I met with several other social media people at the Grand Hotel in Minneapolis. We were there to have a round table discussion with Kenny and Julianne first and Craig second. I was so glad that they bumped the interview back because the construction in Mpls made me late.
I had no idea how I was going to respond to sitting at a table with Hollywood actors. Would I act like a total dufus or would I be composed. Thankfully when they walked in, I just put on my Mom Blogger face and kept my composure! Thank goodness!
Julianne sat next to me with Kenny right next to her. I was so amazed at how down to earth they were as they answered each of our questions! One by one we went around asking a single question. Here's what I learned about both of them:
They didn't watch the movie as they were filming. They had seen it before, but avoided it so there would be a lot more substance.
Neither felt pressure recreating the roles while they were filming because they trusted Craig's direction. Now that they're doing the pre-release tour they're both pretty nervous. (I would be too with people having such strong feelings about the remake)
Kenny said they had amazing acting coaches and he watched James Dean footage to help him with his character. Julianne mentioned she related to Arielle and just from life experiences had things to draw from.
Both Julianne and Kenny have a background in dance, although different styles. In the movie, Julianne said it was more sexy without precision and with the first dance scene there was grinding and really sexy. Craig just let them be free.
Julianne loved filming in GA with all the different cultures. It also helped that it was only about four hours from her home in Nashville. Kenny is from Boston and in the original Footloose, Ren was from Chicago. They allowed Kenny to stay with his natural accent and just changed where he was from.
They both felt this movie proves they can act. Julianne didn't want to go immediately into another movie that involved dance, but Rock of Ages came along and couldn't pass it up.
Unfortunately, our time with them was short and sweet because they were running to catch a flight. I have to say, I was so impressed with both of them. They were down to earth and easy to talk to. Felt like we should've been sitting at Starbucks chatting over coffee. I told them I felt whoever had cast them had done a great job and chose the right people.
Next came Craig Brewer. If you want to find out what happened before I met him face to face, you'll have to go read my Wordless Wednesday last month. Let me start off by saying Craig reminds me of your favorite neighbor who always invites the block over for a BBQ.
Craig had initially declined directing this movie. After seeing it, I'm glad he decided to take it over!
I asked him about the religious aspects of the movie and if he's concerned about repercussions from the religious community. He didn't think so. Craig felt like John Lithgow's portrayal was very "fire and brimstone". He realized that this new version didn't have the same vibe. He didn't want to "demonize the faith or demonize the parents" being a parent himself.
Being a parent changed Footloose for him. He started the movie off seeming silly and fun, but then "punched them in to face" with the accident.
Craig moved the movie to the South instead of being shot in Utah. It's home for him. He wanted teenagers to look like teenagers today. He was very particular about how they looked and not just pretty kids. He likes real looking kids.
He likes that Ren is feared by the people in the town. The fact of the matter is he's offered drugs and he says "no", Arielle asks him to kiss her and he says, "someday", he wants to take her to the dance, he asks her father. He's a good guy.
Craig realizes that there are a lot of haters out there because he's remade a movie that some have said shouldn't have been remade. He understands that, but he's past that now. He knows Kevin Bacon weren't stars when the original was made. He knows that it will just take people seeing it to get over the baggage.
My review will be coming up on opening day so you'll be able to see what I thought of the new Footloose!