Moviegoers at "Step Up Revolution" this weekend will be surprised — no, shocked — to learn that stars Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick, who both seem so sure of themselves onscreen, are both trying something new. Guzman, 24, insists he'd never even taken a dance class before taking on the role of a dancer and choreographer! Before his audition, the model-turned-actor and former Mixed Martial Arts fighter was watching YouTube videos to learn some moves. "Then I had a way where when I got to the audition, I was going to put myself around the other actors that I knew couldn't dance, which would make me look a little bit better," Guzman tells omg! "But it always backfired on me because I always got selected as the last guy to dance with like three other guys, and they always were the professional dancers." While McCormick's a pro in the dancing department, and finished third on the sixth season of "So You Think You Can Dance," the 22-year-old landed the leading lady role on one of her first acting auditions. "A show like 'So You Think You Can Dance' helps you so much with acting, because you're always putting on a character. My friends had told me I needed to get into acting class, but I didn't really take the time away from dance to do it, so I think acting kind of found me," she says. "I heard about the role, and I thought 'I probably have no shot at this,' but it kind of intimidated me, so I didn't want to be intimidated, and I wanted to overcome that."
The story of the "Step Up" franchise's fourth film is about Guzman's character, a Miami hotel employee named Sean, and McCormick's character, Emily, the daughter of a local hotel owner, falling in love. Dancing comes into play because both are aspiring professional dancers whose families wish they'd choose a more sensible career, and, more importantly, both are involved in a group of flash mobbers, known as The Mob, that gives some amazing performances in several different dance styles in the movie. If you think that sounds a little like another dancing flick, "Dirty Dancing," McCormick agrees. "I think it was inspired by it in a way, but I also think it has its own [strengths], too," she says, adding that the 1987 hit is one of her favorite films.
Once novice dancer Guzman and novice actress McCormick were hired, they began rehearsals that lasted about nine hours a day for three weeks! Guzman, who's in every dance scene, says he ran back and forth between two practice rooms working on the flash mob dances with The Mob dancers in one, and McCormick on a contemporary dance that the couple perform together in the other. Although the performance required Guzman and McCormick to work long hours together, he insists that the co-stars are not going follow the lead of former "Step Up" stars Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan by falling in love offscreen and getting married. "I'm single. But we are best friends," Guzman says. "We leaned on each other a lot, and it was very cool to have someone to open up to when you're struggling at making the movie. We bonded a lot during the whole process." While they've clearly got the moves, both Guzman and McCormick say they're focused on acting, rather than dancing, for now.
Before the two twirled away from our interview, omg! gave them the Crush Questionnaire.
If you could travel back in time, what period would you visit?
McCormick: when Gene Kelly and they were all performing. I would love to be watching them on a set, just to see how they work. I think they're brilliant storytellers.
Did you have any jobs before entertainment?
McCormick: I was a babysitter after school, and I've also been a dance assistant, a dance teacher, and I would rake my grandpa's leaves for extra money.
What is your pet peeve?
What's your favorite food to pig out on? What's your least favorite food?
McCormick: People laugh at me because I'm like a Whole Foods fanatic, but I love anything organic and healthy. I'm so into [organic] Sun Cafe and [vegan] Cafe Gratitude [in L.A.]. Right now I'm in love with this quinoa mac and cheese made with cashew cheese from Sun Cafe — that and their gluten free, wheat free, nut free chocolate cupcake. My least favorite food is probably a Twinkie.
Who is your celebrity crush? Why?
McCormick: I don't really have one. Growing up it was Paul Walker, I think just because you saw his bum in "Joyride." I really admire Johnny Depp. He started out as a musician and artist and he made his way into the acting world, and now he's one of the greatest of his time. And he's such a character.
What's your idea of a dream date?
McCormick: My dream date would be something where we could do something outside. I like to be active. I love for a date to be with someone I can have a deep conversation with but also laugh a lot. So maybe drive up the coast somewhere, and go to the beach and just run around all day long, and then maybe have a dinner after that, and just have good conversation.
What's one thing on your bucket list that you haven't done yet? That you have done?
Guzman: Get married. One thing I wanted to do when I was younger was fight in an octagon, and I accomplished that. I won my very first fight.
Which member of "The Breakfast Club" were you most like in high school? Where was it?
Guzman: I can't even remember their names! I haven't seen that movie in forever. I was more the shy, quiet guy, but at the same time, the girls took a liking to me. [It was in] Sacramento, California.
Speaking of high school, did you go to your prom?
Guzman: I did. I ended up going to three or four proms, because when I was a freshman or sophomore I got asked to go by a couple of girls.
What are your three favorite songs on your iPod right now?
Guzman: "Care for You" by Usher on his new album. Chris Brown "She Ain't You" always brings back memories. And Bell Biv DeVoe "Poison." Who doesn't love that song?
What's your horoscope sign? Do you think your sign describes you?
Guzman: I'm the last day of Virgo [almost Taurus]. I'm very passionate, but I'm not too open until I trust somebody, so it's accurate to a degree.
When you were a kid, whose poster was on your wall?
Guzman: I'm an athletic kind of guy, and I love the Yankees. My favorite pitcher at the time was Andy Pettitte, so I had a huge poster [of him].
If you had to pick a movie to watch this very moment, what would it be and why?
Guzman: "Step Up Revolution," because it's an amazing movie!
Step Up Revolution opens in theaters Friday, July 26.
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