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‘Footloose’ stars tell it all

September 22nd, 2011

The Carroll News: How is it dealing with all the pressure of remaking a beloved classic like “Footloose”?

Julianne Hough: If I wasn’t confident, we wouldn’t be promoting this movie the way that we are.  I really am so proud and I think the people that saw the original are going to be impressed and I think people that for those who haven’t seen it, they’ll be surprised.

CN: You had mentioned earlier that this new production modernized the film a bit, how true is the film in terms of the original?

JH: It’s very true. Craig Brewer had on his script blue tabs and white tabs. And everything that he kept from the original was tabbed blue, and then things he changed were tabbed white. And you would be surprised how much of the script was actually blue, literally word for word.

CN: Lori Singer originated the role of Ariel that you’re playing. How did you go about looking at the character to make it your own?

JH: One thing that I felt like I missed from Ariel in the original film was, I felt like she was just kind of a bad girl and she was a trouble-maker. But I really wanted it to be my own. When we were shooting this movie, we really felt like it was our own movie, that this was the first time we were ever shooting this movie, and the scene, and these characters.

CN: How would you describe the on-screen relationship between you and Kenny compared to Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer’s of the original film?

JH: I felt like Lori Singer was a little bit [nasty]. She was kind of a bratty teenager. But the one thing that Kenny and I had that kind of just helped us right from the get-go was our chemistry because of our dancing.  We kind of just got together [in our audition] and freestyled.

The Carroll News:  What anticipation do you hold for the release “Footloose”?

Craig Brewer: I had to make peace with the fact that there was going to be a wall of hate coming my way. But to some extent, that’s the prayer that I gave to “Hustle and Flow” and “Black Snake Moan” on every day of my shoot. I’ve known people coming up to me later and saying, “I saw your movie on TV,” or, “I saw your movie on DVD, and it was really good. Had I known that it was going to be like that, I would’ve gone to see it in a movie theater.” To some extent, that gives me a little bit of peace with “Footloose” because I have never been more confident in my life as a director that I nailed a movie.

CN: What was it like working with two main characters that are very talented in dancing.

CB: I didn’t feel like there had to be a learning curve or that there had to be too much discussion. I don’t want these guys to look like they’ve been dancing their whole lives. And I don’t want there to be choreography where everybody’s moving in unison, as if to make it seem like this isn’t real.

CN: What were some of the creative decisions you made as a director in terms of adding elements to the movie that you modernized to make it appeal to today’s audience?

 CB: We’ve done one major change, which is we really show everybody why these laws were put into place. Dancing inappropriately is one of them. So, in terms of the changes, I think that, other than that we’ve moved the accident up front, not many kids from Boston come down and switch up with some kids from Georgia, which is a refreshing thing to explore.

CN: Did you have any reservations about doing this remake?

 CB: I passed on the movie twice. But, I passed on it because I was like a lot of other people; I saw how they were going to be making it. They kind of got the same team that had made “High School Musical” and I shook my head saying, “I don’t know what they’re going to do with that.” But, “Footloose” is more than a dance movie, and I think I was particularly worried that a spoof was going to be done, that it was just going to be like a dance movie that somebody threw the name.

Claire Olderman and Mitch Quataert both contributed to this article.