A seasoned dancer with an impressive track record of performing with big-name talent, Kenny Wormald made headlines when he landed the lead role in the 2011 remake of the feature dance film, "Footloose...
The omnipresent Kevin Bacon will be returning to his 1980s roots. No, not the "bringing music back to Midwestern towns" thing. Kenny Wormald did what he could with that. I'm talking about television. Bacon, whose last regular stint on a TV series was on Guiding Light, has been cast to star in a new drama for Fox, created by screenwriter Kevin Williamson. You might recognize Williamson's name: he serves as executive producer and writer on The Vampire Diaries and wrote Scream, which starred Neve Campbell, who was in Wild Things with...well, you know. And there it is: the Bacon connection in six degrees or less.
Bacon is signed on for a 15-episode season of the new series, which is still untitled. The premise will focus on an FBI agent (Bacon) who is investigating a tech-savvy serial killer who, in Charles Manson fashion, aims to recruit a massive cult of murderes to join his movement.
Williamson wrote the pilot episode of this new show, which will be directed by Marcos Siega, who directed several episodes of Dexter and The Vampire Diaries.
Click the photo to see more images of Kevin Bacon.
The actor/dancer split from his girlfriend Lauren Bennett just last week (ends18Nov11), according to Life & Style magazine, and now he's back with Ashley Roberts - a former Pussycat Dolls burlesque star.
A source tells the publication, "Lauren is devastated."
Wormald and his ex dated for three years and broke off their romance in 2009.
Real Steel locked down an extra $16.3 million (£10.2 million) in ticket sales this week (ends16Oct11) to remain at number one, edging out Footloose, starring Kenny Wormald in the part made famous by Kevin Bacon in 1984. It debuted in second place with opening weekend takings of $16.1 million (£10 million).
Horror reboot The Thing entered the countdown at three, while Steve Martin's comedy The Big Year failed to tickle audiences and opened in ninth place.
In Craig Brewer’s (Hustle & Flow Black Snake Moan) Footloose – a remake of the beloved 1984 film – newcomer Kenny Wormald plays Ren McCormack a surly Boston teen forced to move in with his uncle’s family in Bomont Georgia after the death of his mother. For the past three years the youths of Bomont have suffered under a town ordinance barring all public dancing – the consequence of a tragic car accident that claimed the lives of five intoxicated high-school students leaving a dance party.
This vexes Ren. Like all red-blooded teenage boys he wants nothing more than to dance dance dance and he’ll be damned if he’ll let some reactionary (and undoubtedly unconstitutional) law prevent him from pursuing his passion. He vows to have it overturned in time for the students of Bomont to a mount a Senior Prom placing him on a collision course with Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) the uptight local preacher who spearheaded the anti-dancing campaign after losing his only son in the crash.
An acknowledged Footloose-phile Brewer’s affection for the 1984 film is such that he scarcely strays from the original’s script. Apart from an added opening sequence that depicts what was only revealed in the previous film through exposition the narrative – and indeed a healthy chunk of the dialogue – remains essentially unchanged. Brewer’s approach calls simply for retrofitting Footloose for a new generation: The choreography is more sophisticated the outfits more revealing the cinematography more polished the cast more diverse. Memorable scenes have been suitably punched-up: The superfluous tractor race is now a superfluous bus race; Ren’s iconic “angry dance” sequence is well angrier.
A dancer by training Wormald won’t invite many favorable comparisons to Kevin Bacon who famously portrayed Ren in the previous Footloose but he makes for a surprisingly endearing rebel-protagonist. Likewise Brewer fills out most of the rest of the cast with lesser-known yet capable players. Dancing With the Stars’ Julianne Hough plays Moore’s fiery troubled daughter Ariel whom Ren hopes to pry from her brutish boyfriend Chuck Cranston (Patrick John Flueger). A scene-stealing Miles Teller adds a deft comic touch as Ren’s wisecracking and resolutely dance-averse sidekick Willard.
With all its modern upgrades Brewer’s Footloose still retains its predecessor’s earnest unironic and avowedly anachronistic ethos. As before the storyline steeped as it is in melodrama and sentiment often borders on embarrassing. And yet there's an irresistible allure to its prevailing tone of joyful exuberance expressed most potently in the film's lively dance sequences. Sure Footloose sings a familiar tune but its got a good beat and you can dance to it.
