One of the realities of interviewing actors from a film you enjoyed is that the chemistry for the friendships you see on screen rarely ever translates to real life. When you ask a performer why he or she got along so well with a costar, the answer is usually that everyone was just doing their job really well. They fooled you and went their separate ways after the movie wrapped.
That is not the case with Everybody Wants Some!!.
For his ode to young, male friendship, Richard Linklater needed to create a world that felt so real and lived-in and likable that the audience would never know that the movie is essentially plotless. The viewer would be fine just hanging out with the baseball team at the center of the movie. To do that, Linklater moved the cast — made up of a mix of working actors and some non-actors — out to his Austin-area ranch for a rehearsal process that helped forge actual friendships, which then bled into the characters and their scenes.
I sat down with the cast during the first weekend of SXSW, where Everybody Wants Some!! premiered, and every bit of the camaraderie in the film is there in real life. The guys and girl talk like friends and make fun of each other as only buddies could.
To get an idea of what it was like to spend the afternoon with the cast of Everybody Wants Some!!, here are a few choice snippets from our conversations.
1. Austin Amelia (Nesbit)
I remember when I got the call, I was stressing out about work. “There’s no f—king work in Austin! I knew I should be in L.A.!” I called my agent. “I’m going to L.A.!” Then I got the notice for Linklater’s film, and I guess it was that night before I got it, I had shaved just my goatee, so I had the mustache and sideburns. When I went in there, it was 1980, and I was like, “Oh my God. This is perfect.”
Temple Baker: Talking about Austin’s looks, every time I would go into audition, there’d be this sketchy-looking redhead hanging out, smoking cigarettes. It was like, “So this studio has a drug dealer that they keep on retainer?”
2. Forrest Vickery (Coma)
I remember getting to set, and everyone was talking about this letter Rick wrote us. He was like, “Hey, everyone. Let’s just be free with the script. That will help us.” Then we start working on the script, but I never got the email. All 11 other dudes got the email. They were like, “How cool is it that Rick wrote that to us?” They’re improv-ing and stuff, and I’m like, “He didn’t tell me to improv.” At the end of the first week, I went up to Rick, and I was like, “Rick, everybody else got this letter, and I didn’t get this letter. I didn’t know if you just didn’t want me to improv or stick to the Coma you wrote.” Then he goes, “Oh, there’s two Rs in your name.” At least that’s what he said.
3. Glen Powell (Finnegan)
Girls don’t like mustaches in this day and age. It seems creepy. We went to Guero’s Taco Bar on one of the first days, right when we got all of our mustaches shaped and with our mutton chops. We all walked in together, and everybody was like, “Are you guys in a club? Why are you all together, a big group of jock dudes with mustaches coming in with a purpose? It’s a little aggressive.”
4. Ryan Guzman (Roper)
On the audition process
I said to them, “How much do you want to know about me? Because we can get deep.” I just told them I was a f— up.
About Guzman’s lost mustache
Blake Jenner: I thought Ryan was going to keep his mustache.
Glen Powell: The problem is that he and McReynolds looked the same. He begged Rick not to make him lose it. He really wanted a mustache.
5. Blake Jenner (Jake)
We all kind of did the interview thing, getting to know you, what sports you played. After that, we had to choose from some characters. I chose my role, Glen’s role, and Quentin’s role. I was playing with that, and as we kept going down the list of auditions, it was “Let go of Dale and focus on these two.” Toward the last, I got to do my chemistry read with this fine man [Powell], and we had known each other before for a little while, which was cool, so there was already a little relationship.
Zoey Deutch: You did?
Glen Powell: You didn’t know that?
Zoey Deutch: No, I knew that. I just wanted to act surprised.
6. Temple Baker (Plummer)
It was a casting call for 18- to 23-year-old handsome and charismatic young men with a background in baseball. Handsome and charismatic? I don’t play baseball, but that’s me. Me and my buddy, we have a couple drinks and show up. I walk in the room. They’re like “What’s your name?” I tell them. Blah, blah, blah. They say, “Do you have any funny stories from college?” Yeah, I do! I’ve got some funny stories from college. So I go on, and I’m in the zone. I could have taken home the prettiest girl in the bar. I was nailing it. It’s been 45 minutes all of the sudden. I look around, and go “Ok, I’m out.” I walk outside and look at my buddy and go, “Dude, it’s really f—ing easy. Just go in there and rock & roll. He walks out three minutes later. “You asshole. All they did was ask me about you.”
