With appearances from a cappella supergroup Pentatonix and German YouTube star Flula Borg, Pitch Perfect 2 isn’t short on high-profile guest stars. But there’s one cameo that might surprise even the franchise’s most die-hard fans: the Green Bay Packers.
“I didn’t realize that a group of the manliest men in the world were such fans of Pitch Perfect,” Hailee Steinfeld said of the team. “It was shocking. They would go into their trailers in between set-ups and come back and show us videos of them doing full-on numbers from the first movie.”
“They each had their own parts and would do the dance,” Brittany Snow added.
It was offensive tackle David Bakhtiari who sparked the appearance, after tweeting about the first film and eventually coming in contact with producer Max Handelman and director Elizabeth Banks. Months later, Bakhtiari was on the film’s Louisiana set with teammates Clay Matthews, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang and Don Barclay.
“We’d never met them face-to-face,” Handelman said. “They are professional football players who had just come from their off-season training camp, and we were confident that they were taking it serious, and they wanted to do it. But we had no idea whether they were going to be any good. None. And it was kind of like, ‘Well, they’re going to be in the movie. So let’s see how this goes.'”
Fortunately, the Packers had been practicing on their own. Handelman called their performance “incredible,” adding, “A tall man with bulging muscles and a ponytail seems to really appeal to the ladies.”
“He looked like a Viking god,” Banks said.
But even though American audiences will know Matthews and his teammates, it’s a cameo that may not be as recognizable overseas.
“The people from Europe who don’t know who they are, they’re like, ‘I don’t know?'” Banks joked. “‘They had a group that was like the henchmen from Die Hard?'”
Pitch Perfect 2 is out on May 15.
Reporting by Scott Huver.