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Blake Cooper Griffin stars in Love Is All You Need, written and directed by Kim Rocco Shields, in which he plays a bullying frat boy.

Blake Cooper On ‘Love Is All You Need’

In Love Is All You Need, homosexuality is the norm, leaving heterosexual couples as the bullied minority. As fraternity president and quarterback of the college’s football team, Griffin’s character Bill Bradley is a leader among the bullies. For Cooper, getting involved in the project was an indisputable career highpoint.

“You could just tell by the writing that this was going to be an important project. And I went and auditioned for it and they brought me back and I actually wrote the director after the call back. I wrote a letter to her and to one of the writers and said I’ll do anything to play the part of Bill Bradley,” Griffin told uInterview in an exclusive interview. “When I got the part, I was really stoked and it was another one of those sort of like pinching myself moments because it was something that I really wanted that came true.”

Part of the reason Griffin was so enthusiastic about Love Is All You Need is the way the film approaches the pervasive “culture of meanness” that’s witnessed on a daily basis.

“You can turn on the TV and you can see kind of the culture of meanness around differences that people have,” Griffin explained. “You can see what’s happening to kids across the country who are being bullied and I think that you know, I’m so proud to be apart of something that’s telling the truth about that and is not sort of shying away from it. Too be a part of a movie that actually could have an impact on someone’s life, or could change somebody’s mind or challenge somebody, that’s kind of exactly what I wanted to do when I set out to be an actor.”

In addition to Love Is All You Need, Griffin was recently hard at work filming Ride with Helen Hunt, who also directed the picture. Griffin, who calls Hunt an idol of his, was eager to be a part of the movie that charts her character’s relationship with her surfer son, played by Brenton Thwaites. Speaking of Hunt, Griffin commented on the Twister actress’s prowess behind the camera.

“One thing that struck me in working with her on this film was that she is so committed to story, and she has this laser focus as a director as she does as an actress. And, she sort of is able to put you at ease,” said Griffin. “That was the thing that I sort of noticed is that any nerves that you have just disappear because when you’re working with anyone who is so good at her job you sort of want to rise to the occasion. […] It was kind of a dream come true for me.”

Love Is All You Need will be released later this year. In the meantime, Griffin can be seen in the movie Life of a King, which also stars Cuba Gooding Jr.,  on Netflix.

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Q: What’s the premise of your film ‘Love is All You Need’? -

I am super stoked about this movie. I have a really nice part in the movie. It is a story about a guy and a girl who are on a college campus. They’re in college, and they fall in love in a world where being gay is the norm. So, it is a concept that has never been done before. They face bullying once their relationship goes public, and I got to tell you, I did something that I’ve never done. When I auditioned for the film, I went in and the script blew me away. I called my manager at 9 o’clock at night and I was like, “I really wanted to be apart of this film.” And you could just tell by the writing that this was going to be an important project. And I went and auditioned for it and they brought me back and I actually wrote the director after the call back. I wrote a letter to her and to one of the writers and said I’ll do anything to play the part of Bill Bradley. When I got the part, I was really stoked and it was another one of those sort of like pinching myself moments because it was something that I really wanted that came true. And you know, in this business, as i’m sure everybody knows, you’re used to hearing no a lot, so you sometimes don’t, you get used to not getting exactly what you want and I sort of felt like with the movie ‘Love Is All You Need’ and some of the other projects I got to do this year that I got to do kind of exactly what I wanted to do a couple of times, so that was really fun.

Q: Who do you play in the film? -

I play Bill Bradley, who is a college football quarterback and the president of Omega Theta Phi fraternity. He is the president of the fraternity that Ryan, the guy involved in the guy-girl relationship, pledges. And what I can say is that I have some major problems with the couple’s relationship. The heart of the movie is about the impact that bullying can have and it’s really a movie about anybody who’s ever felt different. And I think that, let’s just be honest, you can turn on the TV and you can see kind of the culture of meanness around differences that people have. You can see what’s happening to kids across the country who are being bullied and I think that you know, I’m so proud to be apart of something that’s telling the truth about that and is not sort of shying away from it. This is something that I wanted to be a part of. I really think it’s going to blow people away and it’s got a fantastic cast. It’s really nice to be among that cast.