I eventually learned that one of Glen [Powell]’s cousins went to high school with me, and I actually beat him up when I was a freshman. He was like, “Do you know Drew?” And I was like, “Yeah, I kicked his ass when I was a freshman in front of all of his friends.” Yeah, that kid was the worst.
7. Juston Street (Jay)
I was in L.A., and I called my agent — the only agent I had — in Austin. They said, “Hey, they’re doing a call for Richard Linklater’s new film about a baseball team.” I’m like, “Holy crap, I used to play baseball.” I flew home, and I went in with Austin Amelio, my homey. We were with the same agency. We had done the same two-year training together. We were basically two wild men in Austin, Texas, calling themselves artists, like going deep on anything we could, like plays we put on in our buddy’s bar. Just doin’ it for the art, whatever you want to call it. If it’s a cliché, it’s a cliché. We got this call to make a skills video after we came in and told them about college. I just told them about how I never stopped at red lights.
8. Richard Linklater (director)
The script was my usual combo of pretty tight and pretty loose. Certainly by the time we’re shooting, we know what we’re doing, but that workshop-rehearsal process is essential to dialing in the humor, like what characters would say what and modifying it to the actors I’ve cast, their strengths, and what makes them funny. The writer in me gets fired by the director in me. It’s like, “Hey, I’m just trying to make the best movie. That doesn’t work. That’s not funny. I’m giving these lines to this other person.” It’s just all up for grabs in terms of what works for the movie.
9. Zoey Deutch (Beverly)
When I came in to chemistry read with Blake, Rick and I went to lunch before, and he drove me to my audition. That’s a first. At the end of it, I felt like, ‘Oh my God, what did I just do?’ He was like, ‘Thank you for flying out,’ and handed me a stack of CDs. I thought, “That’s sweet. He gave me a consolation prize.” I later found out that it was music to listen to while shooting.
10. J. Quinton Johnson (Dale)
I didn’t get in trouble a lot in college, but I knew it was a kind of party college baseball movie. I was just like, “I’m not that guy.” I’m kind of a chill guy. I don’t really go out much, but it was that honesty that they wanted, because I still got a call back. In my head I was thinking, “If I say I’m this kind of boring, I don’t think it’s really going to get me this film.” I just stayed honest.
11. Wyatt Russell (Willoughby)
My whole family played baseball except me. I played hockey. None of that translated at all to baseball. Literally, just the mentality. I was afraid, like, “Oh my God. Did I forget how to throw a baseball?”
Ryan Guzman: This guy has the most natural motion I’ve ever seen, as far as a pitcher, but once the ball comes out of the hands…
12. Tanner Kalina (Brumley)
Yeah, I did the splits in my audition. One of the questions they asked me was, “Do you have any party tricks or whatever.” I was like, “Well, you know, when things are going well and I’m about to make a move and before the inevitable rejection, I do the splits.” They were like, “Prove it.” So I got up and did the split. I was in my tight corduroy pants, but man, I rocked it.”
13. Tyler Hoechlin (McReynolds)
On performing his own stunts
I did swing an ax and the ball was cut in half. Props gave it to me as a little gift. I got to take the two halves home.
Ryan Guzman: He has half of the ball at our place. Mind you, we live together. Not in the same bed. It’s technically our house, but your bedroom.
14. Will Brittain (Beuter)
It kind of blew my mind, but on the day of the audition, I was going to get my marriage license for my wedding. I had left to get the marriage license. I come back. I walk into the audition like, “I got it,” and Austin’s playing a song on his phone. The song he’s playing is mine and my wife’s wedding song. I got chill bumps, like, dude, you’re literally playing my wedding song. We all looked at each other… and I started to take my belt off. Juston took off his shoes. I don’t remember much after that.