Interview With Actor Cory Grüter-Andrew, “Summer of ’84” & “Beyond the Sun”

By Ruth on September 12, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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Because of my association with Holly Carinci of Hollywords Publicity Group, I am often alerted to unique, gifted professionals within the entertainment universe that I may otherwise overlook. And in the case of Cory Grüter-Andrew, I have Holly to thank for introducing me to such an enchanting, energetic young actor. Recently, Cory and I were able to chat about two of his upcoming projects that demonstrate his versatility and prowess in the art of characterization.

photo credit: Robert Gilbert

RH: Hi, Cory, so nice to chat with you today.

CG: Same here, Ruth. Thanks for reaching out.

I’ve been watching all the Instagram posts about the making of your movie Summer of ’84. Probably because I’m a huge fan of Tiera Skovbye,  Ali Skovbye‘s sister. I know Ali from When Calls the Heart.

That’s cool.

And now, of course, I’m following this film because of you, Cory. Incidentally, I was so excited to see you in Okja. My daughter and I both loved your role.

That was such a fun role.

And I recently saw Manny Dearest and noticed you in that as well.

Oh, that’s great!

So lately, I’ve been seeing you and your works getting promoted quite a bit. And I finally get a chance to chat with you. My understanding is you have two upcoming movies, and your respective characters could be described as polar opposites.

That’s a good way to describe these two roles, I think.

Speaking of Summer of ’84, what is the story behind you getting that role?

When I first auditioned for the movie, I auditioned for the lead character, Davey. While I didn’t get that role, they asked me to read for another character, Curtis Farraday. Of course, I was happy to do that. I did a self-tape for that role, and afterward, they gave me some directions, leading me to making another self-tape for that role.  Next, they brought me into the audition room and I met one of the producers, Jameson Parker, who is a really nice guy. About a week or two later, I got a call from my agent saying that they would like to offer me the role of Curtis Farraday. And quite happily, I agreed.

Cory Grüter-Andrew behind-the-scenes as Farraday in Summer of ’84

From what I understand, this movie is a throwback to the ’80’s, which seems to be a current trend in TV and films. While I know you didn’t live through the 80’s, I sure did. Is there something about the 80’s that you really like and appreciate?

Well, one thing about the 80’s that really catches my interest is the fashion sense back then. I saw a lot of that in this film. I was looking at all the outfits that our costume designer, Florence Barrett, was able to get, and I was just amazed. I wondered how she was able to find them. It was crazy. There were all these neon, sparkly, poofy pants–the style just blew me away. I was fascinated to see the difference between modern-day fashion and the 80’s.

Oh yes, and you add the wild hair colors and hairstyles–I remember those well. So what can you tell us about your character and Summer of ’84 without giving away too much?

Curtis Farraday is not the most confident of people when it comes to speaking his mind, but his mind is huge. He’s considered the “smart one” of the group. He’s quite meticulous about things, and if you look at Farrady and the character “Eats” {Judah Lewis}, they are total opposites. But Farrady is someone who looks up to “Eats” Eaton.

So how would you describe the dynamic between the older and the younger people in the movie?

I would describe it as Stand By Me kind of feel.  There’s a group of four boys, and we team up to catch a killer. I would say that the main focus of the storyline is Davey as played by Graham Verchere.

Had you previously worked with any of the cast and crew of Summer of ’84?

You know, it’s kind of a funny story. I knew Graham personally because we went to the same school when we were younger. He was a grade lower than me, but I knew him for the five years I was there. He was the only familiar face that I saw when I walked onto the set. But it was great to meet so many new people. It was an awesome experience.

What was it like leaving that set at the end of your shooting?

Oh, I had so much fun shooting this film! It was disappointing to say goodbye to everybody because I honestly felt like we were all genuinely friends with each other. I understand we were co-workers, but it was more than that. Throughout the filming, we had become very good friends with each other, so it was really sad to say goodbye.

It sounds like they need to bring you guys all back together for a sequel.

Oh, that would be exciting.

Of course, I don’t know if the movie would lend itself to that, but what about Summer of ’85? Maybe a whole franchise of films?

