TikTok celeb Griffin Johnson is starring in his first major film, ‘Diamond in the Rough’ — and he’s eager for critics to give social media stars a chance on the silver screen.
Griffin Johnson is joining the throng of TikTok superstars who are making their debut in major motion pictures.
Following in the footsteps of names like Addison Rae, Charli D’Amelio, and Bryce Hall — all of whom have announced major movie projects — Griffin is starring in an upcoming romantic comedy titled ‘Diamond in the Rough.’
The film is a golf-centric affair, inspired by classic flicks like ‘Caddyshack’ and ‘Happy Gilmore.’ He is co-star to Disney and Nickelodeon’s Samantha Boscarino, whose character, Ariana, is gifted a membership to an “upscale country club” — but she discovers the environment is a little too similar to the catty hierarchy she experienced in high school.
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We got the chance to sit down with both Griffin and Samantha to discuss their new film when Johnson brought up the “stigma” TikTokers face from both fans and critics when they try to do something new.
Griffin Johnson talks TikTok acting “stigma”
Q: What is your response to the stigma around TikTokers getting into the acting biz?
Griffin: I think a lot of it is honestly, people are a little bit, I don’t wanna say jealous, but they love to come down on people from TikTok because the career is… it happens pretty quick, and for different quirky things that people don’t see as talented. Doing this film has allowed me to showcase what I’m personally capable of.
A lot of the people around me are already super talented actors and actresses. Coming into this allowed me to automatically be surrounded by great people and people that are great at their craft and just heighten me up as a person. I think for anyone that has that stigma around them, just watch the film. Watch the film and you’ll see. I think they’ll understand how authentic and how fun this is. I’m not worried. I think they’ll enjoy it.
Samantha: I feel like it’s ‘more power to you.’ Especially with all the online streamers. There’s so much content out there and so much opportunity. I think if you can put the work in and kind of respect the space and the art and you’re willing to put the work in, I think, like Griffin’s saying, it will show for itself. I think it’s great. More power to you. Get in there!
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Q: What is the biggest difference for you, between filming a TV show and a full-length film?
Samantha: There’s a lot of differences. I think this film in particular moved very quickly. We shot it in 17 days, which I’ve never done anything like that before. That was kind of its own challenge. It moved very quickly, whereas a sitcom, you have all week to rehearse and you shoot the last two days of the week. There’s a lot more time to prep and get familiar with the scenes.
Samantha Boscarino explains difference working with TikTok star on set
Q: What was it like working alongside a TikTok star like Griffin as your co-star?
Samantha: It was great. Griffin came on with a lot of good energy, and took it very seriously. It felt like any co-star that you meet for the first time and you try to bond with and build a relationship. Griffin brought a very light-hearted energy to set, so it was nice because it didn’t feel too serious. We were having fun.
Q: What was it like working alongside a Disney and Nickelodeon star like Samantha?
Samantha: He was star-struck. (Laughs)
Griffin: Obviously, coming into this, it was my first film — large film, to be exact. Being around people that are distinguished in the space and entertainment, Sam’s done real TV and movies, so it was a little bit intimidating coming in, because as you know, there’s a stigma coming from social media and TikTok. I would say, if anything, it was super uplifting. Sam and I connected right off the bat. We had a lot of fun with the film and she made it easier for me to act and play my character. I would say, at first, I was a little bit star-struck, but we had a good time and it was super fun.
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Making the movie their own
Q: This film is inspired by classics like ‘Happy Gilmore’ and ‘Caddyshack.’ Did you two feel any pressure to live up to these movies? Or did you want to make it more of your own thing?
Griffin: I would say for me personally, obviously, those films are classics. I think there’s a lot of people who’ve taken inspiration from that. This is a golf movie, specifically, and people might correlate those more directly. This is its own thing, something that’s new age and super authentic to the culture and the way things have developed today with everything that’s happened recently. 2020’s kind of a crazy year. I think what makes this movie and sets it off is how culturally aware it is and up-to-date. I think a lot of the characters and the development of this is a little bit more new age and aware of what’s going on in the world.
Griffin Johnson & Samantha Boscarino share funniest moments on set
Q: What was the funniest moment that happened on set between the two of you?
Griffin: I’ll say it, and I feel like you might agree. The first kissing scene we had. I don’t know if they’re gonna add in bloopers or what. I don’t remember if it was the second kiss or the first kiss or whatever. When you go to kiss someone you each have your own preferred way. It’s different for every relationship, every person or whatever. I think Sam and I prefer the same side. We had a few bumps into each other. I just remember that. It was super funny for me, because I never really thought about it until that moment, like, ‘Wow, everyone has a preferred side,’ and I guess we just have the same preferred side.
Samantha: We did shoot that fairly on in the film. So we weren’t as comfortable with each other.
Griffin: It was funny. It was interesting.
Q: Did you guys play any golf to prepare on set? Did you goof off? Do you even like golf?
Samantha: I played zero golf. Honestly, whenever I would see my cousins watching golf on TV, I’d be like, ‘I do not understand this. What is interesting about this?’ And then, I had to learn for this movie. I honestly kind of fell in love with it. I loved the challenge of it. I’m a dancer, so I think that helped, having the mind-body connection. It’s so much harder than it looks. I have a lot of respect for the golf game now.
Griffin: I’ve played for many, many years of my life now. I loved being able to say that I’ve done a golf movie now, because I have a bunch of golf buddies and I play all the time. It was cool for me. I enjoyed it.
Griffin Johnson speaks on future film projects
Q: Do you have any future projects coming up that you can tell us about?
Griffin: You know, I’m actually in talks and working on something soon again with Creator plus. We have another film that will be just as culturally aware and authentic and fun. I’m excited for this one first, and once people get a taste and idea of what we’re about, we’ll have something else for them.
‘Diamond in the Rough’ is set to release exclusively on the Creator+ platform on June 29, 2022.
Fans can get early access through the Creator+ website. Until then, stay tuned to Dexerto for the latest info on other TikTokers making their way to Hollywood.