Jack Griffo is no stranger to the spotlight. The actor—who turns 20 on Dec. 11—landed his first big break back in 2013, when he was cast as the lead suburban kid with superpowers in Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans. He already had a strong following after sharing covers of his favorite songs on his YouTube channel for years, and since then, the multi-hyphenate has gone on to amass more than 1.5 million followers on Instagram alone. Next up, Griffo is set to make his big screen debut alongside Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds in their upcoming film, Apple of My Eye—not to mention, his hit series just returned for its fourth season.
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Griffo recently stopped by InStyle’s New York City offices to chat all things music, movies, men’s fashion, and more. Scroll down for 7 things we learned about the star during our chat.
1. He can take a good joke, especially about his hair.
“Fans want to touch my hair all the time and run their fingers through it. I just say, ‘Go ahead. Go for it to your heart's content.’ There's so many hair jokes in my show now. But it comes with the territory, I guess!”
2. He’s an emo kid at heart.
“My favorite band is Dashboard Confessional, which was the first concert I went to when I was 12 years old. I learned a bunch of their songs when I started to play guitar, and that's how I got into music. I’m also a big Green Day fan. I mostly listen to older bands—I rarely listen to new music that’s out right now, but 24K Magic by Bruno Mars is really good, and Jon Bellion has a great album called The Human Condition.”
3. He plans to release his own new music eventually.
“When I first booked The Thundermans, I had a YouTube channel where I would put up covers. But then I started focusing on the show. I was still playing music around 17, and it became more and more important to me, actually. It was ironic because the fans were like, ‘You don't care about music anymore. You just kind of left it high and dry.’ When, really, it's that it became so important that I didn't want to do anything just yet without it being real and organic and something that wasn't pressured. So now I'm just kind of waiting—finding my sound, finding my voice. Figuring out what kind of music I want to do. Part of me wants to be in a band and part of me wants to be on Broadway.”
4. He’s a TV junkie.
“Black Mirror is so good—it's really just amazing. I watch Family Guy every day. I just put it on when I'm in the kitchen because I find it so funny. And then Game of Thrones is a go-to, obviously. I can't wait for the last season.”
5. He appreciates a good skinny jean.
“I love shopping, and I love clothes. I wear a ton of AllSaints, Rag & Bone, and Diesel, and G-Star has been my go-to brand since I moved to L.A. I loved fashion so much as a kid that I wanted to wear the designers brands at 13 years old, but I wasn't big enough yet—so I wore girls’ skinny jeans. I couldn't wear the men's, because my waist was twenty-five inches and I couldn't fit into them, so I would just buy girl jeans from G-Star. My friends would ask where I got them, and I'd be like, ‘I don't know, man. I just found 'em.’ I eventually felt more comfortable and began telling people that they were girl jeans. Luckily when I turned sixteen, I got a little bigger and started wearing the actual jeans that I should be wearing.”
6. He has a major sweet tooth.
“I’m a big ice cream guy—and I love brownies, too. If the first dessert that I order doesn’t hit the spot, I don’t hesitate to order another one. I’ll even blend them together and make up a new dessert concoction of my own.”
7. Growing up in Hollywood shaped the person he is today.
“It definitely threw me into a world that I wasn't ready for,” said Griffo. “I moved to Los Angeles with my mom when I was 13 years old to start training, and then I booked the show when I was 16. Ever since then, I've had a steady job—you get thrown into it and suddenly, you have all these responsibilities. You’ve gotta be prepared, well-slept, and fed. It sounds simple, but I'll go all day without eating at work and not even realize it. All of a sudden, I never saw my parents anymore when I was 16. I would leave before they got up in the morning and see them when I got home, after they were done with dinner. That life definitely shapes a certain type of individual, in a good way. I'll carry that work ethic into the next chapter, whatever that is.”