Super 8 Star Riley Griffiths on Impersonating J.J. Abrams, and Assessing the Lost Finale


During filming did you ever find yourself talking with J.J. or with Steven about some of your favorite films of theirs?

Surprisingly, it never really came up. We just talked about, like, iPhone apps and things going on in American Idol and that kind of stuff. But J.J. is one of my biggest role models in life. He's just a really great guy and he's been so great to all the kids. I feel so blessed that he's given me this opportunity and started off my career with this.

Tell me about the development of the movie within the movie. J.J. gave all the kids freedom to come up with the idea?

Yup, we got to write, direct, set up the shots -- all of that kind of stuff. That was really cool, just to kind of show us the other side of filmmaking, not just the acting side. It was like, you go from the Super 8 set which is so intense and you've got to be so real and it's fun and everything, and you go to this set and you've got to be as cheesy as possible. It was kind of cool, we had to act like we'd never acted before. It was weird.

How hard has it been to keep the secrets of Super 8 under wraps this whole time?

It was kind of fun to keep the secret because nowadays when you go to the movies, all the best parts are in the trailer. But with Super 8 there are so many twists and turns, it was so cool to see my friends' faces when they saw the movie and how they reacted.

What kind of directives were you given regarding what to say and what not to say when you were going into your first press interviews?

It was just like, "Don't give away the story!" Still let the audience have a treat when they see the movie, don't let them take out the cake and eat it, too.

What's next for you this summer?

Hopefully I'll do more acting. I love acting; it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. So I have some scripts right now and some meetings with directors and producers and stuff. And I'm getting ready for football season next year. It's my first year of high school. It's been a blast.

What directors are you looking forward to meeting in the near future?

Well, I met Michael Bay at the premiere, and that was really, really cool.

What was he like?

He was one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He talked to us for a while and told us we were great, which was so cool. He's just a really cool guy. It was awesome.

You've said that you'd like to eventually go to USC to study film; what led you to that plan?

One of the actors on set, David Gallagher who plays Donny, he went to USC for film school and he said it was great and that he loved it. I've always been a USC fan. I've always wanted to play football for the Trojans. So it was always just kind of what I wanted to do. I'll play sports through high school and college, but I definitely want to be an actor.

[Photo credit: Paramount Pictures]

[Photo credit: Brian Higbee]

Read Movieline's Verge Interview with Joel Courtney and see more coverage of J.J. Abrams' Super 8.

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