Gabrielle Union Says ‘Bring It On’ Filmmakers Shot ‘Fake’ Scenes to Make It Seem Like All-Black Squad Had More Screen Time

Gabrielle Union says the fictional all-Black cheerleading group known as the Clovers in “Bring It On” were only included in a third of the now classic film because they significantly appealed to test audiences – and filmmakers had shot “fake” scenes for the trailer to make it seem like they’d be in the film more.

It seems like that “Bring It On” subtext happened behind the scenes, as Union — who played Isis in the movie — shared how the Black cheerleading team originally wasn’t given the same screen time as the Toros, the predominately white cheerleading squad.

“The Clovers were only in like a third of the movie, and when they started showing it to test audiences, The Clovers tested through the roof,” Union told Noah Callahan-Bever on the latest episode of Bloomberg’s original series “Idea Generation.”

“They were like, ‘We need more with The Clovers but we can’t add it to the movie,’” Union continued. “We’re going to shoot scenes, fake scenes, that will only be in the trailer to create the illusion that it was like a 50-50 movie. But what’s interesting is, the people spoke. When the people spoke, they were like OK we got to deliver on – at least fake deliver. And the rest is kind of history. It’s wild to me.”

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“Bring It On” debuted Aug. 22, 2000, and centers on the Toros cheerleading team, tirelessly practicing in hopes of winning the national championship. When they learn their former captain has been ripping off choreography from an all-Black cheerleading team, tensions rise between the two groups as they face off at nationals. On top of high school drama, the movie also spotlights the act of cultural appropriation and how it impacts people of color.

“I think it’s just what the movie represents,” Union said. “Badass young Black girls who refuse to take shit and never back down. It still appeals to me to this day.”

What would “Bring It On” have been if Dunst and Union weren’t the faces of the film? Well, Dunst wanted Julies Styles’ spot in “Save the Last Dance,” as Union says Dunst she wanted that role over the one she had in “Bring It On.”

“’Bring It On’”’ was a movie we all did, or some of us did, because we didn’t get other movies. The movies we really thought were going to propel us through the stratosphere,” Union said. “And I remember Kirsten [Dunst] had really wanted ‘Save the Last Dance.’”

“Bring It On” was a Hollywood hit, grossing $90 million at the global box and spawning six direct-to-consumer sequels.

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