Das Sound Machine Beatboxer 80Fitz Talks Filming 'Pitch Perfect 2' & Playing Himself, But With Guyliner
By now, you've probably experienced all the greatness that is the Pitch Perfect sequel Pitch Perfect 2 — and, if not, then, really, what are you doing with your life? While it was great to see the Barden Bellas back in action again, one of the highlights of the film was rival German a cappella group Das Sound Machine. Having gained popularity on the app Vine (with more than 770,000 followers mind you), Andrew Fitzpatrick, better known by his stage name 80Fitz, went on the ride of his life when he joined Das Sound Machine as their (amazing) beatboxer for the movie. So, how exactly did he go from Vine to the big screen? "They really liked my style and they were interested in having me on the soundtrack, but also potentially for the movie," Fitzpatrick said to Bustle.
It all started when Grammy-winning producer Ben Bram (who noticed his videos on Vine) contacted him about doing The Sing-Off. Although Fitzpatrick wasn't interested at the time, he said the two stayed in contact. A couple months later Bram was reaching out again, this time for Pitch Perfect 2. He headed to North Hollywood for a dance audition, learned some choreography, and then waited. About five weeks went by with no answer until, all of a sudden, he got a call. Not only did they want him for the soundtrack, but they also wanted him for the movie. "It was like, Fitz, we want you in DSM, we need you on a plane for Baton Rouge on Monday," Fitzpatrick said. "So, it just happened really, really, really fast."
However, that was nothing compared to filming. When describing set, Fitzpatrick constantly used the word "crazy." Overall, he was there for a total of five weeks, two dedicated to intense choreography and about three to shooting. The highlight for him however was the riff-off scene when he got to battle musician Reggie Watts. He even got a little starstruck. "He’s such a phenomenal artist and I think he’s a genius and I really respect his work," Fitzpatrick said. "He’s a guy I look up to so much, and to get to battle him on screen was crazy."
Even though he slayed with his beatboxing skills in the movie, I can't be the only person who was wondering how he got into character without any speaking lines to help him. According to him, since his character was listed as "Fitz" in the script, Elizabeth Banks told him he was essentially going to play himself in the movie — just with guy liner and fishnets, of course. “The direction was Fitz, you’re this robotic machine-like beatboxer and you just come out and kill it,” Fitzpatrick said. Yep sounds a lot like 80Fitz to me.
Aside from filming, Fitzpatrick said that the actual premiere in L.A. was even crazier. It was his first premiere, and he said the whole thing was unlike anything he'd ever experienced before. "It was like another world," Fitzpatrick said. "Walking the carpet and seeing all these incredibly talented people and having everybody acknowledge my work. It was just incredible."
As for seeing himself on the big screen for the first time, Fitzpatrick said that he was nervous about how the beatboxing would be portrayed, and how his scenes would get cut together. But, after seeing the final product, he was proud of it. He even got more screen time than he thought he would. "Yeah, they kinda made me the third villain in Das Sound Machine — which, I didn’t expect," Fitzpatrick said. "It was cool."
Even with this whirlwind experience, Fitzpatrick is staying grounded. "I think the misconception is that when you get a movie role, or you build a following on a social media platform, that you’ve somehow 'made it' but in my mind you never make it," Fitzpatrick said. "You can’t ever rest. You just gotta keep going and going and pushing." What a great motto. With this level of charm in the talented man behind the talented Das Sound Machine beatboxer, here's hoping the group makes a special appearance in Pitch Perfect 3 — or at least that Fitzpatrick does.
Image: Universal Pictures