Starting this Friday, Julianne Hough can be seen opposite Kenny Wormald in the Footloose remake. You can also find her on billboards, on iTunes, in commercials for ProActive, and on the arm of Ryan Seacrest. But the world hasn’t always been this full of Julianne Hough -- in fact, there was once a time (long before ago) when Hough was just another girl in a suburb of Salt Lake City who liked to dance.
Hough was born in July of 1988 to Mari Ann Heaton and Bruce Hough, the chairman of the Utah Republican Party (who, incidentally, met when they were both on their Idaho college’s ballroom dancing team). She was the fifth and final child of the family, and she officially began entering in dance competitions when she was 9. But then when she was 10, Hough's parents realized they wanted to divorce so they sent her and her older brother Derek (also a dancer from Dancing with the Stars) to London so they could continue studying with their coaches (Corky and Shirley Ballas) without witnessing the unpleasantries of their parents' separation. Once there, the Houghs (along with the Ballas’ son Mark, who also is a pro on Dancing with the Stars) enrolled in school at the Italia Conti Academy, where they learned about singing, theatre, gymnastics, and of course, dance. When she was 13, Julianne and Derek and Mark took the skills they’d acquired at school and formed the pop music group 2B1G (which adorably stood for “2 boys, 1 girl”) and went on to perform at several dance competitions in both the U.S. and the U.K. By the time she was 15, she was the youngest person ever to be named both the Junior Latin World Champion and the International Latin Youth Champion at the Blackpool Dance Festival (which is the world’s first and most famous ballroom dance competition that has been held in Blackpool, England since 1920). Upon returning to the states when she was 15 and after she finished high school in both Las Vegas and Utah, Hough then moved to Los Angeles to jumpstart her career in entertainment.
But she wasn’t immediately cast on Dancing with the Stars. It was only after starring in some television commercials that she was cast to be a dancer on Show Me The Money, which was a William Shatner-hosted game show featuring 13 dancers holding scrolls (it was not very much different than today’s Deal Or No Deal). And while Show Me The Money was a rather short-lived program, Julianne took the credential and used it to get a spot as a company dancer on the Dancing with the Stars tour. She was eventually promoted and joined the show’s main cast in time for its fourth season, which premiered on March 19th, 2007. She was partnered with Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Anton Ohno and the two of them went on to beat Laila Ali and Joe Fatone and receive the famed Mirror Ball Trophy. In the premiere of the show’s fifth season on September 24th, 2007 Hough was partnered with Indy racecar driver Helio Castroneves, and together they earned Hough her second Mirror Ball Trophy of the year. After the show’s seventh season ended in November of 2008, Hough stated on Ryan Seacrest's radio show she was planning to leave Dancing with the Stars so she could pursue a career in country music, although she ultimately continued dancing through the show's eighth season. But Hough’s participation on DWTS led to much more than just some mantle decor – in 2008 and in 2009 she was nominated for Emmys in the Outstanding Choreography category.
Even though Hough was only known for her dancing for the majority of 2007, she was privately planning to switch into the music industry all along. In May of that year she recorded a song called “Will You Dance With Me” and released it on iTunes to help benefit the American Red Cross. After signing with Universal Music Group Nashville, Hough began collaborating with producer David Malloy to create a self-titled album, which went on to debut in the #1 spot on the Top Country Albums chart on May 28th, 2008. On October 12th, Hough released a Christmas themed EP through Target called Sounds of the Season: The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection, which sold around 250,000 copies. In April of 2009, she won the Top New Artist award at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards and she recently completed her second studio album with Mercury Nashville, and it is slated to hit stores next year.
Hough’s success both on television and in music meant she was the perfect addition to the cast of 2010’s Burlesque, which starred Christina Aguilera as Ali, the girl from Iowa who became a dancer at a Los Angeles burlesque club owned by a former entertainer named Tess (played by Cher). The movie threaded song and dance into the plot in ways we haven’t really seen since 2006’s Dreamgirls and even though the film failed to turn a profit, Hough’s performance as one of the club’s dancers proved to producers that making movies was not outside her realm of capabilities. Hough was rewarded for Burlesque when she was cast as the female lead in Craig Brewer’s remake of the 1984 hit, Footloose. And while the public remains torn on whether or not the original Footloose even deserved a remake, they all seem to agree that Hough’s interpretation of Ariel is endearing and even earned her comparisons to a younger Jennifer Aniston.
