Everybody Wants Some!! How Richard Linklater Cast his Fresh Ensemble

Everybody_Wants_Some_posterDirected by Richard Linklater, EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! is the first film outing for a lot of its cast.

Temple Baker

Temple Baker, who brilliantly plays dim freshman Tyrone Plummer, had not acted since a fifth grade production of ‘Romeo and Juliet.’

“I heard about auditions through some friends. They thought, ‘Temple loves movies. Temple used to play baseball. He should try out. It’d be hilarious,” Baker recalls.  At the time, Baker was enrolled in full time at Vanderbilt University. “When I got the part, I had to meet with a bunch of deans to see if I could leave school to do the movie without dropping out, since I was about 25 hours away from graduating. The whole experience was so surreal that I’m sure they thought it was a prank.”

“Rick says his biggest talent is casting,” Powell recounts. “I remember during auditions, we crossed paths with some pretty big names reading for Plummer, but Temple brought something unique to the table. Rick saw that.”

The cast gathered in the Austin area for rehearsals in September of 2014, a month before principal photography began. For the next three weeks, the cast would recreate the college experience, bunking together at Linklater’s 50 acre ranch in Bastrop, Texas, playing baseball, rehearsing and building a sense of camaraderie that would inform the relationships of their characters.

“To get the best results, I wanted everyone comfortable with each other, developing a short hand and really getting to know each other,” Linklater explains. “I don’t see it as just a work environment; they’re creative people as well, and I wanted to give them room to play with the material, push boundaries and figure out who their characters are.”

“In the first three days of being on a team, you learn everything you need to know about the people you’re with,” says Wyatt Russell. “You form these bonds in a very short amount of time because you’re working towards a common goal.”

Ryan Guzman

“Knowing that everybody’s trying to make the best possible production, it never felt like work,” says Ryan Guzman. “We all pushed each other to a new level performance wise and had a lot of fun doing it.”

“Rick’s investment in every single person is fantastic, regardless of the size of the role,” says Forrest Vickery, who plays lethargic housemate Coma.

Linklater’s style and demeanor also made an impression on J. Quinton Johnson, who plays Finn’s roommate and upperclassman voice of reason Dale Douglas. “As a writer-director, he’s so unique. It takes a lot of humility to take all this great, nuanced dialogue he’s crafted and mulled over, then turn it over to twelve guys and say, “Run with it.”

“Real life doesn’t always have cataclysmic events,” Powell observes. “Rick’s movies are very grounded in real life. This isn’t a story about chasing the pennant; it’s about capturing the essence of this time and place. It’s not loaded down with plot points. It’s about these guys living in this house, and what they’re concerned with this particular weekend.”

The film proved autobiographical for the cast as well.

Tanner Kalina

Tanner Kalina, who plays the highly suggestible freshman, Brumley, based the character on a younger version of himself. “I’m really just playing myself from freshman year. I was kind of this aloof goof, trying to figure out where I fit in.”

“The rehearsal process made a huge difference,” Hoechlin recalls. We were able to run through the scenes over and over like you would a play, but because we were encouraged to be creative and make it our own, it never felt stale. We’d continue to find new things on the day.”

To avoid anachronisms in their improvisations, Linklater gave the young cast homework assignments researching the era. When in doubt, the cast mantra became “ask Rick.”

“His powers of recollection are pretty incredible,” marvels Hoechlin. “We might throw out an idea, and he’d say ‘I don’t think people were saying that yet’ or ‘that came out two years earlier, so it might not be as cool.’ It’s nice to have somebody there that can remember that stuff, down to the month and year.”

“That’s why we call him Rickipedia,” says Guzman.

“I didn’t want them even referring to anything in the future in a way that would come off as knowing or ironic,” says Linklater. “I wanted to feel like we’d just dropped down a camera in 1980 and filmed what was going on in these guy’s lives.”