Saturday, March 1, 2008

Shimmy Exclusive Interview

Step Up 2 The Streets' Briana Evigan

Photo Credits: Karen Ballard

Shimmy: How have the last two weeks since the release of Step Up 2 The Streets been for you?

Briana Evigan: It has been crazy! I've been doing lots of press and going to a lot of cool events. I've got another movie in the Philippines starting March 5 so I've been trying to get ready for that and trying to get another movie lined up for April, when I'm back.

Shimmy: Tell me about the movie that you're starting March 5th.

Briana Evigan: It's an independent, aimed at Sundance so it'll be a little bit slower for me and that'll be nice. It's a drama/romance that is based on the 1999 I Love You virus. I'm playing a DJ in it, a really cool girl and that's all I really know so far. I read the script and thought it was really cute and fun. I'll find everything else out in a few days. I'm excited.

Shimmy: Did you expect Step Up 2 to do so well its' first week out?

Briana Evigan: Not really to be honest. Everybody was just kind of waiting to see what would happen. We didn't have too high expectations just because it is a dance movie. You never know who you'll attract to it but I'm so happy about it. It's just awesome because it's my first role- first real job and it blew up as big as it did!

Shimmy: What was the best part of working on the film for you?

Briana Evigan: The people that I got to work with were just so cool for a first experience. The director was really great with helping everyone to fulfill their first roles. The dancers were just so warm and welcoming to one another. Of course the dancing was exciting for me. I got to work with three of the top choreographers in the world. They were just unbelievable and they taught me all different types of dance that I'd never gotten into before. Dancing in the rain was- I think every dancers' dream come true. It was hard and it got pretty cold but it was definitely worth it. We had one month of rehearsals for the film and they were basically eleven hours a day, if not more. It was tiring but at the same time, we're all dancers and it was something that we loved to be doing for eleven hours a day. Dave Scott was one of the challenges for me as a choreographer. He does a lot of popping and stuff. I'd never really gotten into that kind of style. I was more of a street hip hop dancer.

Shimmy: What exactly is your dance background?

Briana Evigan: I started off as a little girl. When I was around seven years old I started with Shane Sparks doing street hip hop. I continued taking his class and I was at Millennium and then Broadway Dance in New York. I just kind of branched off into other kinds of hip hop, salsa and jazz, ballet later on. Then I was in a company called E Funk and we kind of had a hip hop/sexy burlesque thing going on. Before I had the film (Step Up 2) I had this really sexy thing going on and I had to step away from all of that in order to play more of a troubled, rebellious ghetto girl.

Shimmy: Is there any other genre of dance that you'd like to dip your toe into?

Briana Evigan: Tap dancing! I've never even taken one class on it. The guy that plays "Hair" in the movie is an unbelievable tap dancer. I think he made everyone kind of want to get into tap a little bit.

Shimmy: What would your dream role be?

Briana Evigan: I'm definitely pushing the acting a little more now. Maybe an action kind of thing. There are a lot of roles that I'd love to play and an action, bad-ass kind of girl is one of them. There are actresses that absolutely inspire me like Rachel McAdams, Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts.

Shimmy: Tell me something that your fans would be surprised to know about you?

Briana Evigan: Surprised? I played Shirley Temple as a kid in a lot of plays (laughing). I don't know, that's a hard one because I'm pretty real and not full of surprises.

Shimmy: Give us three things you cannot be without.

Briana Evigan: My dogs- an Australian Sheppard and a Pit-bull mix, food- I eat so much it's crazy- and music. My musical taste is all over the place. I like dance music, Daft Punk or Master Kraft. I love rock. Zeppelin, The Beatles, Timbaland, Missy Elliot. I really like all kinds of music.

Shimmy: If in ten years you aren't dancing, what might you be doing instead?

Briana Evigan: I've been going to school for communications and something I've always wanted to get into is speech therapy for children. I love working with kids so something along those lines, teaching preschool. Maybe being a public speaker for a corporate company. This is the first semester of school that I've taken off. I'll see when I go back where things branch off for me.

Shimmy: What would you like the dancers that you've inspired to know?

Briana Evigan: Be as real as you can in your own mind because it's so easy to get pulled into other things. You need to be very well grounded, you have to know who you are and you need to be sure that you're doing everything for yourself. Keep going and remember that it's not easy. Plenty of times I was just about to stop and focus only on school. You just have to keep trying until it finally happens for you. Being honest with yourself is definitely the key.

Shimmy Video Pick: Step Up 2 The Streets

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