The post The Umbrella Academy Cast on Making Season 3’s Footloose Dance Battle Happen: “It Was Just Crazy” appeared first on Consequence.
fans of The Umbrella Academy know that with each new season, the Netflix original superhero drama will find new ways to raise the bar for musical weirdness. But while Season 3 certainly delivered its share of unconventional needle drops and wild karaoke, perhaps the most standout soundtrack moment of the season occurs in the first episode, as the Umbrella gang comes face to face with an alternate version of their universe. own team of superheroes, and the ensuing confrontation… turns into a dance battle.
Not just any dance battle, but a dance battle to Kenny Loggins’ iconic song “Footloose” – a two and a half minute dance show featuring both the new cast of Sparrows (Justin Cornwell, Justin H. Min, Britne Oldford, Jake Epstein, Genesis Rodriguez, Cazzie David and Christopher the Cube) as well as main cast members Viktor (Elliot Page), Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver -Lampman), Klaus (Robert Sheehan) and Five (Aidan Gallagher).
It could technically be a fight, but the hallucinatory streak quickly turns joyful, and speaking to Hopper, Castañeda, Raver-Lampman, Sheehan, Min, and showrunner Steve Blackman, it becomes clear that it was truly a labor of love. (And a lot of work.)
Blackman says the train of thought that led to Kenny Loggins began with the opening confrontation between the Umbrellas and the Sparrows, specifically Sparrow Jayme’s (David) spitting attack, which induces hallucinations. “It was Diego who was hit,” he said. “So I just tried to think, what would Diego have been hallucinating? And then I found it very funny that he might go to “Footloose”.
“There was a lot of thought to like, why does Diego have this specific dream? You know, what obsession does he have with Kevin Bacon or the Free from all ties movies ? Castañeda said.
“Fantasies, really,” Min interjects.
“Fantasms, yes. This dream of him maybe being a Broadway star,” Castañeda said.
According to Blackman, once it was in the script, “the actors were like, are you, are we really doing this? I’m like, yeah, we’re really doing this. And to their credit, they did during lockdown.
Hopper says his first reaction to learning the sequence was simply, “good song…It makes sense to Umbrella. Why would we be surprised? And then it quickly turned into fear when we found out what the dance was going to be like.
The memory of a video sent in by choreographer John Heginbotham, a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow whose New York-based dance company Dance Heginbotham demonstrated the full routine for the actors, “full speed,” Hopper notes, hung over everyone. the people involved.
“Nimble-looking, nimble young dancers, doing it effortlessly,” adds Sheehan.
“They do yoga for sure,” Hopper agrees.
“When they sent us the video, I didn’t open it because I was so scared. I’m like, ‘I’ll never learn these moves,’” Castañeda says. However, his terror diminished when he and the rest of the cast began working with Heginbotham via Zoom to master the choreography.
“It was pretty intense,” Raver-Lampman says. “We started conversations about dance in December 2020. And we didn’t start filming until mid-February 2021. So, you know, it was about two and a half months of conversations with [Heginbotham] just to get everyone’s comfort and special skills. And then, you know, once we all traveled to Toronto and were in quarantine, we were doing several rehearsals a week via Zoom.
Hopper notes that there was a chance at some point that they would have to shoot the sequence in small groups. “We had a situation in Ontario at the time where there was a rule due to COVID that we weren’t allowed to have a lot of actors on set. I think we were limited to six at one point – it looked like we had to do six or seven at a time and then the other seven. Then they lifted it, so we could do the whole scene with everyone.
Raver-Lampman says that once the cast came out of quarantine, there were about three weeks of in-person, completely masked rehearsals. “There were two dance studios across from each other,” she says. “One was for stunts and sparring and then the other was for dancing. And so we would just like to go back and forth in the room all day, just learning and practicing and repeating and over and over and over.
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)
Within the core Umbrella cast, there are varying levels of skill involved, and Min and Castañeda are quick to point out that Raver-Lampman (whose Broadway credits include Hair and hamilton) might have needed less help than they did. “You didn’t watch the video, Emmy, admit it. You haven’t watched the video,” Min says.
Raver-Lampman laughs. “I did! I watched it once…”
“She looked at him oncesays Min.
Castañeda adds, “She’s like, ‘We’ve done a lot of work…'”
Meanwhile, Min says, “I watched the video everyday and still couldn’t dance…”
“That’s not true!” Raver-Lampman protests.
“I was placed at the back. For very specific reasons,” continues Min.
Raver-Lampman says, “Everyone had their moment to shine. I’m so proud of everyone, especially this new cast of Sparrows – they really were thrown into the fire. I mean, Umbrella is a very fast train and they just got in the saddle and got on and were such soldiers. They are all such amazing actors and performers.
The entire sequence took about six days to shoot, “because once we had the fights and the dances, we also had the camera choreography. [to figure out]“, according to Raver-Lampman. “It was just madness. It took hundreds of people to make it happen. But the end result is epic.
Sheehan says that “It wasn’t until the final cut that I realized how long this sequence was.”
“Because we also had all the thumbnails,” says Hopper. “The little pieces where we danced together. Duets and all that.
“You and Justin Cornwell had a 30-second intro,” Sheehan points out, “And I was right behind you, thanking my lucky stars. I remember standing there saying, ‘Oh, well, at least, I don’t have to do that too.”
“That was actually the hardest part,” Hopper says. “And also [episode director] Jeremy Webb changed it the same day. He was like, ‘Tom, can you go the other way?’ And I was like, ‘Go the other way? I kind of memorized this that way.’ Hopper laughs. “I had to teach my legs very quickly to go the other way it wanted.”
By the way, don’t ask Sheehan or Hopper to recreate any of their moves from this sequence, because neither of them remembers it now. “It’s like a story of muscle memory. It’s either in there or it goes away,” Hopper says.
What matters, however, is that they knew their role when the cameras were rolling. “I’m proud to say that we’ve never used a dance double,” says Blackman. ” That was all. But from start to finish, it took about two months to get it right. And they did a great job.
“It was exhilarating, you know,” Castañeda says. “It’s exciting to come back after almost a year without filming and to see your family again and to be able to play with them.”
The Umbrella Academy Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.
The Umbrella Academy Cast on Making Season 3’s Footloose Dance Battle: “It Was Just Crazy”
Liz Shannon Miller
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