Will Ropp initially wasn’t thrilled by the prospect of acting – until defying gravity changed his mind. “I never had an interest in acting until I was dragged to my older sister’s summer camp (it was easier for carpooling purposes) and begrudgingly performed in a production of Peter Pan,” he reveals “I was cast as John (the dude in the top hat), and I got to fly in a harness on stage, so I was hooked. Strangely, I’ve never gotten to fly in my career since then.” His most meaningful role was portraying a young changemaker confronting the epidemic of school shootings. “I played a school shooting activist in the HBOMax film The Fallout. That was super personal to me because I grew up in Connecticut around the time of the Sandy Hook shooting. I had younger siblings in school at the time, so it really hit home for me. It was also loosely based on activists that underwent these terrible traumas, so it was important I did it right.” You may recognize Will from The Way Back, which taught him valuable lessons about Hollywood. “Famous people are just people. Everyone goes through the same shit: sadness, excitement, disappointment, etc. It put the industry in a more obtainable perspective for me. It also taught me how to be a professional; it was the first thing I had done on that scale, a studio movie. I learned how to work with an ensemble, give and take, and really commit yourself to what is ultimately most important: the film. I’m grateful to everyone on that set – especially Gavin O’Connor, Ben Affleck, and Wendy O’Brien.”
Will plays Kevin McLoone in his latest film, The Greatest Beer Run Ever. “It’s an incredible true story about a young man, Chickie Donahue, in Inwood, New York, during the 1960s who decides to bring his buddies in Vietnam a beer as a sign of support and friendship. My character Kevin is one of Chickie’s buddies whom he gives the beer to. He finds Chickie in the MIDDLE of the jungle during a pivotal part of his journey. It’s a wild story, and I highly recommend the book it’s based on if anyone wants a thorough understanding of the story.” The cast formed a lasting bond amongst one another. “Everyone was amazing. Zac Efron was one of the best scene partners I’ve had the chance to work with. He’s so open to any and all ideas thrown his way and super down to make the scene as real as possible. I have also become lifelong friends with the guys in this movie, and I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to take part.” Like Chickie, Will would do anything for his friends…with some limits. “I mean, I wouldn’t kill anyone. But most things, yes.” The film emphasizes how essential human connection is and the strength that it gives us to overcome obstacles. “I think friendship is one of the most important things we have. We need to build each other up and support the people we care about. At the end of the day, life is about the relationships you form, and friendship has the power to bring us together and break down barriers.” He can’t wait for his next project. “I’m on set for an Amazon movie called Sitting in Bars with Cakes, which also happens to be a true story. I’m really excited about the cast I get to work with and I think it’s going to be really special.” Whether or not he is in a harness, Will sees every opportunity as a chance to let his career soar.
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Will Ropp Believes in the Power of Friendship in “The Greatest Beer Run Ever.” Photo Credit: Ryan Orange.