Q: Are you using social media to spread the film’s anti-bullying message? -

We are. And I know that we have plans to do even more of that. All of us have our own Instagram pages and the movie has an Instagram page: @LoveIsAllYouNeed. And we are doing sort of some things already where we’re tagging people and doing little projects on social media about that and I know that as the movie gets closer we’re going to be doing more. So, I’m excited about that. And the thing about it is, is that for me, going to Thomas School to be a part of a movie that actually could have an impact on someone’s life, or could change somebody's mind or challenge somebody, that’s kind of exactly what I wanted to do when I set out to be an actor, so this movie holds a real special place in my heart, without sounding too cheesy, but it really does.

Q: How did you get involved with Helen Hunt’s film ‘Ride’? -

That was kind of a trip to work on just because Helen Hunt’s an idol of mine, she’s sort of a role model for me. So ‘Ride’ is about her and her son. And her son, played by Brenton Thwaites, decides to drop out of school and go to California because he wants to be a surfer. She follows him across the country and so the story is really about their relationship and a mother and son getting close and sort of a coming of age story for him. It’s also a surfing movie and so it’s really cool. It’s really fun to work by the beach. Without giving too much away, I play one of Brenton Thwaites friends in the movie, and it’s not a huge part but I was so excited to be apart of it because I read the script and when my agent sent it over I knew I wanted to be a part of it. It’s a really beautiful script. It comes out May 1st and I think people are really going to dig it. And if you are into surfing at all, a lot of people are doing their own surfing in the movie, including Helen, which is really cool to see.

Q: What was Helen Hunt like as a director? -

You know, I followed Helen’s work and actually got to see her directorial debut ‘Then She Found Me.’ It actually premiered in New York and I was in New York at the time and I got to go see it. And one thing that struck me in working with her on this film was that she is so committed to story, and she has this laser focus as a director as she does as an actress. And, she sort of is able to put you at ease. That was the thing that I sort of noticed is that any nerves that you have just disappear because when you’re working with anyone who is so good at her job you sort of want to rise to the occasion. So working with her was a real treat. And I would say that laser focus and she’s just committed to story and every moment is just about finding the truth. And she treats everybody on set like they’re the most important person. So I really enjoyed it. It was kind of a dream come true for me.

Q: What is your new Netflix movie ‘Life of a King’? -

So that movie is called ‘Life Of A King.’ It’s a true story. It’s exciting because it’s another sort of social justice/social change movie. It’s about an ex-felon. It’s this ex-felon, Eugene Brown, who actually, we were lucky enough to have on set, and he establishes this chess club in Washington, DC for inner city kids. And so basically he turns his life around and in the process turns around the life of a bunch of kids. I sort of play the foil to those kids, and I play the world chess champion, J. Thomas Gains, and sort of give them a little bit of opposition. Something to go up against. And that movie stars Cuba Gooding Jr and also my good buddy Malcolm Mays, who is actually in ‘Love is All You Need’ with me as well. It’s a great film. It’s another one of those films that to me that when you watch that it has themes that really make a difference in peoples lives, and I mean come on, I get to work with Cuba Gooding Jr., so that’s pretty awesome too. I remember being a kid and watching his speech when he won the Academy Award and he’s jumping up and down and on the first day I told him, I said, “This is a dream come true to get to finally meet you.” The other cool thing about the movie is that it’s a chess movie, so all of the chess games by the way, are super accurate. They sent me to chess boot champion camp and I had to learn something like 40s games. Memorize the actual moves because they wanted them to be authentic world chess championship games. And I actually memorized them all. And so I’m pretty proud of that. And that’s on Netflix and I think a lot of people are enjoying it.

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