Alyson Stoner and Adam Sevani "Step Up" Again
In the dance film Step Up 2: The Streets, Disney Channel fave Alyson Stoner, who will soon be seen in Camp Rock 2, and cute Adam Sevani played best high-school buds Camille and Moose. In the sequel Step Up 3D, the two are freshmen students at NYU. Will their friendship turn romantic?
At our sit-down with the duo at the trendy Mondrian Hotel on the Sunset Strip (where celebs party down on the roof at the famed Sky Bar), we asked Alyson and Adam, who are old pals, about their on-screen romance and dance duet, how they adjusted to dancing for 3D cameras and much more…
Kidzworld: In the film, Adam's character Moose keeps being a no-show for dates with Camille but she sticks with him. In real life, Alyson, if a guy didn't show up that much, would you put up with it and, Adam, would you do that to a girl?
Alyson: I'm very understanding and very patient and I actually sort of psychoanalyze his motives, like maybe he was brought up a certain way and didn't understand what loyalty or support meant so I would be very forgiving and merciful. Everything can be gotten through with a little grace.
Adam: To be honest with you I had a big problem with [director] Jon [Chu] about that because I was like, “I would never do that to a girl.” Just would never do that.
Alyson: But it's not you, Adam, it's [your character] Moose!
Adam: I know but I was like, “Girls are gonna hate me after this because he's just leaving her,” but when I saw it, it worked out. People who saw it [tell me], “You were so mean in the movie.” But I knew it beforehand.
Alyson: He's not mean, he's just completely oblivious to Camille's interests [she laughs].
Kidzworld: You two have a great dance duet scene on the streets of New York and it seems uncut. How difficult was that to perform?
Alyson: Right, one scene. We did how many takes of that three-minute number?
Adam: I think 19.
Alyson: About 20 takes, which is really taxing; physically, mentally, emotionally taxing. I was beaten up pretty nicely because I was being led by him through a taxi so I had to figure out his footing and if I missed it by an inch, I'd bang my head right before [getting in] the taxi then fall after I left the taxi. So, we don't like taxis anymore basically [laughter]. But it was a lot of fun and a great challenge creatively.
Adam: To be honest with you that number was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. It looks really easy but we got it one time out of the [many] takes. Everything messed up. The trashcans are in sync on that one take but they were never in sync. When I take off my hat when we get into the taxi [was a problem].
There was a little boom box and you couldn't hear the music and we were always kind of off. If one thing was off, you had to go back so it was exhausting because we were literally running back and forth and I was soaking wet with my shirt sticking to me and it was cold and there was rain.
Alyson: And also, trying to communicate a story while you are dancing, that was a nice challenge as well. We were trying to provide a character arc that would make the scenes before and after connect and do that while remembering steps and doing your own stunts in one take.
Kidzworld: Alyson, If you had to choose between dancing and acting, which would you pick?
Alyson: You can never, ever choose. Some people I've reached through acting have no idea that I dance and some people who've seen the Missy [Elliott] music videos and said, “Wow, you've inspired me to start dancing,” have no clue that I've ever worked for Disney Channel so it depends on what gift I'm trying to share.
Kidzworld: You guys have great chemistry. Haven't you known each other a while?
Alyson: Well, eight years ago, Adam and I did the J. C. Penney commercial campaign together.
Adam: Everyone knows everybody in this movie. That's why the chemistry reads on screen.
Alyson: And during weeks and weeks of intense dance rehearsals, you bond with the people next to you because you're all in it together.
Adam: Yeah we did the Miley Cyrus dance battle videos online which got millions of hits. That's when we actually started to mesh as a unit; many different styles, many different dancers and being on set, we all played around but [on camera] it's exactly what we are in real life.
Alyson: It's raw and organic.
Kidzworld: The main message I got from the movie is to follow your passion. Sometimes kids and teens have parents trying to guide them in a direction they don't want to go in. What would you tell kids about that?
Alyson: Firstly, your parents have your best interests at heart. They may have a dream for you and believe your unique gifts fit in that area. Once you grow into your own person, you can make your own decisions, obviously but they do want you to do well in whatever you do.
You have to decide if you want something stable and safe or if you want to take a risk and go outside the formula and try something new. That's everything that dance embodies.
Kidzworld: Isn't dance a tough occupation?
Alyson: You can be homeless for months at a time or living on a dollar a day just because you want to pursue your dream in the dance industry but it's that much more fulfilling than maybe working a 9 to 5 [job] if that's not what you're fit to do.
Kidzworld: Will there be a Step Up 4 and what would your relationship be?
Alyson: We'd be married with a dozen kids. No! [she laughs] For me, let's get through his one first. This is superhuman. Where do we go? Maybe we'd be holograms coming at you? Scratch and sniff movie.
Kidzworld: You two danced in Step Up 2. What was different about performing for the 3-D cameras in this one?
Alyson: As an actor it's not much different. You just learn a different level of patience because they are working out the angles that flatter the choreography best in 3-D as well as the timing and positioning. But as an actor and performer, you're focused on the art of it and let the technical people do their thing. As long as you work cohesively, the product is nice.
Adam: No difference, just timing. We would wait longer for the camera to be set up. No actual difference, no.
Alyson: The camera is a diva sometimes [laughter].
Lynn Barker, an editor and entertainment journalist for several websites, magazines and newspapers, has been active in the entertainment industry for many years.
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