When I first saw the preview for Geo I was taken aback. To see skaters, I grew up with working together to capture a story about the love of skateboarding and the journey for Geo is a full circle moment. If you’ve been around the sport long enough, you’ve undoubtably seen traumatic injuries, had them yourself or at the very least heard about them. Geo is about the love for skateboarding no matter what happens to you in the process.
Filled with peaks and valleys, learning to fall and fail and having to love the entire process is what skateboarding is about. It’s about finding freedom in your mind when anxiety has taken its toll. It’s about finding friendship in a sport where the artistry and kinship is more respected than the accolades and accomplishments. Skateboarding is the ultimate sanctuary for people who just want to enjoy life.
We were lucky enough to sit down with lead actor and old friend, Kylr Coffman, to learn more about the inspiration for this film.
When you hit me up and said, “Haven’t heard from you since we were lil termites!!” I was hit with a nostalgic brick! It’s so rare that I see anyone from the ULS era anymore. How have you been? What’s it been like moving to Cali?
Happy to be here. Thanks for having me, proud of you and the success of the shop. Life’s been solid over here. Moved to LA from Oklahoma straight after highschool with the dream of being an actor. There’s lot to still achieve. But at the end of the day my bills are paid and I get to call myself an actor. So forgive me if i sound corny at times, but truly living the dream.
How has it been working alongside actors like Jessica Alba and directors like Spike Lee? I know for me Spike Lee is an absolute legend I would love to meet!
Being from tiny town Mustang, Oklahoma. I didn’t know a single person who called themselves an actor growing up, or know a single soul in LA before moving there straight after highschool as a teenager. Thankful for the insanely talented artists I get to call my peers.
I think for many artists and people who work for themselves it is difficult to measure and understand successes and failures. How have you navigated dealing with success and failures as an artist?
My favorite question.
Success: It’s a tough life as an artist. Celebrate your wins *with a solid support system around that keeps you humble and grounded in the celebration.*
Failure: mistakes are cool. Kobe Bryant is my biggest artistic inspiration. Kobe has the NBA record for most missed shots. But do we think of him as the biggest failure? A true winner makes mistakes and learns from them. A real failure is someone too scared to even try. Go try, fall flat on your face, get up, and try again.
Kyle is wearing Pop Trading Company Full Zip Sweat Limoges
Seeing the preview for this movie sent chills down my spine. What is, or who is, GEO about and what made you want to be a part of this film?
Thank you. GEO is an award winning short film. Its based on the true story of a young skater recovering from a traumatic brain injury caused by a skateboard fall. It is based off the director’s (Darren) childhood best friend Georgie from Iowa who skated for Stereo. Geo suffered a traumatic brain injury from a skateboard fall that was to leave him paralyzed. He pushed against all odds to walk and even skate again before passing away unexpectedly from an aneurysm 1 year after his brain surgery. Being a skater myself, it was a no brainer to be apart of this film once I saw Geo’s story. Had to do it for Geo.
How did you get involved with Geo?
So I WASNT supposed to be Geo. An amazing producer Courtney Page contacted me and my team. I was asked to Audition for a friend of Geo. I put myself on tape, the Director Darren responded to my acting, ended up offering me the role of Geo.
The real life Georgie is half Japanese. I understand so deeply that representation matters. Especially being a half black and a half white kid that always gets stripped of my identity because I’m so white passing.
Once I got the blessing of the director Darren who was one of Georgie’s best friends, and the blessing of Georgie’s sister and family. It was game time. I was shaving half of my head and off to Iowa to film.
How has this film affected you personally and what was it like preparing for a roll to play a real person?
Geo’s spirit, story, and this whole experience will stick with me till death. How many times can I say I’m thankful before being ran over!?
As far as prep. I had like a week from booking in LA to being in Iowa filming. And the script was not done. There wasn’t time for the traditional actor prep. However, I was blessed with real life footage of Georgie teaching himself to skate again. And it’s clear from watching Geo give his all in those clips, I had to give my all to Geo and his story. There was simply no other way to do it than ripping your heart out.
I also imagine how taboo it is for Geo’s friends and family to see me portraying his story. The weight to do this justice was always there. It’s bigger than acting, Hollywood, and myself. It felt spiritual, and I’m so very thankful I got to be involved with the film in any capacity. It was challenging at times, but every single part was worth it.
We briefly talked before this interview about casting members for this film. How important was it to you to find cast members that can really skate? How was it working alongside Kyle?
I’ve said no to skate films before because they’re so corny. The director Darren Miller used to skate for Sugar skates back in the day. We knew the authenticity this film deserved. Every second we were clocking wether or not we were being authentic to the culture. This film is almost as much a love letter to skateboarding as it is Geo. Kyle Walker was a blessing during this process and he brought that next level authenticity! Without hesitation Kyle came on to set and was a star in a pivotal scene. Yeah he’s a living Skate Legend, but beyond the fancy accolades, he’s a real great friend and I’m thankful he got to be apart of this film. Shout out to Mules at the Grove big K! And above all, Hakeem Ducksworth y’all. He is one of my bestfriends in LA and getting him involved in Geo and seeing him crush his first major acting credit was beautiful to watch. He may or may not throw down the most fat kickflip front lip in the film. I have to give love to our costar Caylee Cowan. She came on the film and jumped head first into our skate world and culture. Caylee having my back through this process was an absolute gift. Then we got to have the LA premiere at the Berrics of all places. This film has truly been by the homies. To be back in Okc sharing it with the skateboard community that shaped me.. it’s beyond words.
Is there anything you directly want to say about this film? Any special shout outs?
Thank you. To anyone reading this, anyone that’s ever supported me in anyway. Thank you. And with that. I wanna end with our attention on Geo. Because this film is about something so much more than me, awards, interviews, etc. It’s about one of the most inspiring people you will ever lay eyes on. Fall down, get up. We love you Georgie. GeoForever.
The OKC premiere is this weekend, Oct 2nd at Tower is a night of celebration and including the OKC community was my first thought. Special shout out to these OKC Locals for their support. BY.E, SAGE Wellness Dispensary, Money Ruins Everything Skateshop, Lettering Express, Tower Theatre, The Daily Shred Indoor Skatepark, Richard Heart and Hex community. And final shout out. Same You Organization. A non-profit traumatic brain injury foundation focused on the recovery, prevention, support for TBI. We will be donating some of the proceeds from Oct 2nd to them.
Thank you for being a part of our community and bringing cool things to OKC. This is a beautiful thing for skateboarding. It has been a blast to get to see what all you’ve accomplished and how far you are going to go. Go check out “Geo” this Sunday at Tower Theatre using the link below!