Footloose actor Miles Teller, who plays Willard in Director Craig Brewer‘s just released remake, may not have seen the original 80’s movie that previously starred Kevin Bacon, but Teller explains that playing the same role back in high school gave him an advantage.
“I had a whole run with it. I knew the story of ‘Footloose,’ not through some other actor performing it, but from the text. So I came into it with a strong foundation of what I wanted to do with the character. But now I was more physically right for the character. When I did it in high school, I was like 5′ 2″ and 115 lbs or something,” he said.
Teller explains that while he may have had prior experience, the big screen production had its obvious differences. “Well, in high school, I was singing, because it’s a musical, so that’s different. And when I did it in high school, I was the little guy and Ren was my buddy who was, like, way bigger than me. And when I would be like, ‘Hey man, you want to fight?’ I’m sure it was more comedic because I was just this little bulldog with a mouth. But in this one, obviously my understanding of acting was a little more in-depth, so I guess that’s what I brought to it, a better brain.” Channeling the southern twang of Willard also took a little work for the twenty-four year old. “I grew up in a southern town in Florida, so that’s legitimate how some of my buddies talk. And the original accent that I did was too southern and they said, “We can’t understand a thing you’re saying. And then Laray Mayfield, the casting director, she’s from Tennessee, and [director] Craig [Brewer] is from Memphis, so they wanted me to make it a little more twangy.”
Watch Teller and the stars of Footloose below.