Friday, October 14, 2011

Footloose Interview Outtakes: Movie Talk

Posted By on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 5:09 PM

The final installment of the outtakes from this week's interview with Footloose filmmaker Craig Brewer will throw together a few stray bits about the movie itself:

On Approaching it Like a Revival:

I always tell people the biggest risk I ever took with Footloose was taking it seriously. But at the same time, I tell people, it's also Footloose, we're going to put some cheese on the screen. I saw it in 1984 in a theater and when Kevin Bacon started doing the angry dance there were some chuckles there too. But that's Footloose. I tried to approach it as more of a theater revival rather than act like I was rethinking the whole ting. No, I'm doing Footloose.

I remember being in high school and people wanting to put on The Breakfast Club as their school play. I felt like that on Footloose. So, I decided to change a couple of structural things and make this dialogue a little bit more me. But, how am I going to do the “Let's Hear it For the Boy” montage? How am I going to do the angry dance? It's Footloose, I can't not do those. To some extent it challenged me creatively. This is a popcorn movie, We want to be entertained. But I just chose not to focus my lens on the ultra-cheesy. What I remembered most from Footloose was this argument between Ariel and her father where she said, “I'm not even a virgin”

On Keeping the “Gymnast” Angle from the Original:

If you think about the kinds of sports kids can be in versus being in football, gymnastics is still falls into that effeminate category. No matter how much these guys may be confident, heterosexual dudes, there's still something about Southern culture where we'll accept a guy being a kicker, but gymnasts there's still a little bit of that stigma that I hope will ring true to that type of clash of cultures.

Ren McCormack is someone who's a hero who is masculine, but he does things in the movie that play against that type. One he dances, two he does gymnastics, three he as a particular type of fashion. He wants to wear a tie, he wants to look a certain way.

On Racial Diversity:

The first studio moment in my life was someone commenting on The Poor & Hungry saying, 'You know, you've got this white car thief and this black car thief. And I was like, yeah? And they said, 'Well, why didn't you explain their relationship?' What do you mean explain their relationship? 'Well, why are they getting along?' They have this wack view of the South, and it's because of entertainment.

It was something I had to inform the studio as the dailies were coming in. I remember telling them, the drive-in is going to be decidedly “urban.” It's not like it's right down the middle white and black. There may be only a few white people there too, but we shouldn't see that as racial polarization. It's a community and it has its cliques. It doesn't mean that there's a huge chasm between the two. And then I tell them, look, it's going to be different when we do the line dancing. Because I've been in those clubs and it's not like there's a ton of brothers in there line-dancing.

But I didn't have a fight with white and black on my hands in this film as much as I had a fight with Rusty [Atlanta native Ziah Colon). That is a Chick-Fil-A loving, yes-ma'am, yes-sir country girl that was born in Puerto Rico. I just felt like the movie gods threw me a gift. And it was something that she had to fight for and I had to fight for.

The resistance is that there are a lot of pretty white girls in Hollywood who would want to play that part. 'Why don't you look at some of these pretty white girls?' Because that's not what I want. That's not the South. But that's what America thinks of the South.

I'll never forget this moment. We were on a scouting tour at the high school where we filmed and I'm walking with producers and studio people. And as we're walking, we pass a group of girls who are all speaking Spanish, and they''re walking with black girls and white girls. And the executives and producers all said, 'Okay we see. We didn't know that there was this big Latino population in the South.

On Retaining the Original “Let's Hear it For the Boy,” Introduced by Little Girls Doing Barbie Karaoke:

To me that's what 'Let's Hear it For the Boy' was about. There's this weird continuum. All the girls who loved that song back in the ’80s, they're parents now. They have kids, usually girls, who are really into singing. I've got a son. He likes music, but he's not terribly into it. It's not like he wants to break out into song. But my girl, it's all she does. I felt like if we had people from the ’80s in the audience with their kids watching the little girls singing the original “Let's Hear it For the Boy” through a like a Barbie stereo boom box, I knew audiences would eat it up. And I could stick with that song through whatever montage I wanted to. There's something about the way it leads up to the chorus that makes people want to sing. When I see the movie with audiences, they're singing along with it.

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