Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Wormald’


footloose_onesheet2_twittericonWhen I went to high school people didn’t dance as much as they swayed, or maybe gyrated when the music really hit them. The adventurous among us occasionally tried the Hustle or the Bump, but that was about it. According to “Footloose,” a remake of the 80s classic from “Hustle and Flow” director Craig Brewer, now-a-days high school seniors have moves that would make Mikhail Baryshnikov green with envy.

Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald) is a big city kid forced by circumstance to move to the small town of Bomont, Georgia to live with his uncle. He’s a rebel who soon finds a cause in town. Three years prior a group of teens were killed in a car crash after a dance. In reaction the town banned public dancing, amplified music and other rites of teenage passage. Ren, a former gymnast and dancing fool, challenges the law, butts heads with the local preacher Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid in the John Lithgow role) and falls in love with the minister’s daughter Ariel (Julianne Hough). Will the town lift the ban? Will the love birds ever get to break dance in public?

“Footloose” is a little grittier than you would imagine a movie starring Ryan Seacrest’s girlfriend to be. Director Brewer’s roots are in indie filmmaking and it shows. The slickness normally associated with contemporary teen fare is by and large missing here, replaced with the steamy Southern feel that permeates his other films. You won’t hear a line like, “You’re sexier than socks on a rooster,” in any of the “Twilight” movies.

MacCormack and Hough shine the brightest when they are in motion on the dance floor, but Miles Teller as Willard (played by Chris Penn in the original), Ren’s dance-challenged best friend steals the show on and off the dance floor.

Rebooting a well-loved classic is a tricky business. Brewer has wisely not messed with the formula too much. There are slight changes, Ren is now from Boston instead of Chicago, the tractor game of chicken from the original is now a bus race and the dancing has been updated but upbeat rebellious core (and most of the songs) of the ’84 movie is intact.

Remaking a teenage classic RICHARD CROUSE METRO CANADA Published: October 06, 2011

footloose-kenny-wormald-julianne-hough-01The names Ren and Ariel are touchstones for a generation. In the teen classic Footloose, big city boy Ren (Kevin Bacon) romanced Ariel (Lori Singer) and brought the boogie back to the small town of Bomont, Georgia.

Despite bad reviews, the story of teen rebellion and two-stepping struck a chord with audiences who made it one of the biggest hits of 1984.

Director Craig Brewer knew his new big-screen version had to tread carefully, reinventing the characters without losing what made them popular in the first place.

“I think all of my cast members were able to occupy the characters without there being any sort of mimicry or impersonation of the original,”?he says.

The project had been in development for some time, with big names like Zac Efron attached, but Brewer decided to go a different way.

“If you went in a time machine and sat with me in 1984 when I was 13 and went and saw Footloose, right before the screening happened if you would have asked me, ‘What do you think of Kevin Bacon?’ I would have said, ‘Who?’ That movie made that guy. He was already a talented actor, he just needed a movie to break him into the pop scene.

“You want to see someone new come into town, you want to have that same bit of mystery surround them so I resisted having Ren McCormack being played by a ‘movie star’ because then you get all the baggage of their other movies tied into this one,” he says.

Kenny Wormald, a choreographer and dancer, won the role after a recommendation from Justin Timberlake, who spotted his innate talent when Kenny was a backup dancer for the singer.

For Ariel, Brewer cast the more established Julianne Hough, best known as a Dancing with the Stars champion.

After her initial audition Brewer was relieved.

“I knew I had Ariel. I was excited because I had just seen the birth of a new actress who was really good and really brave,” she said.