Mason Gooding: BookSmart’s Jock Is From A Famous Family

Everybody’s talking about  Booksmart which is a coming-of-age comedy about two high school besties who are letting down their hair leading up to their high school graduation. The director, Olivia Wilde, has been getting rave reviews for the irreverent  characters that make up the cast of the film which officially opens May 24, 2019.


One of the actors, Mason  Gooding, who many may remember from the series “Ballers,”  has a show business pedigree.  His late grandfather, Cuba Gooding Sr. was once a member of the iconic R&B group The Main Ingredient.  Mason’s dad, Cuba Gooding Jr. is an Oscar-winning actor who has starred in dozens of films, and his uncle, Omar Gooding is the star of the TV series has starred in such series as “Family Time.”


Mason Gooding stars as Nick, Molly Gordon as Triple A and Nico Hiraga as Tanner in Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, BOOKSMART, an Annapurna Pictures release.
Credit: Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures



Q:  Before we get started, I just want to tell you that I knew your grandfather (the late singer Cuba Gooding Sr.)

A:  Did he behave himself? (LOL)

Q: Actually, he pulled me up onstage and serenaded me.  I was embarrassed but he got me up there in front of everyone and the crowd loved it!

A: Yes, he knew how to put on a show!

Courtesy Cashmere Agency

Q: Anyway, what attracted  to being  part of BookSmart?

A: First of all, I’d like to say that the director, Olivia Wilde, is totally amazing. She is  a phenomenal actress and the coolest person you’d ever want to meet. I auditioned and she was the one who instructed me on who the character was.

Q:  It’s mainstream but it appeals to people from different walks of life.  The film speaks to various people and new experiences.  What was one of your favorite scenes?

A: It has to be the scene with  the water balloons and confetti.  It was perfect cap to the  work we had done and we were celebrating the work that we had done together.

Q: So that was the culmination of the project. It had to be cool that it ended up that way.

A: Exactly!


Janet Pierson, Olivia Wilde, Jessica Elbaum, Katie Silberman, Austin Chute, Diana Silvers, Eduardo Franco and Mason Gooding attend the “BOOKSMART” World Premiere at SXSW Film Festival on March 10, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for United Artists Releasing)

Q:  What’s one of the takeaways about the film?

A: It brings to life that we should be accepting of other people and this film is all about that.

Q: How long were you on set?

A: I was on set about 12 days and this was the most amazing group I could ever work with.

Q; What else are you working on?

A: “Don’t Say No” and “Let It Snow”  are coming out. You may have seen me in “Ballers.” But I’m open to whatever comes my way.

Q: You’re from a show biz family. How has their prominence in the entertainment industry enhanced your career?

A: I would be wrong if  I said it doesn’t help, because they helped me navigate through the industry, but I had to be prepared.

Q:  Do you have any hobbies and interests outside of work?

A:  I love exercising, boxing and playing video games–a good healthy mix of things.