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The Cast of Everybody Wants Some!! Talks Sports, Music, and the 80s

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 30/03/2016 Nell Minow

Richard Linklater calls Everybody Wants Some!! a "spiritual sequel" to his classic tribute to 1970s high school kids, Dazed and Confused. It's 1980, with all new characters, and they're in college, but just like the original it takes place in a compressed time period and there are almost no grown-ups in the story (though there is one older guy who still prefers to hang out with teenagers). And like its predecessor, it has a lot of party behavior, and a brilliantly curated soundtrack.
In an interview, three of the cast members talked about Linklater's boot camp on his ranch. They spent three weeks of rehearsal time there to develop their characters and the chemistry they would need to play members of a baseball team. They also had to learn to play guys who were in college before they were born, in a time of no cellphones, laptops, or Internet. Glen Powell, who plays the smooth-talking Finnigan in the film said, "For team building Rick dropped us in his ranch in Texas and I guess if you really want to make twelve guys best friends immediately, this is a good place to do it."
2016-03-29-1459285820-5510166-everybodywantssomeposter.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-29-1459285820-5510166-everybodywantssomeposter.jpg Linklater showed his cast some movies from the era, including Animal House, Breaking Away, and No No: A Dockumentary, the story of pitcher Dock Ellis. He made playlists of songs from the era for them, too. And he had to tell them what not to do. "No calling each other 'Dude." Wyatt Russell, who plays a mellow transferring senior with some thoughts about the importance of being comfortable with your own weirdness, said, "There were a lot of phrases and handshakes and interactions that were off-limits."
And of course they had to get used to the facial hair and clothes of the era as well. During the three weeks on the ranch, costume designer Kari Perkins assembled a collection of vintage items for them to look at, very important as the characters go to several different venues and each requires a different look. Russell explained how they put their costumes together. "The way that they set out for us to find who our characters were, part of that was through the costumes. They put all the wardrobe in a big room and kind of let us go shopping. They had hundreds of T-shirts and hats and all kinds of accessories and pants, so you went through them and said, 'Oh I wear that and that,' and by the time you got finished and sort of put your outfits together you were like, 'Oh yeah, I'm totally the guy with the space T-shirts.'"
And that included props, too. Powell said, "In the prop trailer I found the pipe and that formed a lot of my character in pre-production. It was like, 'Oh I'm a man of the world,' or at least he wants to think of himself that way, as an elder statesman. It is interesting how props and costumes kind of informed other choices. Thank God we got to do that like three weeks beforehand because a lot of those ideas about our characters and relationships would not have been possible if we started shooting on day one."
They each had separate auditions for acting and athletics, because they had to be believable as top-ranked college baseball players, not just on the field but in the way they look and move and in their understanding of the particular blend of competition and cooperation in team sports. In addition to the auditions, there were interviews. J. Quinton Johnson plays Dale, a perceptive teammate who explains some of what is going on to the new arrivals. He said that some of the actors at the interviews thought that they should show off and try to be funny or outrageous, but he decided to tell the truth: "I was so counter to everything that all those guys thought Rick was looking for. And I was like, 'I'm not a partier. I'm not terribly smooth with the ladies. I think that there was something about my honesty that Rick was attracted to."
Be sure to stay through the credits for a terrific and very funny rap number performed by the cast. Johnson said the idea came from the 1985 Chicago Bears novelty song, "The Super Bowl Shuffle." He is a musician, and, he said, "I always have my mini keyboard with me. I went in my trailer one day and kind of took inspiration from all the music that we listened to on set and I came up with this baseline and put an 80s drum pocket on top of that and I said, 'Is this beat something that we could use?''' Each actor wrote his own rhymes, and they shot it over lunchtime. Even Linklater participated, though he made sure his verse did not end up in the movie.
All three cast members agreed that the qualities that make an athlete a team player are just as important for an actor. Powell said, "There's a duality of being on a team which is really, really interesting. You're competing and being the best guy you can be but that is secondary to working together collectively. It is very similar to making a film or being an actor. A lot of actors are trying to go for the individual statue rather than the team statue. In this movie we are all going for the team statue and everybody understood that."

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