Next up for Hough is Adam Shankman’s highly anticipated film adaptation of the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages, which stars Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones. If successful, her participation in the flick has the capacity to launch her into whichever entertainment stratosphere she wishes to primarily inhabit (that is, of course, if she can ever decide).
Sources: Julianne Hough, Wikipedia, IMDB, CMT, ACM Country, THR
Some Footloose fanatics feel the upcoming remake of the film is a mistake and will only sodden the memory of the Kevin Bacon classic. But in an interview with MTV News, members of the latest Footloose cast speak out about all the remake misconceptions and suggest fans "cut loose" and enjoy the show. Ziah Colon, who plays Rusty in the upcoming flick, states, "I think that there is a lot of misinformation, and then there are people that are upset that it's too similar and there are people that are upset that it's not similar enough. It's a fun movie. Go watch it. Have fun!" Miles Tiller, who plays the lovable Willard, even admits that nothing compares to the original classic, but it's time to move on and provide something new for the next generation. He promises, "We're not gonna take your childhood dreams and just, like, wring them of any importance. We understand that it's a very important film for people and that some of them saw it at an age where it really spoke to them. We're just trying to give a new generation of fans this story. So you should be OK with that."
As the new leading lady, Julianne Hough is also feeling the pressure to live up to the standards that fans hold for this movie. The dancer-turned-singer addresses a couple of misconceptions she's heard about the film, stating, "[People] think that it's going to be a dance movie, which it's really not — the original was a drama with dancing in it — but also that it's a remake that's going to suck, because a lot of remakes kind of, you know, butcher the original one. Those are the two misconceptions. One, it's not a dance movie, and two, I think we really did it justice and made it our own but kept what needed to be there." Well unless Kevin Bacon makes a cameo appearance then they didn't keep everything that needed to be in there, but I'm willing to give it a chance. With the end of an era comes the beginning of a new one, so maybe this remake (which hits theaters this Friday) will make us want to kick off our Sunday shoes and think -- Kevin who?
Click on the image below for more photos of Julianne Hough!
Kenny Wormald worked as a professional dancer in Los Angeles for eight years before Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer plucked him from relative obscurity to play the angry-dancing, authority-defying protagonist in his Footloose remake, inheriting the role made famous by Kevin Bacon. Soon, drunken trivia hounds around the country will be engaged in feverish games of Six Degrees of Kenny Wormald. Admittedly, these games will be very, very short.
In an exclusive interview with Hollywood.com, Boston-bred Wormald spoke about his breakout role, his comely co-star, his obsessive director, and the Quaid factor.
Having worked primarily as a dancer, this has to be an eye-opening experience for you.
Yeah, it’s definitely different. Not only am I speaking now [laughs], but getting the weight of a project, good and bad, thrown at [me]. Cause it’s Footloose and a lot of people hold it very close to their hearts, so it’s like if this movie messes up, it’s kind of on my shoulders. But fortunately I had a great cast and an amazing director. I feel grateful for the people I was surrounded by, who allowed me to kind of do the best I possibly can.
Were you a fan of the original film?
I grew up dancing, so I’d seen that film a ton of times. I always reference that angry dance scene. It’s just one of those movies you always see as a kid, and still to this day. I think it was on VH1 yesterday. So it’s definitely been around in my life, and I absolutely loved it. So to get to remake it was surreal and also gratifying. When I heard there were other actors involved for the role of Ren, I was a bit jealous. I was like, “Damn, I could do that, man. Give me a chance.” So when the chance came, I just bee-lined it and worked really hard to get the role.
I was surprised to hear your director, Craig Brewer, cite the original Footloose as one of the formative films of his youth. What was it like working with him?
Working with Crag was incredible; I wouldn’t want to make anyone else’s Footloose other than his. He wasn’t just a guy going for a paycheck. It was a passion project for him, because he was obsessed with the original. When I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. He refers to himself as a "Footloose-ologist," because he knows it shot-for-shot, every word. He saw it first when he was 17 and fell in love with it. He was the best quarterback for this film. I tell the guy, “I’ll babysit your kids; I’ll wash your car. I’ll do whatever the hell you want for the rest of my life, because this experience has been unbelievable.”
You have a few different dance sequences in the film. Which was your favorite?
