Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, and Will Brittain Discuss 'Everybody Wants Some!!'

Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, and Will Brittain Discuss 'Everybody Wants Some!!'

Everybody Wants Some!! is the spirital successor to Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused and follows a group of college baseball players in the 80s in the days before the upcoming semester begins. The film stars Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, and Will Brittain as members of the team, and Shakefire had the opportunity to sit down with the three of them to discuss their roles in the film, working together with Richard, and creating that team dynamic among the other actors.


Shakefire (SF): How excited were you guys when you signed up for a Richard Linklater film knowing that you wouldn’t be filming for 12 years?

Tyler Hoechlin (TH): Honestly sad now that I know what it was. I wish it would have been 12 years.

Will Brittain (WB): 12 years of that movie and I might be dead.

TH: Yeah, but you would have lived like 50 years worth of good times in that 12 years. I might of been worth it.


SF: Well do you seem to live four years of college in four days.

TH: Pretty much.

WB: We were ambitious scholar students.

TH: Blake didn’t get to go to college, and I think we gave him a pretty good college experience.

Blake Jenner (BJ): You gave me a good experience. I think I blew my load…

WB: There was sooo much paddling.

BJ: Too much paddling, too much drinking, too much manscaping.


SF: Did you actually do a lot of partying?

BJ: I think everyday on set, I mean we weren’t getting hammered drinking faux beer. But the good times were at when we knew it was a costume party. We lived with Rick for two weeks and that was like a party in itself, especially every night after rehearsals. We would all just be chilling, freestyle rapping, throwing out ideas with the script, running through things.

WB: We’re kinda a low key group as much as it might not seem like the case. We weren’t the group who wanted to go out to the club and hit on girls. We would much rather drink beers, smoke cigarettes, and trade sports stories with each other.

TH: Yeah, the crazy partying was in the movie and then our partying was Rick’s arcade, playing foosball, and shooting pool and stuff. Those kind of things.

WB: Like if you had a bunch of 14-year-olds partying with their dad’s beer that’s probably how it was.


SF: You went out to Rick’s place out in the country and spent a couple weeks working on the script and stuff. How was that experience?

WB: It was pretty magical. It was like summer camp for movie. That’s really what it was. We didn’t want to leave.

TH: It was I think the most crucial part of making this movie, for sure. Not only did we establish things that we liked that were working in the script and things we wanted to try, but kinda just even in the personal relationships that were forming. Different dynamics would come out and all of a sudden you would find out like, “Oh that would be interesting with the character’s action,” and we’d try to play with and things like that. We found out so much in those three weeks that, as someone who has directing aspirations, that is something I am taking out of Rick’s playbook and will be applying to anything that I end up doing. We made the movie in those three weeks, and then we just had to actually go and shoot it. That’s what it felt like to us.

BJ: It was important as actors that we want to get out there. You’re auditioning for something and once you get it you’re like, “Oh damn, I actually have to do this now.” Coming out there you have this excitement and anxiety because you want to be good. You want to service Rick and everything. So those first two weeks were really important in a way of also stripping away the facade, the fear, of either getting fired, or not being good, or not being good at baseball or something. It kinda brought us together. Rick really taught us, from an email he sent us early on but also just that whole experience, that we’re not there to act but to behave and really get to know each other and just portray that on screen.



SF: So what was the audition process like?
WB: We started out with just an interview with casting directors basically just asking about our college experience and telling funny anecdotes about ourself. A tribute to the casting directors, for me at least, that interview process was so laid back and relaxing it was like I was just hanging out talking. From there I found out, “Oh they want you to submit a baseball skills tape to see if you are good enough to be in this movie.” Then from there it was “well they want you to come and read the script,” and from there it was “pick out some characters in the script that you want to audition for.” It was all so laid back the entire time that I guess I didn’t realize how intense it was until the final moment. But even for the final audition I was between two different characters, and it never felt like it was cutthroat. It just felt like, “okay, here we are again,” because Rick’s energy is always so relaxing. It never felt like it was audition. I just felt like I was going in and having fun.

TH: I had the opposite experience. Mine started off more stressful and then became more relaxed because they weren’t initially going to see me so we had to come up with a creative way to get them to consider me to come in. So actually wrote Rick an email after watching his documentary that he did on Augie Garrido and then my manager sent that in. My agent got ahold of the interview process. I think they were doing it in the room. I did a self-tape at home, sent it in, and then after we sent those two things I finally got to go in. Once I was in I was like, “okay, I feel like I’m meant to be a part of this movie. I feel like we’ve gotten in the door and now actually have to bring it home.” I got a little more relaxed. It was a very collaborative process from the very beginning to the very end just because they would give you certain characters to look at and be like, “of these six characters pick three” and then you would go and pick three so you’re already kinda having input as far as where you think you fit into the script as opposed to “this is the character we want you to read.”


SF: How much baseball practice did you do?
TH: Every day.

WB: Oh at least an hour every day.


SF: It’s interesting because baseball somewhat takes a backseat to what’s going on with the characters.

WB: For me as an actor I was looking at that whole thing as it was happening and realizing that the act of practicing baseball created a persona within myself, and all of us, and in a sort of a swagger that we all began to form with each other and a mutual respect that we all had for each other. It wasn’t so much as we needed to work on baseball that much, but the act of going to baseball practice and being with each other made us a team.

