Attempting to interview four cast members from Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!! is like wrangling bulls. The men (Tyler Hoechlin, Glen Powell, Juston Street, and J. Quinton Johnson) portray college baseball players in 1980s Texas, and their rambunctious, rowdy, and testosterone-filled energy is as palpable in the film as it is in the interview room. The costars and on-screen teammates are gathered in San Diego, Calif. to watch Hoechlin compete with other celebs in the annual celebrity softball game at Petco Park, and from the amount of laughs, teasing, and general fuckwithery (a term coined by Blake Jenner's character in the film), it would appear these friends haven't seen each other in months. But Hoechlin assures me: "We actually all hung out a few days ago."
For the uninitiated (and honestly, if you haven't seen this fantastic Dazed and Confused follow up, I implore you to do so immediately), the film takes place over a long weekend before college begins, as a new bat-slinging freshman is initiated into the oh-so entertaining world of disco dancing, skirt chasing, underage debauchery, and occasional philosophical musings. It is perhaps the most fun a Richard Linklater picture has ever seen — thanks to, in large part, the chemistry between the film's castmates.
When I ask the guys to tell me about their first moments of unsupervised adulthood, Hoechlin admits: "I think I cracked a beer open real quick. That was one of the first things." Powell chimes in: "Let me just tell you about all these guys," he says. "Quinton is Mother Teresa and I'm Prince Harry. Same goes for [Hoechlin]. He still lives like he's being supervised. He's a very put together. He follows the rules."
Perhaps even less offensive than "cracking open a beer" is Johnson's response: "Did you guys ever have an Oreo rule when you were living with your parents? Like, you could only have four Oreos or five Oreos? I would eat a whole pack of Oreos because I no longer had an Oreo limit," he says of his first moments of unrestricted freedom. "Well, I do know he likes desserts," Powell adds.
"I grew up with four brothers, so it was pretty much like, 'Who ate all the Gushers?" Street says, causing the conversation to promptly derail.
"That sounds like a new reality show: Who Ate All The Gushers? I actually want Juston to try and use that line on a girl later," Powell says, then turns to Street. "Can you just act like there's a craft services table at the party and be like, 'What happened to all the Gushers?'"
Street admits: "I usually just say, 'Do you like Native American food?'" This elicits a huge laugh from his costars, and is a perfect segue into my next question. On screen, we see the baseball players' various attempts at picking up women. Finn (played by Powell) has a unique tactic: he tells ladies about his "average-sized cock." As Johnson's character Dale explains, this technique works because it is a "huge relief" from all the bros boasting about their well-endowed members. So I'm curious: What are the guys' real life pick-up lines?
"I've only used one, ever, and it didn't go well. It's, 'I just farted, we should get out of here,'" Powell says, suddenly making the average-sized cock line much more appealing.
Johnson's answer is slightly more straightforward. "I was telling Glen this earlier. I saw a dress on one of my friends that I actually really liked, and I was like, 'Man, we need to go out to dinner to get you into that thing... then get you home to get you out of it.'"
Hoechlin assures he doesn't have a pick-up line — "It would be the sweetest pick up line ever," Powell says — but the Teen Wolf star does have a go-to opener when traveling. "The only pick up line I've ever used was not when going up to a girl but actually just meeting people on vacation overseas," he says. Here's how it goes: "You wait until you hear someone speaking English, and then you walk up to them and say, 'I'm so sorry, are you guys speaking English? Thank God, I'm traveling, I don't know anybody, I just had to say 'Hi'. And then usually they're like, 'Oh, let's have a beer!'"
But Powell doesn't buy it. "I thought your pickup line was, 'Do you watch popular television like Teen Wolf?'" he says, acknowledging Hoechlin's brooding role on the hit MTV show.
One of the most impressive elements of the film is the immersive early '80s vibe. Not only are the disco dance moves Saturday Night Fever approved, but period-appropriate behavior was paramount on set — "No high fives, only low fives" Hoechlin says. And then there's the hair. We have to talk about that hair.
According to Powell, Linklater asked the boys to come to set unshaven. "Little by little the people who got to keep their mustaches were weeded out. It was like a badge of honor if you got to keep your mustache," he says. "I remember when Ryan Guzman was told he couldn't have his mustache, he was crushed. The problem is they looked a lot alike," he says, pointing at Hoechlin. "Tyler and Ryan weirdly looked like Mario and Luigi."
As our conversation comes to a close I realize any attempts at wrangling these bulls, er, boys, is an unnecessary effort. The unruly feel is in perfect harmony with the film's themes. While the movie is adorned in outlandish facial hair and an upbeat, eclectic soundtrack, Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!! is more than an boisterous good time; it's a celebration of camaraderie, first freedoms, and unburdened adolescence — a love letter to youth.
The wildly fun Everybody Wants Some!! is on Blu-Ray and DVD now.
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