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JACK GRIFFO

Evolution Of A Superhero: Inside & Out

by Brent Lambert

Cover and Color Photography: Amanda Peixoto-Elkin
Black & White Photography Vanessa Viola

This issue is available Print on Demand here + Full Digital preview below:

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The greatest definition I’ve ever know for ‘good luck’ is this: it’s what happens when preparation meets opportunity. It’s one thing to win the lottery — that’s purely a game of chance — but it’s entirely another to work hard in life and be ready when those big doors of opportunity open before you. It’s only the person who is trained and prepared who will reap the full rewards of that good luck in the long run. Such is the case of Jack Griffo, who, for the past four years has played Max Thunderman on Nickelodeon’s hit show, The Thundermans. I had a chance to catch up with Jack recently, where he chatted about his innate passion for fashion, his love of music festivals, and saving lives in a hot, PAPER desert.

BELLO: Hi Jack, so you just got back from Coachella?
JACK: Yeah, well, technically, I’m standing outside my place right now about to leave for Coachella again.

BELLO: Wow, you’re going back?
JACK: Yes, I’m going back! Back to the desert. Last week I didn’t really go to any of the music, it was mainly for the events and parties. I went out and stayed at my friend Ariel [Winter]’s house and we partied for the weekend. But this weekend I have my festival pass and I’m going for the music.

BELLO: Did you have any “pinch me I must be dreaming” moments last weekend that were your favorite?
JACK: Last weekend was crazy! It was a full schedule, I did a lot of stuff. Oh my God, PAPER magazine had a crazy party. It was so hot out that someone in my group even collapsed. He literally fainted, and when he got up he was so out of it he didn’t even recognize us anymore. I actually took a few first aid courses so I’m certified in first aid and was able to help him. Then I called 911 — the only time I’d ever done it — and it was at the PAPER magazine party at Coachella. The paramedics came quickly and everything was fine. But it was quite dramatic.

BELLO: So you’re definitely the guy people want to hang with at parties in the scorching hot desert.
JACK: I mean, I definitely popped into action when I saw this guy was in trouble, for sure.

BELLO: Then you don’t just play a superhero on TV, you’re a superhero in real life, too?
JACK: Exactly [laughing].

BELLO: You’re actually quite a musical talent as well. Do you ever dream of playing a venue like Coachella someday, or will it always take a backseat to acting?
JACK: That would be crazy awesome. I definitely dream of that happening in the future. I’m still trying to work that out. Music has been part of me my whole life — I’ve been in musical theatre, I started playing guitar when I was 11, I’ve always been really musical. So I’m still working on it. I’m finding my style, my sound. But I’m just really focused on acting right now. I’m doing season four of The Thundermans right now, going to acting class all the time, and kind of getting ready for the next step, whatever that may be. I’m continuously working, working on getting better at my craft.

BELLO: You’re right, it’s been four years since you’ve been on the show, and you’re a Nickelodeon veteran at this point. What was the most important thing you’ve learned from your TV experience so far that you didn’t know when you started?
JACK: That’s a great question. During season one I was really getting used to everything, and during season two and three I would say I was taking the show for granted a little bit. I was in my own mind and wanting to do other things. I was only seventeen, eighteen at that point. After that period I really grew up fast and came to love what I was doing, and realized I had a great gig. I love everyone on set so much, and by the end of season three I felt so grateful to have that job. Then we went on break and came back for season four which was just the best. I’m really happy to have gone through such a rewarding evolution on this show. It feels like a win-win situation right now, because if the show gets picked up for season five I get to come back, which brings with it great security, professional growth, and the show’s 100th episode, too. And if season four is the last, then I’ll become more available for auditions and dozens of other things on the horizon.

BELLO: When do we know if there’s going to be a season five?
JACK: When we come back to work next week we have four more episodes to shoot, then we’re done at the end of May. So I’m hoping, and my team seems to think, that we should know at some point in May.

BELLO: You’ve been on The Thundermans for a while now. Do you ever get to collaborate with the writers on story ideas for your character or the show in general?
JACK: I’m not much of a writer myself, but I do get to talk quite often with the show’s creator, who is amazing. But over the years there have definitely been moments where I’ve had some of my ideas worked into the script — whether it be about girls, or having a band, or other little details. Things that make it personal.

BELLO: Speaking of personal, your Instagram has some pretty killer fashion moments. Do you work with a stylist, or is that something that’s entirely your own?
JACK: Yeah, sometimes I do. Mostly for the big events, and that’s it. Very rarely do I ever work with a stylist, to be honest. I’m just really into fashion, and I really love clothes. So most of the time what you see on my Instagram is all me coordinating the looks. But stuff like the KCA’s or the Radio Disney Awards which are coming up — I’m working with a stylist for those. It’s so great to be working with stylists who are so good at what they do.

BELLO: So I imagine you’ve built an impressive wardrobe then?
JACK: Thank you! I was always the kid back in elementary school in Florida who had the massive collection of shoes, and I had the biggest closet, simply because I’ve always loved clothes ever since I was a little kid. I used to have a costume box, too, and would dress up in my Batman, Superman, and Indiana Jones outfits. And as I got older that evolved into fashion.

BELLO: If you were forced to choose just one piece out of your whole wardrobe, what would it be?
JACK: It’s funny that you say that. I have this one pair of overalls from GSTAR, one of my favorite brands, and it’s probably my favorite piece right now.

BELLO: A few months ago you did the #30DayChallenge with Nick Bateman. Tell us about that.
JACK: You know what’s funny about that? I started that with Nick then I got super sick and couldn’t finish it. I did start it though, but Nick is in such amazing shape, and he goes hard in the gym all the time. He’s such a great guy. We met about a year ago now, shooting Apple Of My Eye in Florida.

BELLO: So have you kept up with the fitness regimen at all?
JACK: I haven’t worked out in a while, to be honest [laughing]. The thing is, when I do work out, I work out really, really hard — almost everyday. But when I don’t, I just won’t do anything. Maybe I’ll do some pushups at night but that’s about it. But I’ll get back in there soon.

BELLO: Summer’s right around the corner and you’re almost on break. What’s on your summer agenda?
JACK: That’s a good question — hell if I know [laughing]. I’m going to be off at the end of May, and I know there’s a possible Europe trip in the works. There’s also a lot music festivals coming up, like one in Wisconsin, which is where my girlfriend is from, so I’m really excited about that. There’s also the Governor’s Ball Festival and the Panorama Festivals coming up in New York. Childish Gambino will be at the Governor’s Ball and Frank Ocean will be at Panorama — two of my favorite artists.

BELLO: What did you think of Childish Gambino’s latest album?
JACK: Oh my God, it was so good. And Frank Ocean’s Blonde was amazing too. I haven’t seen either of them live, and I’ve been huge fans of both of them for years now. So it’s going to be a great summer of music, that’s for sure.

BELLO: Have an amazing time!
JACK: Thanks so much!

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Color photography Amanda Peixoto-Elkins @amandapeixotoelkins

Black & White photography Vanessa Viola @vanessaviolaphotos

Styling: Adena Rohatiner

Styling asstistant: Julie Fenigstein

Grooming: Darielle Rose

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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