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Who Plays Griffin In 'The Last Summer' On Netflix? New Details On K.J. Apa

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Who Plays Griffin On Netflix's 'Last Summer?' New Details On K.J. Apa

Netflix's latest rom-com The Last Summer follows a group of Chicago teenagers in the summer just after they've all graduated from high school. While most are heading off to college, not all are sure exactly where. K.J. Apa's character Griffin is one of them. His slick, douchebag dad pulled some strings and got him into Columbia, but what Griffin really wants to do is go to the prestigious Berklee College Of Music — where he was also accepted. Griffin is the main male character in the movie that makes us nostalgic for the easy days of the summer we were 18. Weren't those the days? Who plays Griffin on The Last Summer and why does he look so darn familiar?

1. He plays an iconic character on TV

If you've been scratching your head and wondering where you've seen K.J. Apa before, let me help you out there. He plays Archie on The CW's Riverdale. He looks different without the signature bright red hair of the comic book character. We can't imagine anyone else as Archie now, but back when director David Rapaport was casting the show he passed on Apa. He told Entertainment Weekly"he didn't seem prepared." Rapaport and his casting team auditioned a bunch of other young men for the role of Archie and then decided to give KJ another chance. Of that second audition, Rapaport said: "He came back in and his read blew me away. Sometimes people have bad days and you miss something."


A post shared by KJ Apa (@kjapa) on Apr 20, 2019 at 3:17pm PDT

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2. He's from New Zealand

K.J.'s full name is Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa. He was born June 17, 1997. His father Keneti is Samoan and a chief (matai) of his village in Samoa. His mother Tessa is a European New Zealander. K.J. has two older sisters. He went to high school at King's College in Auckland before starting his acting career on the prime time New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street. In 2016, he was cast as Archie Andrews and headed to North America. 


A post shared by KJ Apa (@kjapa) on Jan 31, 2019 at 7:46pm PST

3. He is a musician

Like his character in The Last Summer, K.J. is a musician. When he was 14, he recorded his first album. He hopes to bring more music into his acting career over time. He loves the Eagles, the Grateful Dead, and Smashing Pumpkins. He's into a number of different genres including rock, jazz and funk.


A post shared by KJ Apa (@kjapa) on Feb 21, 2019 at 10:48pm PST

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4. He has a lot of tattoos

K.J. told People that he's obsessed with tattoos. He has quite a few of them. He said: “My grandmom and my mom both have the same bee, and I got the wreath around it when I was actually waiting for another tattoo that is on my left shoulder. I’m addicted to them — I love tattoos, I love the art of them, and I love the experience of getting them.” When he is at the tattoo shop, he's in the zone. “I’m straight in there,” he said. “I don’t think about it, otherwise, when you think about it you might end up changing your mind.”


A post shared by KJ Apa (@kjapa) on Jan 10, 2019 at 2:15pm PST

5. How did he get that scar?

If you've spent any time staring into K.J.'s eyes —and why wouldn't you—you've noticed the horizontal scar between his eyebrows. Last year, Cole Sprouse hacked K.J.'s Twitter and playfully said that Marmite caused his scar. Marmite is a yeast extract spread popular Down Under. Sprouse was just goofing around however. K.J. actually got the scar on a trampoline. 

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6. His next role

Next up, K.J. plays Niko in Altar Rock, a film based on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. He plays the brother of the bomber. 


A post shared by KJ Apa (@kjapa) on Dec 20, 2018 at 10:32am PST

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.