KENNY WORMALD

Foot­loose and fancy- free in Hol­ly­wood’s lat­est re­boot.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

has At 27, worked Kenny Wormald some of the mu­sic big­gest world, names in­clud­ing in the

Justin Tim­ber­lake, Prince, Madonna and Kylie Minogue. A dancer since age six, he made his

film act­ing de­but in 2008’ s Cen­tre Stage: Turn It Up. But tak­ing on

the Foot­loose role that made Kevin Ba­con a star

is his big­gest break­through yet, writes

James Wigney Q. You were born in 1984, the same year the orig­i­nal Foot­loose came out. When did you be­come aware of it? A. I was prob­a­bly about 10 years old and saw it play on tele­vi­sion. I re­mem­ber be­ing blown away by it the first time I saw it, specif­i­cally the ‘‘ an­gry dance’’ in the ware­house. I was a dancer since I was six, so all those dance movies re­ally stuck with me – par­tic­u­larly Foot­loose. Q. Was it di­rec­tor Craig Brewer’s in­ten­tion to cast a rel­a­tive un­known ( as lead Ren Mc­Cor­mack), just as they did with Kevin Ba­con?

A. Craig was a huge fan of the orig­i­nal film so it was vi­tal for him to have cer­tain el­e­ments of that

Foot­loose be in our Foot­loose and hav­ing a new kid play Ren . . . you feel like you are gen­uinely meet­ing this kid who comes to the town for the first time – there is some­thing pow­er­ful in that. So I think he wanted to re­visit that emo­tion.

Q. Were some of the mo­ments from the orig­i­nal – the skinny tie, the red boots, the yel­low Bee­tle, the an­gry dance – ab­so­lutely sacro­sanct? A. Craig Brewer says ‘‘ If it’s not broke, then don’t fix it’’. There were def­i­nitely some things he couldn’t stray away from. Be­ing a fan of the orig­i­nal, he knew the best way to mix old and new. It was vi­tal for him to have it be a new film but not stray­ing away from any­thing that he loved in the orig­i­nal. Q. The trac­tor ‘‘ chicken’’ scene has been re­placed with a bus de­mo­li­tion derby. Do teens ex­pect more in the way of ac­tion now?

A. If a trac­tor is go­ing up against an­other trac­tor in a chicken race, then ev­ery­one knows they only go a whop­ping eight miles an hour so I think you have to give the teenagers of to­day a lit­tle more credit with the Trans­form­ers and such. Even back in the day they had to film that scene from about 30 dif­fer­ent an­gles with the most in­tense song play­ing in the back­ground to make it kind of ex­cit­ing. But Craig is from the South and he wrote that bus scene be­cause he has seen those de­mo­li­tion-style bus races. Q. Teen re­bel­lion is a time­less topic. Is

Foot­loose as rel­e­vant now as it was then? A. Craig says that a ban on danc­ing wasn’t that re­al­is­tic to him then ei­ther. But our pro­duc­ers stopped count­ing at 100 towns in Amer­ica cur­rently that have a ban on danc­ing and mu­sic. It was a true story then and it’s still hap­pen­ing. Q. Were you a re­bel­lious teen? A. Not re­ally. I was too busy danc­ing and per­form­ing to have much free time. When the kids were go­ing off af­ter school to do bad things, I was driv­ing to dance. I like to think I am kind of a tough guy but I’m not re­ally. The only is­sue I have had with danc­ing and the law is me and my friends were film­ing a guerilla-style mu­sic video in the street and the LAPD rolled up on us and said ‘‘ You can’t film here’’ and I re­mem­ber say­ing ‘‘ What is this, Foot­loose?’’. Q. Foot­loose made a star of Kevin Ba­con. Are you hop­ing it will do the same for you? A. I al­ways joke around that if I have half the ca­reer that guy has then I would be OK be­cause he has done it all. I am hon­oured to have this as a kind of step­ping stone to more films and want to con­tinue to act, not just in mu­si­cals or dance-driven films. The great thing about this Foot­loose is that it was a Craig Brewer film. If you know his past work, I now have

some street cred in Hol­ly­wood be­cause of that. I plan to stick around. Q. How many moves can you do Six De­grees of Kevin Ba­con in? A. I think that tech­ni­cally it was three, be­cause of Andie Mac­Dow­ell. I for­get ex­actly how it goes. But I like to con­sider it zero be­cause I am play­ing the dude. That should be a new cat­e­gory in the game. Q. Is it cor­rect that Justin Tim­ber­lake rec­om­mended you for this part?

A. I went into au­di­tion orig­i­nally and then the cast­ing lady had worked with Craig and with Justin. So she saw that Justin was on my re­sume and con­tacted him af­ter that and said, ‘‘ Who is this Kenny kid?’’. And he gave his praise and good

words about me and I kept go­ing through the process. But when­ever you have JT say­ing any­thing pos­i­tive on your end, it’s a good look. Q. When is he com­ing back to mu­sic? Can you have a word in his ear for us? A. I have no clue. I re­mem­ber him jok­ing around a long time ago about do­ing a coun­try al­bum be­cause he is a coun­try boy from Ten­nessee. I love the films he is do­ing, but I hon­estly miss his mu­sic. I was such a huge fan of his mu­sic and then to get to dance for him was a dream come true. So I hear you bro’. I want to hear some mu­sic as well. Q. You danced in a cou­ple of Kylie Minogue’s videos too. What did you make of her? A. She was awe­some to work with. I have worked with a ton of big names as a dancer and she’s one of the most friendly, de­light­ful and beau­ti­ful ones to work with. And her sis­ter is beau­ti­ful too. She was hang­ing out and I was like, ‘‘ Who’s that? There’s an­other one?’’. Q. You have danced for Prince, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguil­era. Who is the hard­est taskmas­ter of any­one you have worked with?

A. A lot of peo­ple think all of these women are di­vas but what I gained from it is that they just know what they want. When you are at that level and you are not sure of what you want then peo­ple will cre­ate your ca­reer for you. So I ad­mire peo­ple for be­ing that way. They are all tough in their own ways but tour­ing with Justin was prob­a­bly the most gru­elling. But when you are do­ing some­thing you love, it’s not re­ally work.

FOOT­LOOSE Opens Thurs­day at Vil­lage Cine­mas

Kevin Ba­con and Lori Singer in a scene from

the 1984

film Foot­loose.

{ When you are at that level and you are not sure of what you want then peo­ple will cre­ate your ca­reer for you }

Kenny Wormald ( also pic­tured op­po­site with

Foot­loose co-star Julianne Hough) loves danc­ing and act­ing.

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