Interview -- Footloose's Miles Teller

The role of Ren McCormack may have made Kevin Bacon the undisputed breakout star of Footloose (1984), but this time around it looks like Willard’s character, performed by newcomer Miles Teller, is the one that people will be buzzing about. Miles brings Willard (originally played by the late Chris Penn)to life on the big screen complete with a southern accent and overalls, all of which are well known to him. "The elements that we were using in this story made sense to me and were familiar," said the small town native, Miles,"They actually do figure eights in my hometown and they have a race track. He [Willard] was somebody that certainly lived in my town. He was a good ol' boy.... I used a lot of that experience."


Unlike Chris Penn who actually couldn't dance*, Miles had a difficult time learning how not to dance. "That was one of the trickier things I had to do because rhythm is kind of natural for me. It's hard to dance off beat so I just made it work like this movement exercise where I wanted myself to feel uncomfortable in my own skin and you know you've got to make it look good," admitted Miles.

Ironically enough Miles confessed to never having seen the original Footloose, but says he still felt the pressure all the same. "There wasn't a single day where I didn't try and perform up to my own expectations," said Miles, "There's an enormity of pressure that comes with your first major studio film. Acting, there's a lot of pressure and stress that comes along with it.... I was nervous, I knew there were a lot of expectations, but I just used it as a positive energy to put on a good performance."

He previously starred alongside Dianne Wiest, who fans remember as the Reverend‘s wife in the Kevin Bacon version, in the film Rabbit Hole. While promoting Rabbit Hole Miles went up to Dianne and informed her that he had been cast in the remake to which she responded that she couldn‘t believe he was old enough to even know who she was.

Footloose was also the very first play that he was in during high school and naturally he played Willard. However, for the film Miles originally auditioned for the role of Ren McCormack. "She [casting director] said that I'd make a good Ren, but that I would make a perfect Willard."

Miles also talked about a few of his latest projects that he's wrapping up. "I just finished a movie, it's called '21 and Over' and it's written by the guys who wrote 'The Hangover'...... It's really funny." He will also be starring in the tightly wrapped 'Project X', but couldn't give many details due to nondisclosure and privacy agreements.

*It's because Chris Penn couldn't dance in real life that the director added in the 'Let's Hear it For the Boy' dance scenes to the script.