Griffin Gluck started acting when he was only 9 years old — his dad, a director, would give him small cameos in his films. “When I started professionally working, I was nine. But I’ve always been around the industry. My dad’s a director, so when he would be working on a project, he would just be like, ‘You’ll have a little cameo.’ And I’d be like, awesome. Actually, if you go watch the Japanese remake of Sideways, I have a small scene in that where I just go, ‘Oh, you’re that guy!’ And then that’s it. I think I say it in Japanese, and then I’m out,” Griffin recalls.
Griffin had his big break at age 11 (yes, really) as Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler’s son in Just Go With It (2011), and made waves in the Netflix true crime satire American Vandal in 2017. More recently, he’s starred in Big Time Adolescence (streaming on Hulu) as 16-year-old Monroe “Mo” Harris. Mo’s BFF is Zeke (Pete Davidson), a 23-year-old high school dropout.
Let’s get into 18 things to know about Griffin, shall we?
1. He was born in 2000 in Los Angeles, California. He has one sister, Caroline.
2. Yes, that above photo is from his mom’s Instagram. Griffin’s mom Karin Beck is a producer. She has 47 tweets and here is her first-ever tweet:
— Karin Beck (@KarinBeckGluck) February 6, 2017
3. His dad, director Cellin Gluck, is Japanese and Jewish. Cellin’s parents (Griffin’s grandparents), Jay and Sumi (we’ll talk more about them later), met in New York but lived in Japan and Iran. Cellin was born in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. “I grew up in Japan as a foreigner, a ‘gaijin,’ and never considered myself nothing more than simply American. I never really knew I was Asian until I came to college in the U.S.,” Cellin explained.
4. Cellin directed a film, Persona Non Grata, about Chiune Sugihara, often called the “Schindler of Japan.” He was drawn to it because of his mixed Jewish and Japanese heritage.
5. Griffin’s grandfather, Jay Gluck, was a prominent American Jewish archaeologist and historian. Jay described himself as a “Jew by temper; Buddhist [by] inclination.” Griffin’s grandmother, Sumi Hiramoto Gluck, was incarcerated in an internment camp during World War II in Rohwer, Arkansas.
6. Okay, okay, I guess this is an 18 things to know about Griffin, not his family. Griffin’s big break, as we wrote, was in Adam Sandler’s Just Go With It.
He loves posting throwbacks from the film:
We would too, if Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler played our parents.
7. He’s starred in a bunch of TV shows, like Private Practice (2011-2013), Back in the Game (2013-2014), and Red Band Society (2014-2015).
8. His biggest TV show is definitely the mockumentary American Vandal, where he plans Sam Ecklund, who helps his friend Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) investigate a crime that left 27 cars vandalized with penis graffiti. If you haven’t seen it, it is a delight. (And shouldn’t have been canceled, Netflix!!)
On American Vandal, Griffin said, “I like the characters in stories who are real and grounded and are just naturally funny without trying too hard. Those are my favorite things because that’s what I go through in my life, just being a teenager, being very funny and sad and just weird and awkward. I gravitate towards those roles that resonate with me as an actual teenager, instead of the ones that are like, ‘Oh I have to make it to prom and get there on time,’ like the usual teen stories go.”
9. Also on Netflix, he stars as Gabe in Locke & Key, a supernatural horror show. Gabe is the love interest of one of the Locke siblings, Kinsey. He was also in Tall Girl as the tall girl’s suitor, Jack Dunkleman. On his Instagram promoting the film, he wrote, “short boy in a move called tall girl.” (Griffin is 5′ 7½”, according to his IMDB.)
10. He has the range, even though he knows he plays a lot of “good guys.” As Griffin said, “Something I’ve been very conscious of is I never want to get stuck playing the same thing over and over again for the rest of my life. Obviously I look a certain way now, and I look like a teenager you can trust with your kids or to take your dog on a walk. But I also at some point need to grow up.”
11. In Big Time Adolescence, he stars alongside Pete Davidson. On working with Pete, he explained, “He and I first met at the table read, for just a brief bit and I didn’t get to know him much then. But we clicked. When we were reading, we had good chemistry back and forth. But then when we started filming was when he and I actually started to hang. I think after the first day of work, he was just like, ‘Yo, what are you doing?’ I was just like, ‘Not much!’ And he was like, ‘Word. Want to come to my room and watch a movie?’ And I was like, ‘Word!’ It just kind of went from there, it was a very natural friendship that I think helped the movie go along.”
12. He has a tattoo of a smiley face on his forearm, given to him by Pete Davidson’s tattoo artist on an airplane. “I was on my way to Minneapolis to watch Pete tape his comedy special and I ran into Snuffy, his tattoo artist,” Griffin says. “[We were sitting in] economy. I’ve got a complete stranger to my left and Snuffy’s on my right. He plugs the tat gun into the outlet between the seats. He was like, ‘Can I write ‘LOL’ on your arm?’ ‘I was like… ‘No. Just a small smiley face.’”
13. He doesn’t use Twitter often, but when he does, they are good tweets:
I will take no criticism from dudes who don't use conditioner
— Griffin Gluck (@griffingluck) September 14, 2019
You can put anything in a salad and it's still dank. Lettuce really be holdin it down
— Griffin Gluck (@griffingluck) July 19, 2019
I love when the cgi knows it's not good
— Griffin Gluck (@griffingluck) June 2, 2019
14. He starred in Why Him? alongside Zoey Deutch, Megan Mullally, James Franco, and Bryan Cranston. It was one of his favorite projects. “Bryan Cranston is the funniest, most dry humor guy I’ve ever met. He and I would mess around a lot, so that was a lot of fun,” Griffin said.
15. In 2019, he dressed as Justin Timberlake in his iconic all-denim look for Halloween. We have to stan:
16. Although he’s still a teenager, he feels like an old soul. “Honestly I feel old, in a weird kind of way. When I was like 11 I was on Private Practice, I was the only kid on set and I was there for two seasons. So I very much felt like an adult, even though I know damn well I was not at all. But I felt like one. So now I feel like I’m in my 30s or 40s. I’m just always like 10 years ahead.”
18. His dream? To have a career like Adam Sandler. “My dream is to have, I want to say, the Adam Sandler sort of experience, but to put my own spin on it, where you get to write, produce, direct, act in your own things, put a project together that you get to call your own. That’s my goal, to be able to get my hands into every facet of the industry. That’s, how you put it, my plan for world domination,” Griffin explained.