He has nearly 5 million Twitter followers, more than 8 million Instagram followers, about 4.5 million subscribers on YouTube, and enough views on Vine, where he first made his online mark, to rival all three combined. And yet — like other social media stars — Nash Grier’s not satisifed with only creating Internet content.
Which is why he’s making the leap to the big screen. The 17-year-old stars in The Outfield, a coming-of-age story about a trio of high school varsity baseball stars struggling to figure out their futures. The film, also starring Internet personality Cameron Dallas, was written by Lydia Genner and developed and co-directed by Eli Gonda and Fullscreen’s Michael Goldfine.
“This movie, for me, is about coming to terms with who you are as a person,” Grier tells EW. “The story goes back and forth between our hardships and the decisions we have to make, but it wraps it all together very nicely.”
Of course, the move from six-second homemade clips to a feature-length film hasn’t been easy. Since moving to L.A. from his North Carolina hometown, Grier says he’s been taking hours of acting classes and reading hundreds of scripts to figure out what he really wants to do in the medium, and how to keep up an active online presence at the same time. For now, he knows he wants to make movies and, though he’s known for his comedic Vines, to “be more serious” in his acting roles.
“My goal is to transition to film,” he says. “I still want to make my Internet content and keep my audience entertained, but I didn’t know if I was going to be on the Internet forever. There’s so many ways to create and release content nowadays, there’s windows open everywhere, so I thought it would be the right thing to do to kind of jump through those windows headfirst. That’s what I’m doing.”
Watch Grier’s acting debut in the exclusive trailer to The Outfield, set to premiere this October, below. (The sneak peek will also be shown at VidCon during a screening on Friday.)