A new set of stars is born with the rise of every social media app, but the mark of a true entertainer lies in their ability to sustain an audience as new platforms emerge. For nearly a decade, 27-year-old Christian DelGrosso has done just this, amassing millions of fans on everything from Vine to TikTok. He’s also seamlessly made the transition from social media star to mainstream movie actor. “Prior to creating content on social media, I trained for a few years in dramatic arts,” he explains.
Christian’s legions of fans will see those skills on display in his latest film, Willy’s Wonderland, which also stars Academy Award-winning actor, Nicolas Cage. “I think this is a side of me that my audience hasn’t seen yet,” he says. “I’m excited to see their reactions!”
In this exclusive interview, Christian spills on the movie, which is in theaters and on demand now, and shares his best advice for building your own social media following.
Q: Tell us about your character in Willy’s Wonderland!
A: My character, Aaron, is one of the members of the young vigilante crew set out to destroy Willy’s Wonderland! Aaron is one of the more intellectual friends in the group. He is the friend that has the answers to everything; he’s extremely sarcastic and witty. But at the same time, he shares the same values as the rest of the friend group and also wants to rid of Willy’s Wonderland.
Q: What was the audition process like for the film?
A: I actually auditioned for the role of Bobby the first casting call! Then, after the director and producers had seen my tape, they had me read for the role of Aaron and thought I fit the role perfectly. That same day, I got cast as Aaron!
Q: What was it like working with the legend, Nicholas Cage?
A: Surreal. That’s the best way I can put it. I’ve grown up watching his films and have been a massive fan. Gone in 60 Seconds, Con Air, and especially his Oscar-winning performance in Leaving Las Vegas, have all had major impacts on my passion for the craft.
Q: Do you think your fans who know you through social media will be surprised to see you in this role?
A: Definitely. Prior to creating content on social media, I trained for a few years in traditional dramatic arts in pursuit of becoming an actor. I think this is a side of me that my audience hasn’t seen yet. I am excited to see their reactions!
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring actors?
A: One thing that I have learned that has amplified the craft for me is understanding. Acting is understanding: The more you can connect to a person’s emotions, the more range you will have as an actor. Do your research, put the work in, and never stop learning.
Q: Did you have a favorite scene to film?
A: My favorite scene to film has to be the scene where we are pouring gasoline all over Willys Wonderland in attempt to burn it down. Chris is standing right next to me, pouring gasoline right where I had just poured my gasoline. We have a really funny moment, bantering back and forth at each other about how he was pouring gas ON MY GAS!
Q: You’ve got almost 4 million followers on TikTok. What are your best tips for making great content there?
A: Be authentic. Never doubt your intuition. If you have an idea and think creating that idea will fulfill you and be valuable to other people, CREATE IT. Also, never fall into the masses. Be unique with your ideas and stand out.
Q: Awesome! And last question: How are you celebrating the film’s release?
A: Spending time with my girlfriend, Kristen! I think COVID has put a real hold on any fun experiences or celebrations that we could possibly have, so we are going to make some dinner and watch the film together!