Sam Lerner is not the pushover he plays on The Goldbergs. He’s also not the punk he plays in the newly released thriller film Truth or Dare. He plays them both very convincingly, but in person Sam is kind, assertive and funny. All qualities that helped him be the perfect fit to join the family business. He is one of several talented, established actors in his family and doesn’t hesitate to give them thanks for the wisdom and support they’ve shown to him along the way.
Truth or Dare premiers this weekend and we DARE you go see it. You’ll be on the edge of your seat the whole time or maybe hiding behind it. Either way it’s blast and Sam knocks it out of the park!
Where are you from?
Sam : I am from Los Angeles, California.
What’s the furthest you have ever been from home?
Sam: Tokyo. I went to Japan a year ago with like five of my best friends. It was really fun.
What’s your least favorite household chore?
Sam: It’s got to be laundry. I hate folding. I’m really bad it. All my stuff is so disorganized.
If you could try out any other career, what would it be?
Sam: I would probably be a chef. I’m super into food. I’m not a great cook at all, but if I could be good at something, I would get better at and do that.
If I gave you a million dollars to do something charitable with, what would you do?
Sam: Good question. If you gave me a million dollars to do something charitable with, I would help homeless kids. That always gets to me.
What inspired your acting career?
Sam: My dad. He is also an actor. He’s been acting for 40 plus years. I’ve always wanted to do it. I started young, and it’s going okay now, so I’m sticking with it.
Do you remember your first professional opportunity?
Sam: My first professional opportunity was playing Ben Stiller’s son in this movie called Envy that was terrible. I think it has 7% on Rotten Tomatoes. I was just a cute nine-year-old kid who had to say a couple of lines. It was fun. The cast was crazy. It was Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Christopher Walken, Amy Poehler, Rachel Weisz. Just insane. I didn’t know who any of them were. I was just a nine-year-old kid.
Was it intimidating?
Sam: It was pretty easygoing, just because I was young and didn’t really know what I was doing. I don’t know, I just remember being like, “Okay, I like doing this,” and I stuck with it.
If you could pick anyone to act alongside and share the screen with, who would that be?
Sam: I don’t know, that’s tough. I’ll give just my normal answer. I just want to work with Seth Rogen on anything. He’s great, and I just love him and all his stuff.
Do you have a favorite career moment to date?
Sam: I really liked doing this movie a couple of years ago called Project Almanac. I made some really close friends that I’m still close with now. That was really cool. It was a Michael Bay-produced time travel movie for Paramount. That was probably my favorite thing I worked on so far.
What’s your most embarrassing career moment to date?
Sam: I have a good story. One time I had an audition for one line in a movie, but it was a Steve Carell movie. I wasn’t doing anything that day, so I was like, “I would go to the audition. It’s one line, and I won’t need to work that hard on it.” The line was, “You’re ruining my life, Dad.” I’m supposed to walk in, say that, and then storm out. I go in, and I really didn’t work on it because I was like, “It’s one line. How am I going to forget it.” Sure enough, I forgot it. I came in, and I was just staring at the casting director.
The line was “You’re ruining my life, Dad.” I said,” Leave me alone,” and then, I stormed out. They were like, “Sam, good job. Maybe try this as scripted now?” I was like, “No, yeah I’ll just give you an impromptu because it’s one line anyway.” They were like, ” No, just do it the way it’s written. It’s one line.” I was like, “Great. Good.”
Tell us about The Goldbergs and your character on that show?
Sam: The Goldbergs is a sitcom on ABC. I play Geoff Schwartz. I’m the daughter’s boyfriend on the show. I’m just a very easygoing, really happy, super-in-love-with-her kid. That sums it up.
Do you feel like you’re similar to your character in real life?
Sam: Yes, I’m pretty similar to my character in real life for sure. He’s definitely a little more of a pushover though, so maybe I’m not as bad as that, but, yes.
You had the opportunity to play alongside your father?
Sam: Yes, I have had the opportunity to act alongside my dad. He plays my father on The Goldbergs. He’s done two episodes so far, hopefully, more next season. Yes, we’ve worked together. [chuckles] It was fun.
Tell us about Truth or Dare?
Sam: I have a film coming out this weekend called Truth or Dare. It’s a Universal-Blumhouse movie where I play this kid named Ronnie who’s a huge douche. I follow these kids to this spring break in Mexico. Then we played this game of truth or dare, and then, people start dying, and it gets really intense. I play this overly douchy, aggressive guy, and it was actually really interesting to play a character like that because I haven’t done that before.
A change of pace from being a pushover.
Sam: A bit of a stretch, yes. I usually play very socially awkward, nerdy characters, so this was fun, actually, to play something different.
If you could thank someone for helping you get to where you are today, who would you thank, and what would you say?
Sam: I would thank my parents. I know that’s not a crazy answer, but you can’t be in a career like this without their support. Especially when I started so young. They were so nice to drive me to all my auditions, take me to set, and be supportive. I think I have the best parents in the world in that sense.
Anything else you want to go OnRCRD?
Sam: I’m going to go on record and say you all should see Truth or Dare in theaters April 13th, and watch The Goldbergs at eight o’clock on Wednesdays on ABC.
Check out the trailer for Truth or Dare and be sure to go see the film in theaters!
Keep up with Sam on Instagram @samlerner
Photographer: Mario Barberio
Grooming: Kimberly Johnson
Stylist: Madison Dixon
Showroom: Media Playground PR