A couple of weeks ago, we exclusively shared some behind-the-scenes snaps of the cast of Netflix’ binge-worthy show The Society. Missed Jack Mulhern AKA Grizz in the line up? Instantly after The Society launched, the young actor playing everyone’s favourite character in the show became an online phenomenon – especially because he didn’t have an Instagram account at first, adding to the mystery and excitement around him. A couple of weeks later he gave in and created an account, which has gained over 360k followers since. We spoke to Jack about the show, what it is that makes Grizz so loveable and what it feels like to be a meme…
How did you get cast in The Society?
I was up for a couple of other projects at the time, so I spoke to the show’s creator Christopher Keyser who pitched me the character and the vibe of the show. It all sounded tremendously exciting and I was very interested in the prospect of working with a bunch of other young actors, so I jumped at the chance.
What was your first reaction to reading the script that can be quite shocking at times?
My main thoughts were about where it was going to go. I was familiar with the concept, as most people are, but this is such a new take on it. When I first went for the project I had received the first two episodes, so I still had the mystery of where they were going to take it. Would it lead to some magical realism, or would it explore questions of social organisations and systems and how we function together? It still can go many ways.
How would you describe Grizz to someone that doesn’t know him yet?
Grizz is someone that is very near and dear to my heart. We have a lot of similarities. His attitudes towards philosophy aren’t because he wants to be the smartest person in the room, but are entirely built on his need to find autonomy and peace within himself and the situation. What I love about Grizz are his problems, the situation in which he gets to reinvent himself and the potential that he now might have years to become something he had no idea he would.
If you were put in the same situation, would you handle it like Grizz did?
Somewhat similarly yes. I think that I would have probably acted a bit more selfishly, not to say I would have behaved in a sour way when it came to the organisation. My initial impulse would be to hike out to the woods and prepare myself though, so probably similar yes. At the same time, realistically, I would’ve been linked up into a couple of different social groups and curious enough not to completely pack and run. I might be a bit more of a cold person that he is though.
The cast is very young, cool and diverse – what was it like being a part of that?
It ended up being a blast. I went in there trying to keep my head down and do the best that I could, not having any expectations of what it could become. Quite to my surprise we all ended up loving each other and having so much fun. The experience was tremendously fulfilling from top to bottom. Even the things we did when we weren’t filming were so creatively fulfilling,
Why do you think viewers responded so well to Grizz and Sam’s relationship?
I don’t know, I’m very flattered by it though! I think with Grizz you can clearly see that he’s sympathetic and that he had an evolution to make within the context of the first season. I wasn’t sure how the story would unfold for him, but I knew that if it was spun right and I got to play the character rather than the circumstances he would be a person people can identify with. He is a very genuine-hearted person so I hoped people would resonate with him, but this is really the best outcome possible. I’m tremendously grateful.
You didn’t have Instagram account up until a few weeks ago, but the demand was so high that you eventually got an account. What do you think of Instagram so far?
It’s a bit overwhelming, but it’s okay! I don’t have to be on it all the time and I am just so grateful for all the support. To suddenly have over 300k people follow me, I don’t know what that’s all about, but just being able to give people a place to communicate is great. It’s amazing to see all the fan art and the community that’s emerged. I’m still figuring it out, but I can see how it’s useful.
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There have also been quite a few memes about you and Grizz – what does that feel like?
It’s a bit ridiculous to be a meme. Seeing all the memes, the responses and all the posts on the Netflix channel was flattering, but I sort of felt like a figure of fun at first. Not in a bad way! I’m so glad people enjoy it.
Why should people who haven’t watched The Society yet tune in?
It’s such an interesting take on an age-old theme, and it’s designed to tackle the big questions first and foremost in an engaging way. It’s exciting to watch and think ‘what would I do’. The idea is that you’re not going to recognise these people in a few years, so get in now before it gets too crazy and you have to catch up…
Are there any other shows on Netflix you love?
Sabrina! I’m huge into things like ghosts, goblins, ghouls, Tim Burton. The production design alone and the colour red, that’s enough to get me to check it out.
What can we expect from you next?
I just finished a job about a week ago! So now I’m home for about a week, and then I’m finding out about a couple of things…There will definitely be things, so stay tuned…
The Society is available on Netflix now