Stars of “Everybody Wants Some!!” visit Oakland

AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 11: Actor J. Quentin Johnson attends the screening of “Everybody Wants Some” during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Paramount Theatre on March 11, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for SXSW)

Three cast members from Richard Linklater’s latest film, Everybody Wants Some!!, stopped in Detroit during their press tour, and even visited Oakland’s campus to talk to Cinema Studies students about the making of the film.

Everybody Wants Some!! tells the story of a college baseball team in Texas during the summer of 1980 and the numerous parties they attend the weekend before classes start. The film features a wide range of stereotypical college students and showcases both the fun and struggles of the newfound freedom college provides.

A few of the film’s stars – Wyatt Russell, Glen Powell and J. Quinton Johnson – visited Oakland’s campus last week as part of their press tour. They answered questions from students, who were primarily in the Cinema Studies program, and then went to a special screening in Royal Oak to answer more questions from audience members there.

Many of the questions the stars were asked focused on the era the film takes place, what it was like to work with Richard Linklater and what the chemistry on set was like. The stars answered all of those questions, but continuously stressed how close they got with one another during the making of the film. 

“When we were shooting the movie there wasn’t a whole lot of personal space, which was great. It was kind of this weird bromantic relationship that kind of never stopped while filming,” Powell said.

Before filming even began for Everybody Wants Some!!, the 12 main cast members of the movie spent three weeks at Linklater’s ranch in Texas and rehearsed everything in the script. They did everything from read through the script twice a day, participate in baseball practice, watch ‘80s films together and even went to dance practices as a group.

All three actors realized how rare it is for a movie to take three weeks for rehearsal time, but they said that the time was used to not only work on their chemistry, but to make a better film as well.

“During the rehearsal process at [Richard]’s ranch, he sent us an email saying ‘it’s not my script anymore. If you just say the lines on the page, it is going to be a terrible movie, so bring yourself to it and lets tear it apart and bring it back together, together.’ So really there was a lot of improv during the rehearsal process, but once we got on set there wasn’t much,” Powell said.

The film is being marketed as a “spiritual sequel” to Linklater’s 1993 Dazed and Confused, but the stars said that no one on set saw this as a sequel, but instead as its own thing. Russell, who plays Willoughby in the movie, talked about how he thinks that you can see an evolution in Linklater’s filmmaking through his filmography, and it continues with Everybody Wants Some!!.

“When you go back and watch everything he does, there is a through line in everything he does. That’s his mind. This had the same elements as Dazed and Confused; it was an ensemble, people were having fun, it was people in school, but other than that I can’t draw similarities from the two movies,” Russell said.

As mentioned before, the film takes place during numerous parties over the course of one weekend, and the stars said that they had a lot of say into what happened at these parties. Even though the parties look fun when they are on screen, they were heavily rehearsed during the three weeks the cast spent on the ranch. 

“Technically you are watching this continuous party over the course of one night, but each scene is a set up. You are filming sections of a party over the course of however many days it took to film those parties. Then you get to mesh up those scenes and it feels like it’s continuing,” Johnson said.

Although all of the parties were staged and carefully thought through, the cast members said there was a lot of energy on set during those scenes. 

“For us in the moment, what you are feeling when you are feeling a party scene is us in our collaborative process is us getting excited for our work. So we are excited about the fact that we are able to work at the party and the party is fun to do. If you go crazy during those scenes, there are beats that you miss,” Russell said.

Despite taking place in 1980, the cast thinks there are plenty of relatable elements that current college students could take away in Everybody Wants Some!!.

“The more things change the more they stay the same, I think that is the essence of being in college and being young and figuring out what you are going to do with that new found freedom and I think that is the essence of this movie. There are paths that are open to you so who are you going to become?” Russell said. “I think this movie is really fun in that aspect because you kind of think you know who you are but you really don’t. I think the people who succeed the most in life and in college are open to the idea to figuring out who they are.”

Everybody Wants Some!! is in select theaters this Friday and is rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug use and some nudity. Check out on Friday to read our review of the film.