I think what’s cool about the dance sequences in this movie is that they’re all different. There’s about four different scenes with dancing in it, and they’re all very different. They’re all cool in their own way, but the angry dance is pretty iconic, so to get to do that was surreal. I think we tackled it in the right way. Craig found a great song for it, which helped. That’s how he pitched the film to Paramount: He went in there with a boombox and played the angry dance song, and it was kind of the core of his creativity. He was so passionate about it. I remember him pitching it to me after I was already booked, and I was getting chills just listening to him talk about it.
What was it like facing off with the great Dennis Quaid? That had to be a little intimidating.
I made it a point to not watch any Dennis Quaid movies once I booked it. Like all summer, if I saw one of his films [on TV], I was like, change [the channel], because I didn’t want to let that affect me. I already had enough intimidation where I felt like I could use it a bit, for my character to use it. When I first meet him, I need to feel a little bit smaller and less than him. And throughout the film I thought I could use that. But once you get to know the guy, the intimidation level goes down. He’s funny and cool and charming. It’s funny; one day after working, he taps me on the shoulder and goes, “It was great working with me, kid.” And I was like [mimes confusion], you just totally got me. He’s that cool guy that you hoped he would be.
Talk about working with Julianne Hough. She’s really blowing up.
Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s great I got to work with her now, because she’s gonna be unstoppable for a while. I think both of us coming from a dance background was helpful. This movie’s pretty much on her and I, as far as our scenes and the story. We had each other’s backs. Craig was really supportive of us. He made a point to call me after I was booked to tell me, “You didn’t get this for your dancing; you got it for your acting.” And I think the same went for Julianne.
Do you plan on pursuing non-dancing roles? Has Footloose opened up new avenues for you?
Yeah. I’ve gotten into some rooms now that I couldn’t have begged or bought my way into. I read for Ron Howard not too long ago for The Dark Tower. Just getting into that room, to me, was a success. I know not a lot of guys got to read for him, so that was an honor. Things like that have changed for sure. So yeah, I plan on sticking around for a while and doing films that aren’t just dance movies. I’m attached to a movie now called Someone in the Dark, which is this really cool, badass sexy thriller. They’re finding the lead girl right now. I’m just so excited to be attached. There’s no dancing in the movie, and I’m proud of that. I think it says something about Craig Brewer and about our Footloose, because it’s not a typical dance movie. I’ve danced in some of those dance movies in the past decade; some of ‘em are weak in the plot. Fortunately we weren’t that way.
Footloose opens everywhere this Friday, October 14, 2011.
Click below for more images of Kenny Wormald:
"I had a dream the other day that I met him; I was in my front yard... and he walked out on the sidewalk and I was like, 'No way!' and he was like, 'No way!' And that's all I remember." Kenny Wormald dreams of meeting Kevin Bacon after starring in the remake of his hit film Footloose.
"They called me ballet boy and fag. I remember being bummed out and not knowing why they were making fun of me. What the hell were they doing after school? Playing video games? I'm in a room with 40 or 50 girls!" New Footloose star Kenny Wormald on the torment he received at school for his dancing skills.
Appeared as a dancer in the feature film "You Got Served"
Appeared in the MTV reality series "Dancelife," about Los Angeles-based dancers following Jennifer Lopez's footsteps into the industry
Assumed the role of Ren McCormack (originally played by Kevin Bacon) in the remake of the 1984 dance drama "Footloose"
Won the Master Dance of New England competition
Danced in the comedy sequel "Clerks II"
Co-starred with Rachele Brooke Smith in "Center Stage: Turn It Up"
A seasoned dancer with an impressive track record of performing with big-name talent, Kenny Wormald made headlines when he landed the lead role in the 2011 remake of the feature dance film, "Footloose. " The New England-born Wormald took to dancing early, studying various forms from the age of six and winning numerous awards by the time he graduated high school. He moved to Los Angeles in 2002, where he secured choreographed spots in film and on television, including music videos of well-known performers like Madonna and Mariah Carey. In 2007 he was cast on the MTV reality series, "Dancelife" (2007), and toured as a backup hoofer for Justin Timberlake. Wormald had a big break the following year when he appeared as a lead in the TV movie, "Center Stage: Turn It Up" (Oxygen, 2008). In 2010 his profile rose even more when he was cast as the star of "Footloose," after Zac Efron and Chace Crawford passed on the role, offering Wormald a major opportunity to showcase his acting skills and, like Kevin Bacon had 20-plus years earlier, his undeniable mastery of dance.