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Will Ropp

Interview: Amy Bell

Photo Credit: Ryan Orange

Will’s ability to play diverse characters and his unassuming confidence and drive are being recognized quickly across Hollywood, further spearheading his career. No stranger to the small screen, Will has made guest appearances in hit series including HBO’s newest Mindy Kaling co-created drama, The Sex Lives of College Girls, Love, Victor, and Speechless to name a few. In addition to his many roles, Will has many short films under his belt, including “SCHMIK,” a short film he wrote and produced himself about a drug abuser who falls in love with a telemarketer on a spam call. 

 We got to speak to Will about his upcoming movies, what it was like working with big names and advice on upcoming actors.

Thanks for talking to ReVamp. Tell me a bit about yourself away from the cameras?

If I'm chilling at home, I'm probably watching some sort of sporting event. I'm obsessed with football - specifically the Michigan Wolverines (who made it to the college football playoffs this year!) and the Jacksonville Jaguars. I also just bought an Xbox and have been playing way too much Halo. I could also be watching a true-crime docuseries, smoking BBQ meats, or forcing myself to workout. 

What does an average day look like for you when you are shooting?

I like getting to set absurdly early because I'm terrified of being late. I also hit the coffee early and often, so much to the point where I usually need to switch to water, or I'll start shaking mid-scene. Depending on how busy the shooting schedule is, I'll usually bring a book to read in the trailer or hang out with my castmates/crew. 

You are starring as Nick Feinstein in the upcoming HBO Max film 'The Fallout.' How did your attachment to the film come about?

I think the project was pretty far along in its casting process when my agent sent me an audition for it. I taped with my roommates' girlfriend and had a chemistry read with Jenna Ortega a day later. I remember sitting in the waiting lounge with Jenna's mom, and after I auditioned, I was so blown away by her talent that I went up to her mom and was like, your daughter is SO scary good. I think she probably gets that a lot.

Can you share more about your character? The film touches on a very sensitive topic about gun violence. How does your character take part in addressing that topic?

Nick is a dynamic character because of the contrast between his goofy sense of humor and his more serious passion for activism. He handles the gun violence at his school differently than the other characters in the movie. He chooses activism as a coping mechanism and motivates himself to do everything he can so that this type of tragedy will never happen again. He's similar to the many inspiring kids who survive school shootings and go on to lobby for gun control and preventative legislation. I was instantly drawn to his passion, determination, and enormous sense of empathy for others. 

Poster Credit: Warner Bros Studios

You are starring in a new Apple original, 'The Greatest Beer Run Ever', alongside the likes of Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, and Bill Murray. How does it feel starring alongside such talented actors?

It's wild!! I grew up watching High School Musical and obviously had to tell Zac that I played his role of Troy Bolton in my middle school stage production of HSM. And now to think that I'm acting alongside him in a movie a decade later really blows my mind. He couldn't have been nicer - such a down-to-earth, easy-going dude. I'm also a huge Russell Crowe and Bill Murray fan - my character didn't have any scenes with them, BUT I'm crossing my fingers I run into them at the premiere. 

Can you tell me a bit about your character in 'The Greatest Beer Run Ever'?

My character is Kevin Mcloone. He's a young kid from Brooklyn that grew up in the neighborhood with Chicky (Efron) and served a term in the Vietnam war as a mechanic. He then returns to combat as a contractor later in the war to repair helicopters - this is when he runs into Chicky. I don't want to spoil anything, but I encourage everybody to read the book; it's an incredible true story. 

What attracted you to 'The Greatest Beer Run Ever'?

Pretty much everything about the project was attractive as an actor. Peter Farrelly is an absolute legend Oscar-winning filmmaker who had one of the warmest presences on a set I've ever experienced. The cast was completely stacked with incredible actors, and the script portrayed such an amazing story of friendship, loyalty, and determination - it was a no-brainer. Plus - it was filmed in Thailand… can't really get any cooler than that. 

How about behind the scenes? What would you say is the best part of working with the cast and crew?

I was really blown away by the director Peter Farrelly. He is comfortable communicating with his actors, and it's really inspiring to see. It's so evident that he cares deeply about his crew and the people he surrounds himself with onset. I was also so impressed by the communication between the local Thailand production unit and the USA crew that flew in. They're literally speaking two different languages at times, with a translator helping bridge the gap - and yet the teamwork and creative collaboration were seamless.

How do you feel your upcoming movies differentiate from 'The Way Back' and 'Silk Road'?

I've loved how the characters I've had the opportunity to play, thus far, have been so drastically different. As an actor, there's nothing more fun than getting to explore your range and expand your comfort zone with different characters. The movies themselves are all in different genres, making the process even more exciting. The Way Back was a sports movie, and Silk Road was a crime film. The Fallout is a young adult drama, and Beer Run is a Vietnam dramedy. These different experiences have made me a better, well-rounded actor and person.

Any advice for upcoming actors?

It's not going to fall into your lap! (Probably not). You have to put the work in. Some might call it the "hustle" or the "grind". One of my favorite filmmakers, Mark Duplass, always says "the cavalry isn't coming." Basically, this means no matter what level you reach or how much success you obtain, you still need a feverish work ethic and drive to create, act, write, produce, etc. No one is going to do it for you or care as much about a project as YOU.

What is next for you?

I just wrapped a really cool film in Texas. Not sure I'm allowed to say much about it, but the cast was unbelievable, and the whole experience was so much fun. I'm heading to Oklahoma in a bit to film another movie I'm really excited about - I will hopefully share more when I can! 

Check out the trailer to 'The Fallout' here.

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