Juju Green, best known to the internet as Straw Hat Goofy, is no stranger to talking about movies all day, every day. In fact, it’s his energetic commentary on films of all genres that has endeared him to his 3.5 million followers on TikTok and made him a staple at industry events like premieres and festivals.
Now, he’s hoping to capitalize on that popularity with a new podcast, “Get Rec’d.” In the series launching Saturday, Green will chat with celebrities and film fans about both the movies they’ve made and the movies that made them.
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Scheduled guests include “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler, Daniel Kaluuya and Kane Robinson of “The Kitchen,” “Phineas and Ferb” co-creator Dan Povenmire, “Hercules” actor Susan Egan, Disney animator Eric Goldberg, “Argylle” director Matthew Vaughn, “Oppenheimer” actor David Dastmalchian and Ben Kingsley Adair of “Bob Marley: One Love.”
Green sat down with Variety to talk about how Coogler inspired him to create the podcast and how he’s hoping to craft a new path in the film industry.
You’re not new to podcasting – we previously heard you on “Geeks of the Week” with Megan Cruz. What made you want to start fresh with “Get Rec’d,” and how did you decide on the focus for the project?
I kind of I fell in love with podcasting when I did “Geeks of the Week” — getting your friends together to just talk about one thing that you love, and that’s movies. I really wanted to create a space where people can connect, because I feel like movies, just like food and music, are how we as human beings connect with each other, how we understand each other and how we connect with the world. You can find a lot out about people just by what their favorite movies are, and the movies that made them who they are.
I just love fostering a place where we can have those conversations. And I feel like recommending those movies that are integral to who you are can be really cool for people who are fans of movies to not only connect with those films, but connect with the people who love them as well. Plus, I just wanted to have something that was mine and that was created by me.
You’ve already got a stacked lineup of guests. How did you begin to craft the dream roster of who you’d speak with on the podcast?
When I started TikTok and talking about movies, I was at the I was at this red carpet for the movie “Missing” and Ryan Coogler and I were talking. I look up to Ryan Coogler. When I met him, I damn near bawled my eyes out. He was asking me what I wanted to do with this platform. And I didn’t know how to answer that. I was just having fun, making videos. But then I started doing some thinking, and when I came up with the idea for the podcast, I said, “This is what we’re going to do with it.”
I messaged him and said, “Hey, I’m doing this thing and I’ve been thinking about what you said. I really want you to be a part of it, because, in a way, you sort of started it.” He hit me back right away and said, ‘Hell yeah.’
And then with Daniel Kaluuya, and Kane Robinson, that was a little bit of a shock when they said yes! They were promoting their new movie “The Kitchen,” which I was really excited about. Dan Povenmire and I are mutuals on TikTok, so it was just calling in a favor from a friend. It’s a little bit of making those connections beforehand, and then also just not being afraid to ask.
A lot of your fans are only used to hearing from you in short-form videos on social media. What are you most looking forward to about this longer format?
They’ll be able to see a different side of my movie analytical brain, if that makes sense. Short-form is great for getting quick information out there. It’s easy to consume, it’s very quick and doesn’t take too much time out of your day. But with this, you get the full range of what I’m thinking.
There’s no strategic words that are being used. It’s the full, unfiltered, conversational piece. A dialogue with someone else that allows other ideas to come in and like in real time be influenced by those ideas of how other people see a movie. It’s just a lot more expansive. I’m really excited for people to see that side of the way I talk about movies, because the only people who get it are the ones who meet me in person.
You’ll obviously be asking your guests about the films that influenced them the most. What are those movies for you?
“Her” is my favorite movie of all time. “Shawshank Redemption,” “Your Name,’ and ‘Spider-Man 2,” strangely enough. Those movies have altered my brain chemistry.
I’ll borrow Ryan Coogler’s question: what do you want to do with your platform next?
Now I have a better handle on what I want to do. I had no idea when he asked me that, but now I just want to make more connections and find out more about what people want to see when it comes to the film community.
One of the big things that I want to do is hopefully start a film festival of my own. Maybe a film convention. We see anime conventions all the time. There’s even a Doctor Who convention. There’s Comic-Con which is a combination of everything, but there’s really not a fan-facing movie convention that people can go to. I really want to be the spearhead for something like that.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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