Blake Jenner: Yeah, going from, you know, first moving out to Los Angeles and like working at a Burger King and a parrot shop (laughs), and auditioning for Best Buy commercials that you get cut out of… It’s pretty incredible to be able to say along with these guys, working with these guys alone, like you never think you’re gonna work with such an awesome group of people, but then you add Rick to the mix, and it’s like a dream. It sounds cheesy, but it’s like a dream come true, one hundred percent. To be able to say that we worked with that director who’s easily one of the greatest directors of our country and time in general…
Will Brittain: Totally, I mean, it’s a myth really. It’s a myth to be able to work with directors like that.
BJ: Yeah, you always hope, like hopefully I’ll get to work with somebody like that. That would be a dream. But you have no expectations so when it happens, it’s that much sweeter.
WB: For me, too, growing up in Texas, Richard Linklater’s THE guy from Texas, you know.
BJ: He’s the unsolicited mayor. (laughs)
WB: (laughs) One hundred percent. And you know, you look at McConaughey…every Texas actor that’s a male and reasonably athletic, I think, looks at McConaughey and says, “Oh man, that’s what I could do! If only someone found me, I could be the next McConaughey.” And then you get found by Richard Linklater, and you’re like “Fuck! Alright!” So it’s cool.
Q: So what was the overall atmosphere of being on set? Because the movie was very free flowing and loose and everything.
WB: Yeah, probably exactly what you’d expect.
Tyler Hoechlin: Yeah, what you see in the movie. We felt like the hard work, if you can really call it hard work because it was so much fun, the hard work was done in the rehearsal process beforehand when we spent a couple weeks with Rick on his property. We stayed in a bunkhouse, so every morning it was breakfast together, and then we’d do rehearsals for dance or practice for baseball, or we’d do a read-through of the script, some days sticking closer with the script and some days kinda throwing in ideas and thoughts. And we played with that for so long that by the time we actually started shooting, we kinda felt like we had already made the movie. We had done the scenes enough and we knew what, as Rick would call them, our ‘greatest hits’ were, so we knew what we were gonna do. So at that point it was just having everyone else show up, give us the clothes, do the hair, and actually having cameras set up to capture it, so on set it was just fun.
Q: In terms of the preparation for these roles, I feel like with a big cast like this it could’ve been easy to kind of lose a face in the crowd. But everybody has such a distinguished personality which I found really great. Was that there immediately with the script, or was that in the rehearsal process and you got to bring parts of yourself to it?
WB: Absolutely the latter, and that’s a tribute to everybody. Not just to the guys who didn’t have that many lines, which were many because there were probably only four or five characters that were like bigger characters, but also a tribute to the guys who were the bigger characters who were wise enough and generous enough to realize that their lines would be better served if someone else said them. Or that their moment would be better served if someone else were included in it, which really speaks to the humility of everyone involved.
BJ: And everybody understood when a line was given to somebody else, or when something was cut down...everybody was there for each other. There’s not one person in the whole rehearsal process that was like, “That’s mine! I want that, that’s gonna be my line.”
TH: Coming from baseball, I can always throw a baseball metaphor in there (laughs), but it’s kinda like that. It’s like everyone wanted to be the role player, and no one wanted to be the guy to come up and hit the homerun, like everyone was happy to be the guy that put down the sacrifice.
BJ: It was just as satisfying to help someone shine as it was to shine yourself.
Q: Did any of you play sports in high school or college, and did you have a similar experience to what you showed in the movie? Did it reflect what you actually experienced or was it different in any way?
TH: I played baseball through college, so this was kinda going back to the glory days for me and reliving it, and having a little bit more fun than I had in college. I was the very, very focused athlete. You know, I would party on my one party day that we had, but I was also like okay, if I don’t have class, I’m in the batting cage. So this was time for me to do that with a little bit more fun.
WB: I was a pretty good football player in high school and a pretty good track athlete, but I was a terrible baseball player (laughs), so I stopped playing that around the age of fourteen. So it was nice to like come back in and play baseball, and also get taught baseball by guys like Tyler...because he could have [played pro ball].
Q: For each of you, what do you think the movie is sort of, at its core, about?
TH: I think it’s not being afraid of being who you are. My favorite line in the movie is Willoughby’s line to him (points to Jenner) when they’re shooting pool, which is just like, “Be weird!” He’s like, you know, (All three of them recite in unison) “Always bring who you are, never who they want. That’s when it’s fun.” I thought that’s such a great, new way of saying “be yourself,” because it is, it’s so much more fun when you embrace who you are and what you are as opposed to trying to fit into some box that somebody else might put you in. You thrive that way. So to me, that’s the theme that always hits me the hardest when I watch it.
BJ: Yeah, I completely agree with him. It’s like, you know, life is much, much more fun and you get more out of it when you’re not just watching yourself and monitoring what you’re saying or how you’re being or where you want to fit in… And I also think, there are two things I always say and I could be completely wrong but this is what I get out of it: It’s just so timeless and it shows that all the external things change, clothes change and music changes and all that stuff changes, but growing up and finding out what you love, finding out who you are, having a good time with your friends, that never changes. And also, I always say, ‘cause I think everyone here has their times when they’re like focused about the future or thinking about something they regret from the past or something. And what’s cool about this movie is that there isn’t such a huge plot, there isn’t like a car crash coming down a waterfall and there’s mermaids that are gonna catch you and like make out with the dudes in the car… You know, it’s like a slice of life where you just can’t help but be there with the guys, so it’s really like a testament to how important it is to live in the now nowadays with how connected we are and how easy it is to get distracted.
I had a great time talking to these guys - the three of them are immensely kind and talented. Go see Everybody Wants Some!!, in theaters now!