Riley Griffiths, Super 8
Riley Griffiths of 'Super 8' | Getty

I LOVED ‘Super 8,’ the new sci-fi action flick from writer/director/producer J.J. Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg. They absolutely did everything right in this film, from not revealing the monster until a good way through the movie to choosing unknown young actors for the lead roles.

One of those gems is Riley Griffiths, who basically secured his place in cinematic history as the pudgy kid who’s passionate about filmmaking in ‘Super 8.’ His character, Charles Kaznyk, is shooting a feature film, using his friends — and the unapproachable girl (Elle Fanning) — for the cast and crew.

There’s something so true and genuine about his performance, and I wonder if it’s because he hasn’t been scarred by the Hollywood Machine yet. Man, that sounds cynical, but I really hope he stays unscarred and continues to make great movies.

‘Super 8’ is the first project for both him and castmate Joel Courtney, and it must have been such a trip. A J.J. Abrams-Steven Spielberg film for your first project!

Riley was on Conan O’Brien tonight, and he told this great story about how he couldn’t tell anyone about the project — not even his grandma — because he was sworn to secrecy by J.J. Abrams. He also told a story about playing an April Fool’s Joke on J.J., revealing how he’d accidentally lost the script in a mall and someone found it and put it online. I’m sure J.J. must have had a near stroke at the thought of it, but thankfully, Riley revealed the truth right away.

Really, all the kids in this movie are terrific. Below is a little interview with them, and Riley is the one in the middle of the back row. I don’t know what he’s got planned for his next project, but I’m sure the offers will be rolling in — and I’ll be paying attention.

Read my full review of ‘Super 8.’



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