Oh, I would definitely be agreeable to that. It is a very special group, and I feel like I’ve made lifelong friends.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have Beyond the Sun. I think Summer of ’84 is classified as a thriller, and Beyond the Sun has a much different emphasis.

Yes, Pope Francis asked the filmmakers to develop a movie for children that relays the message of Jesus from the Gospels. He said that he was willing to participate in the movie to support charity, so all profits from the film will be donated to two Argentinian charities — El Almendro and Los Hogares de Cristo, which provide help to kids who are “at risk” and young adults who are in need.

Grüter-Andrew filming Beyond the Sun

That’s amazing, Cory. How did you get involved with this project?

I sent in a self-tape for the roles of Tom and George, and I ended up getting the role of Tom. As a result of the self-tape, they requested a Skype call with me where I was able to meet one of the directors,  Graciela Rodriguez Gilio. That was quite a call as she was in Argentina, and I was in Canada.  It was definitely a pleasure to meet her.

Was this your first time going to Argentina?

I had never been to South America before at all, so this was really exciting for me. I wanted to explore the cultures and the people there as well as the scenery. I was really lucky to be shooting in the town of San Martin De Los Andes, which is right on the border of Chile. We had such beautiful views of the Andes Mountains. It was stunning! And I know this experience is going to stick with me for a long time.

How long were you shooting in Argentina?

I was actually below the equator for about two months. We had weekends off, and so that’s when we got to explore the town and meet the people there.

Cory Grüter-Andrew enjoys Argentina.

What can you tell us about your character and how he relates to the story of the film?

I play Tom, the oldest of the five kids, and he always leads the group to wherever they’re going to next. He is a confident one. Quite different from Curtis Farraday. {laughs} Not only is he confident, but he cares about the people around him. He wants the best for everyone in his group, but he doesn’t always know which decision to make. He often gets caught in between the two possible decisions in his mind. But at the heart of his character, he is a leader and he takes that role very seriously. While the movie doesn’t necessarily show evil, it does show the conflict of decision-making for children. It emphasizes always trying to do the best for people and leading them in the right direction. Sometimes a different way might be easier, but as we know, the easy way doesn’t always work out very well. It’s all about doing the right thing, and it is a family-friendly movie.

Was there anything in the filming of Beyond the Sun that impacted you personally?

It was my first lead role in a film, and it really taught me how to do things the right way. I had to be the leader of this group, and it really taught me the importance of stepping up and making a decision when no one else will and trying to do what’s right for the people around you, very much like my character, actually.

Wow, Cory, what an amazing takeaway. Thank you for sharing. {pause} Now it’s been said that there is a possibility that you and the cast might get to meet the Pope. Any word on that?

I have not heard anything about that at this point, but I would be honored to have the opportunity to meet the Pope.

I so hope that does work out for you, Cory. And let me say it was a true pleasure finally getting to chat with you. I have heard so much about you, and now I’ve gotten to put a voice with this amazing person I keep hearing about.

Aw, thank you, Ruth, that’s so nice of you. And thank you for taking the time out of your day to talk with me.

Although this was the first time I have ever chatted with Cory, I was extraordinarily impressed with his demeanor, energy, and profound grasp of what is required to thrive in an industry that is incredibly competitive and sometimes a bit churlish. In spite of any negativity that may come Cory’s way, his maturity far exceeds his years, and he always maintains his cheerful disposition and positive outlook. Furthermore, while both roles Cory and I discussed could be described as diametrically opposite, there is no doubt in my mind that Cory has the innate ability to portray each of the characters equally well with both authenticity and substance. In my opinion, Cory possesses the necessary qualities and talent to continue to flourish in the entertainment business, and I greatly anticipate what is yet to come for this enterprising young man as more opportunities come his way. So please take a moment to check out all his links below. And should the occasion to view either of these films come your way, be sure to take advantage of that moment and support this young man who has the ability to touch lives and even change minds for the better, thus improving this reinless world of ours.

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

2 Comments

  1. Holly Carinci September 12, 2017 Reply

    What a fantastic interview, Ruth! Thank you very much!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Ruth September 12, 2017 Reply

      My pleasure, Holly! Thank you for introducing me to such nice actors!

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