Cuba Gooding Jr’s Son Stars In His First Movie ‘Booksmart’

Written by Jerry L. Barrow

Performing isn’t simply in Mason Gooding’s blood, it appears to be his future. The son of Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. was born only a month earlier than the discharge of Jerry Maguire, the sports activities dramedy that earned his father the coveted statue the next 12 months.

“Though technically he received the Oscar in ’97, I wish to suppose I had some hand in that,” he jokes when requested if he was a great luck allure. “He at all times stated that earlier than he received Jerry Maguire [that he] associated to the character a lot as a result of and had a child on the best way, which was me, and it led as much as the proper time and ambiance to get the function. All the celebrities lined up, making it what it was. Right here’s hoping that very same good luck rubs off on me.”

Mason landed his first tv job in HBO’s Ballers in 2018, enjoying surfer Parker Jones. Throughout his three-episode arc Gooding absorbed as a lot as he might on set.

“Ballers has Dwayne Johnson in it, who’s, like, the number-one paid actor in Hollywood proper now. If he’s not primary he’s definitely quantity two,” he says. “You discover how to soak up the knowledge and use it to the perfect of your capacity. You may spend that point sitting in your trailer or you might go watch the number-one actor on this planet proper now in his craft, in his house.”


Mason introduced this work ethic with him when he landed his first function movie function within the Annapurna Photos comedy Booksmart. Veteran actress Olivia Wilde makes her function movie directorial debut starring Kaitlyn Dever (Lovely Boy) and Beanie Feldstein (Woman Chook) as Amy and Molly, two high-achieving lecturers who’re making an attempt to cram 4 years of partying into one evening earlier than commencement. Mason performs Nick, their uber-popular classmate throwing the un-chaperoned home social gathering, who can also be the item of Molly’s affection, he simply doesn’t realize it but.

“Nick is, initially, the alternative of who I used to be in highschool,” he confesses. “I spent my highschool years being the form of dorkier, much less social individual watching the cool, fashionable children transfer and the way they interacted with folks. And I studied it, so when it got here time to painting that on display screen, I used to be in the end ready to embody that form of easy cool facet that some persons are innately in a position to do. Nick is the overwhelming quantity of positivity you would like you had in highschool.”


Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever in ‘Booksmart’

Feldstein is the youthful sister to actor Jonah Hill, and Booksmart has drawn early comparisons to his 2007 hit, Superbad, about three college-bound pals making an attempt to lastly get fortunate on the final huge home social gathering of the 12 months.

“I completely see the place the comparability comes from,” says Gooding. “[But] I believe you do your self a disservice to attribute Booksmart to Superbad as a result of it units you up for a very completely different kind of expertise than you’ll get once you’re watching Booksmart. You may say the identical factor about Tropic Thunder and Apocalypse Now. They’re each Vietnam films however they’re vastly completely different of their content material. The 2 worlds really feel as completely different to me as these two movies are to 1 one other. I believe they’re each wildly enjoyable films that got down to do wildly various things. Superbad is a basic within the comedy medium, and I can solely hope that Booksmart shall be regarded again upon with the identical form of vigor for this era that Superbad did for mine.”

Whereas Mason admits to “by no means having the perfect grades,” he does know the components to throwing an excellent home social gathering and feels that Booksmart does an excellent job of capturing that essence of youthful ingenuity.

“In a home social gathering, we used what was at our disposal to the perfect of our capacity. When you watch the movie, the social gathering scene, particularly at Nick’s home, you have a look at the issues we’re utilizing. The beer pong cups, they’re not really crimson solo cups. They’re water glasses, they’re vases, they’re wine glasses. These had been highschool college students. They didn’t have jobs, in order that they’re going use what they’ve available. Once you’re 21 you may exit and purchase a case of beer, no downside. However in highschool, your enjoyable is discovering out the best way to have a great social gathering regardless of all these limitations.”


Cuba Gooding Jr. and son Mason Gooding at hockey sport in 2016 (Photograph by TM/NHL/GC Photos)

Cuba Gooding Jr. and son Mason Gooding at hockey game in 2016 (Photo by TM/NHL/GC Images)

The mother and father could also be absent for Nick’s social gathering, however Mason’s dad has been by his facet each step of the best way and conferred some key appearing recommendation to him early in his profession.

“One thing folks at all times speak about with appearing is the worry of exhibiting real emotion on display screen, and in loads of circumstances that’s crying. He instructed me so many instances have I seen younger actors pressure themselves into teary moments [with] streams of tears working down their face. However he stated if you concentrate on actual life, you don’t attempt to cry in these situations, you really attempt to pressure that down, you attempt to keep sturdy within the second, which is the place the true tragedy comes from. He stated as Goodings, we are typically very emotional creatures, very boisterous in loads of situations. If something about my dad he likes to have a great time. And he’s a loud and commanding presence, and he stated due to that, we Goodings are a effectively of emotion. And it’s not about blowing it out of proportion on a regular basis. He stated it’s about holding it down and conserving it down till the proper second comes and let it explode from you, and that’s what strikes audiences.”

In Booksmart there could or will not be tears shed (no spoilers), however we’re assured that Mason shall be prepared for no matter comes subsequent. Discover out if Nick is ready to pull off the social gathering of the 12 months when Booksmart hits theaters Could 24.


Photograph Credit score: Francois Duhamel, ANNAPURNA PICTURES, LLC.

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