If everybody really does want some, they got it.
Three of the actors from Paramount’s new movie, “Everybody Wants Some!” came to Columbus on Monday for a screening of the film at the Gateway Film Center and an after-party at the Ugly Tuna Saloona.
The film is directed by Richard Linklater, who also directed “Boyhood,” “Bad News Bears” and “Dazed and Confused.” It is set in 1980 at a college in Texas over the weekend before classes start. The character-driven film centers around a house full of college baseball players who are more focused on their sport, partying and girls than their school work.
Jake, played by Blake Jenner, is an incoming freshman for the school’s baseball team who moves into the house and learns to navigate his teammates’ personalities and looks to discover what college life is about.
Jenner himself graduated a year early from high school, and decided to forgo the college experience in favor of moving out to Los Angeles. Having worked in the high school setting of ”Glee,” Jenner said that he was always envious of those who had an authentic college experience.
“I’d ask people ‘what was college like’ not just for this movie, but even before I’d ask just out of pure curiosity,” he said.
Jenner described the experience of filming the movie as “the weekend before college I never had.”
“It kind of did fill a void for me,” he said.
Playing one of the leaders of the baseball team wasn’t too much of a stretch for actor Tyler Hoechlin, who played baseball in college. He said there were some parallels to his real-life college experience in the movie.
“The chemistry and the comradery among the guys is what I think was most similar,” he said.
Hoechlin added that while he did have just as much fun at the parties as the characters did in the movie, they weren’t as crazy.
“There is a little bit more of a sense of consequences for your actions nowadays, especially with camera phones and social media. And just the general sense of the police being somewhere nearby,” Hoechlin said with a laugh.
Will Brittain plays Billy Autrey, who shares a room with Jenner’s character. Having taken on roles in more serious movies such as “The Teacher” and the television show “Lila & Eve” in the past, “Everybody Wants Some!” is the first comedy Brittain has acted in. While new to the comedy scene, he said he did have experience to draw from for his character, a tobacco-spitting, cowboy-boot-wearing, true southern boy with a thick accent.
“I grew up in a small town in Texas and I’ve been exposed to a lot of country characters like that, so it just kind of came out naturally when I read the script,” Brittain said. “It seemed to work, all the guys got tickled by it.”
In the film, Jenner’s character, Jake, struggles with finding his place after going from being one of the best players on his high school team to being a little fish in a big pond on his college baseball team. Jenner said his move to Los Angeles after high school parallels his character’s move to college in the movie.
“Moving out to LA to act, you definitely get that feeling,” he said. “You go out there with the positivity and you’re like, ‘Yeah it’s going to work out, they’re handing out pilots, I’m going to be a stud,’ but then you’re working at a Johnny Rockets or something like, ‘Alright we’ll be patient.’”
Brittain added that he related to Blake’s character and was a bit intimidated by the cast at first.
“I felt like that when I got casted in the movie, to a degree because I’m looking around like ‘Wow, everyone is so talented,’” Brittain said.
But the actors agreed that the movie played well to each of the cast members’ strengths, making it a strong ensemble.
“Together we’re kind of like the planeteers in ‘Captain Planet (and the Planeteers)’ and (director Richard Linklater) was Captain Planet. We kind of just saved the world with this movie,” Jenner said jokingly of the cast.
The movie is marketed as “the spiritual sequel to ‘Dazed and Confused,’” often described as a cult movie. Time will tell if “Everybody Wants Some!” achieves cult status, but the actors think it has some of the necessary elements.
“The fans of the movie are what makes it a cult movie, and just how dedicated those fans are to that movie and the characters within it,” Brittain said. “I think this movie has so many cool, fun characters in it that you’re just going to want to stick with them and watch them years from now, like going back to visit an old friend.”
Jenner said that what makes a cult movie is its ability to appeal to a large audience.
“I think it’s the timeless aspect of it,” he said. “An 18-year-old (could watch the movie) and they’ll be having a good time watching it, or my dad who is the most stoic guy in the world … doesn’t smile for crap and he lights up when he’s watching the movie.”
Hoechlin added that the connection between the audience is also important to keeping a movie alive for years to come.
“There’s this connective thing where you can run into someone at any point and if you’ve both seen the movie, there are so many different things and people you can talk about,” Hoechlin said.
Jenner added with a laugh, “And Tyler in short jean shorts is what will help this movie live on for years and years.”
“Everybody Wants Some!” is rated R and opens in theaters nationwide on April 1.