TH: I would say that as someone who played ball in college and going through all that there’s something that forms between the guys when you do any kind of sports practice. You’re all physically investing your energy into something and it’s a common goal. Like he said, there’s a respect factor that comes in. You see how hard the guys work and you can respect that. There’s also a humility that comes with it. Guys asking for help with certain things. So it’s really more, as much as it was important to learn for some of the guys who hadn’t played as much the physical actual acts of baseball, I think more than anything it brings out a dynamic between the guys. Just having that social setting as well as the physical setting.


SF: You mentioned freestyle rapping earlier, and it reminded me of the fantastic end credits scene. Can you talk about how that came together?

BJ: Well first, having “Rapper’s Delight” in the movie kinda sparked the idea. That was kinda payed it off. Us rapping it was me, Will and Quinton [Johnson] kinda freestyling and all the other guys would surround us, and we’d all be chugging beers, hanging out, having a good time, putting on an instrumental rap beat, and then just go at. I forgot whose idea it was, but Quinton produced the music for it.

WB: We wanted to do a thing. We wanted to do a funny thing at the end of the movie.

BJ: It wasn’t for the end of the movie, originally.

WB: It was going to be a marketing thing. We knew we had to sell the movie by selling us, the guys. So we made that. Quinton made the beat, and then we all sort of just over the process of filming the movie we wrote our lyrics and by the last couple of days we filmed Blake and I’s first part of the rap in the punk club.

BJ: We did the first part at the disco club but we ran out of time so we just picked it back up at the punk club. But never did we think it was going to make it into the movie.


SF: Speaking of music, music is such an important part of this movie. Did Richard have you listening to music to prepare for it?

TH: Oh yeah. We had like three CDs, I’m not exactly sure, but there’s about 50 songs on a couple CDs that he’d given us to listen to. Then once we got there he gave us these little iPod Nanos that had all the music on it. It was a really cool thing too because he kinda told us as baseball guys back then what you would have actually been into. He said he didn’t actually like disco but you would go because there were drink specials and there were girls and that’s why you would go. You’d kinda put up with it. Maybe secretly you like some of it. He gave us those things and then with that in mind kinda go through here and see what music your character would like, what they would be into, things like that. It does give you a nice creative space to operate within and just knowing you’re picking up things that might inform you about something not completely specific but just a feel and vibe.



SF: How do you guys relate to your characters?

BJ: Working with Rick on the character, my character was coming from his part of town. He was the best ballplayer from his side of things so when he comes in he’s coming with a certain confidence knowing what he’s done before. Rick told me when we were working on it one day that I had to find the line between being a standup guy, knowing what I’ve done, how confident I am in myself, but also knowing that I want to be a part of this team so you don’t blow your load with the seniors when you first get there. You have to earn your respect, your merit, on the team. But also I didn’t go to college so I was kinda approaching it from that angle kinda like this is what I would have done if I had a time traveling device and recently enrolled in a school in Texas.

WB: For me Billy Autrey is this innocent country boy who comes into college and he’s got a girlfriend back home and he doesn’t realize how much that’s going to cost him in terms of getting messed with by all these guys. I wanted to bring that in an innocent “I’m an 18-year-old kid who’s in love with a chick back home and she may be pregnant and I’ve never deal with this” sort of way. But then there’s also the fact that this guy is a pitcher and he’s a stud and he’s in this college, rooming with Blake and he’s just as good as him. He’s a closer so he’s the type of guy who’s gonna try and blast nine fastballs right by you so I wanted to bring that intensity as well. Sort of strike the balance between the two. All these guys are athletes and that’s what Rick drove home right at the beginning. No matter what, every guy is good. Even the guy who gets made fun of the most is a really good athlete.

TH: I definitely drew from my own competitiveness. Throwing the paddle is everything I want to do anytime I lose at something so I finally was allowed to do that without consequences. But yeah, I think pieces of yourself always make it into the characters you play so there were parts of me that were there. It was fun to live in that world of like, “God if I really was just like the best” and did not care if people thought I was a dick. Like how cocky could you be and how much fun could you have?


SF: The dialogue is very natural. Did you follow the script exactly or was there a lot of improvising?

WB: I say it was workshopped.

TH: It really was, every single scene. There was time in the rehearsal process every night we would go and play in the arcade room or watch a movie and kinda discuss the movie, something that Rick wanted us to take away from it. Then we would go back to the bunkhouse and we had a table that we would all sit around, have a drink, just kinda sit and talk. All our time hanging out was either BSing each other or as the characters and talking about the script. There were things that would come up and like, the Manitoba Moose thing that was something we literally just one day we were sitting there and I forget what started it - I don’t even know if we were talking about that scene - but we were talking about something and all of a sudden one person was talking about you have to go to Canada. The next person was like yeah you have to go out and do this. Yeah, you got to go find a moose. We all just kept adding on to it. Then it eventually became this speech that Finn give to Brumley. That’s just the kinda thing. We really never stopped, I want to say working but even working’s not the right word because we would always be creating something even outside of set. When we were going back home or even in the vans or whatever it was, we were just always flowing. No one ever wanted the day to end. You never had people who were phoning it in. You never had anyone who said it was good enough. It was always trying to find the next little thing.

Matt Rodriguez
Interview by Matt Rodriguez
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