Thursday, October 13, 2011

Footloose Interview with Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Craig Brewer

Last month I had the pleasure of seeing Footloose! Yes, the second one! I was so excited to see it and my review will be coming up at the end of the week!!

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!


Moxie Reviews™ said...

Yes, sure is great that the time was changed for this! I loved reading your post and this was so great you were able to be a part of this. I would like to take my children to the remake, but I'm going to wait for your review. Looking forward to reading it! x

MommyLisa said...

Nice - what a chance to see the actors and you did a great write-up of that time.

NerdMom said...

That sounds like so much fun! I am a little worried that the dancing will b a little to sexy for it to be a family movie. But that said... I think it will be a good movie!

Liz Mays said...

Very cool that you were able to talk with them. I didn't realize until this week that Julianne was in that movie. I had seen previews but I didn't recognize her.

That being said, I can't see it. I just can't taint the 80's version.

Joy Tamsin David said...

How awesome that you were able to interview the stars! I caught a screening of Footloose this week and was surprised at how much I LOVED it!!!

Just as good as the original in my opinion (maybe even a little bit better).

And it's interesting what the directer said about John Lithgow's performance. I remember thinking the original Footloose had an anti-faith bent to it that came across in the way Lithgow portrayed the pastor.

I did not feel the same way about the remake. So in some ways the remake was better than the original.

I also liked the characters of Willard and Ariel better in the remake. I think Kevin Bacon holds his title as Ren though.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Kiyomi said...

I am very skeptical of the new one, but as long as I try and remember to view it as a different movie maybe it won't disappoint. I really like the original. I saw an expert from it on Dancing with the Stars last week and it made me want to watch the movie :)

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