Director reflects on the beloved teen comedy, which celebrates its 15th anniversary on Aug. 25
Bring It On — which came out 15 years ago on Aug. 25, 2000 — is packed with high-flying stunts, quick choreography, and quotable quips, from its opening dream sequence to its carefree “Hey Mickey!” finish.
But for Peyton Reed, who directed the 2000 cheerleading film, the best scene in the movie had nothing to do with cheerleading at all. No Toros or Clovers cheers here — it doesn’t even have dialogue.
His favorite moment, he revealed to EW, is the memorable tooth-brushing-as-flirting scene between Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) and Cliff (Jesse Bradford).
“I loved that it was a wordless scene and it creates this tension … they clearly have feelings for each other and it’s this weird banter that really plays out through the way they brush their teeth!” he laughed. “There’s a moment where Kirsten kind of blocks her spitting [the toothpaste] and it was just really cute and I was really pleased with the chemistry they had in that scene together.”
“It felt like something out of an old ‘40s movie, where it was not a dialogue-based scene — there’s so much dialogue in these snappy comebacks and things in the movie,” he added, “and then here’s a scene that was a much more quiet, but you clearly knew what each of those actors was thinking at the time.”
Another highlight? Missy’s (Eliza Dushku) first scene in the film, when she tries out for the Toros squad. “I always liked that a lot,” he said.
Bring It On was Reed’s first feature film, and he recalled the set feeling somewhat akin to being “a camp counselor at a summer camp.”
“We had these young actors and they were all so enthusiastic about being in a movie, and I just remember the feeling on the set was. It really did mirror what it would be like at a cheer competition — it was all enthusiasm,” said Reed, who has since directed The Break-Up, Yes Man and this summer’s Ant-Man. “I’ve made a lot of movies since then, but there’s something about that first experience, and certainly because it came out well — I remember being nervous a couple of weeks before it was going to it came out, [thinking,] Is anybody gonna go see a competitive cheerleader comedy? And the fact that it came out and ended up doing well, it was such a great first experience to have as a first movie. So I have really great, fond memories of making that movie.”
The night Bring It On opened, Reed traveled around in a van to different theaters with producer Marc Abraham, Dunst, and the actress’ mother to see how the film was playing with audiences, and they were all together when it became clear it would open that weekend at No. 1.
“I remember Kirsten kind of tearing up and [saying], ‘Oh my god, I have a No. 1 movie!’ She was 17 at the time,” he said. “It was amazing, and Marc Abraham turned to me and said ‘Man, this is only gonna happen once, it is not gonna get any better than this. So just remember tonight.’ It was such an amazing feeling that it was really, I think even more amazing for me because it was so unexpected.”
“It’s definitely a movie about teamwork and kids coming together and working together and it kind of mirrors the way we made the movie,” he went on. “We didn’t have a lot of money to make the movie, and it was my first movie, so I was just running on pure adrenaline and I guess that’s kind of what cheerleaders do [laughs]. It was a great feeling.”
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