competitive too. I love game nights. I play game nights with my friends and it can get a little intense. I like to win. So I connect to that part of Scott as well.

How does he fit into the movie?

I think Scott’s main function in the movie is getting everybody back together. I think that the main core group of friends have sort of strayed a little bit since college, meaning that they don’t see each other every day, or see each other every week. But Scott is the one that realizes, ‘Hey, we have all turned into something that we said we would never be, and I think that is boring.’ I think he’s thinking, ‘Gosh, we have gotten so boring,’ and he’s sort of the catalyst for getting everyone back together. He’s also the person throughout the story who makes a mistake and maybe gets a little too competitive. Then he has to come back to realize that the whole mission of re-entering Beerfest was to reconnect as a group, and I think that was the main function for him in the story.

What do you think the message of the movie is and what are some of the key takeaways that fans should be looking out for in the film?

Well, I think that the great thing about Beerfest is that its pure joy. It was pure joy to shoot, it’s pure joy to watch, it’s a good time. Beerfest is really about reclaiming the fun of college, it’s ultimately about five friends, who reconnect and get together. Scott is also recently single and he’s trying to figure out if he can get back with his girlfriend, Angie. And I think the key takeaway from the movie is that sometimes you have to revisit your past to get your mojo back.

How did you get involved with acting?

I really attribute my ability to enter the career as an actor to going to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. I am from a small town in South Carolina originally and I never had anyone in my life who had become an actor or who was involved in the entertainment industry at all. So when I started doing plays in high school and I realized that I really liked it, I had an opportunity to audition for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. I think what that did was that it put me in a community of people that were all pursuing the same thing. They were doing it in a very serious way. And you had such great teachers there whose mission was to help you be the best version of an actor that you can be. They would help you figure out different parts of yourselves that you can turn into different characters. So I have a lot of supporters there at the School of Arts, one of which is one of my biggest supporters, an acting teacher named Tanya Belov. She even supports me today. She will call me, and I will be like, ‘Oh, I am stuck on this character,’ I am trying to find a way in or I am trying to figure out how I can find a commonality with this character. Then we would talk about it. And to have a teacher like that, that has been so dedicated to you is priceless. So I really attribute that as to helping me get into acting because at the end of the four years at the School of the Arts, you go and do a showcase in New York and in Los Angeles. And it was there that I signed with my first agent and managers, and then moved out and just started auditioning.

What advice would you give others looking to pursue it?

Don’t let anyone else tell you who you are. Or, don’t let anyone else tell you how big you should dream. I think that no matter what you do in life; your life or my life has always been infinitely better when I pursued the things in my heart that felt important and something that I would want to get up and do every day.

What are some future projects that you are working on?

Well, I just finished a little film project which I am excited about and I did a little television project that has not come out yet. But one thing that I am really excited about is that I am developing some content for a show with an actress named Kim Shaw, which we are very excited about, having the ability to write our own project. Kim and I have worked together in the past on different film projects and it’s really fun for us to get to write something for ourselves. So I don’t want to get ahead of myself by giving away too many of the details, but I can tell you that hopefully, you guys will be able to see that in the very near future.

Over the years, you have participated for charity causes helping people who have been victims of bullying and showing your support. How has dealing with this growing problem today touched you and what pushed you to want to be a voice for these victims?

Well, first of all, bullying is a huge problem. It’s something that breaks my heart, and honestly, it makes me very emotional to think about people who are harassed, victimized, treated unfairly, or don’t feel safe in their school for whatever reason. I got involved in it, when I did a movie called Love Is All You Need? It was a movie about bullying, and I actually played the bully in the film. But it was at that time that I really started to realize by talking to other people when we would show the movie, people would come up to me after the movie and tell me their stories. And after hearing their stories, it really touched my heart, so I decided that I would get involved. One of the non-profits that I work with is an organization called Boo2Bullying. I have been finding out ways to do events with them, to raise money, but also to do practical things, like going out and speaking to a boys and girls home. I would be talking about self-esteem, feeling good about yourself and treating others fairly. I think right now in our country, it is so important that we think about that, that we should treat everyone with respect no matter who they are, where they come from, or who they love. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.

 

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Film Star Blake Cooper Griffin Discusses ‘Beerfest: Thirst For Victory’ and Weighs in on Bullying. Image Credits: Vince Trupsin

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