Film & TV

Step Up Revolution Stars Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick on Inspiration, Extreme Heat, and Evil Jellyfish in Miami

See Step Up Revolution's opening scene.

The Step Up franchise has had a long history of intense rivalries being settled through dance battles. In Step Up 2: The Streets, art school outcasts pop and lock through a downpour in the underground dance competition, The Streets, against the 410 crew. In Step Up 3D, the House of Pirates street crew gets suited up in Lite-Brites to hip hop against rival the House of Samurai.

But in the the newest installment, Miami-based Step Up Revolution, opening in theaters tomorrow, our dance protagonists aren't fighting each other. They're fighting The Man.

The plot centers on Sean, leader of a Miami dance mob called, appropriately, The Mob; and Emily, a dancer and daughter of a wealthy developer. Emily falls for Sean, and joins The Mob. Then Emily's dad sets out to redevelop Sean's Cuban neighborhood, and only The Mob can stop him. (Look, it's a Step Up movie, so you're just going to have to go with it.)

The two leads, Mixed Martial Arts star Ryan Guzman (Sean) and So You Think You Can Dance season six finalist Kathryn McCormick (Emily), recently chatted with Cultist about busting a move, shutting down Ocean Drive, and the perils of going jet skiing with a guy named Hector.

Cultist: So this is both of your feature film debuts. What's it like starring in a major motion picture about to be released?
Guzman: (mock seriousness) Horrible. (Both he and McCormick both start laughing).

No, actually, it's been a ride for sure. We both didn't expect to be here, at all. And we feel very, very blessed in how we got here. Luckily, everybody that we met along the way has been amazing to us and very open and giving. And now, you know, we're trying to make the best of the situation.

McCormick: Yeah, it's so surreal. It just happened so fast for both of us, so I think we're completely different people than we were going into it. We learned so much, about ourselves and about our craft and what we're capable of.

Can you give any examples of how things have changed?
Guzman: Actually, it just happened to us here.  We were walking back to our hotel, and a couple of fans were waiting for us, and taking pictures with us. So that's new for me, but it's cool, actually, to see that the reach kind of goes so far, and it expands to just different parts of the U.S. or the world.... As far as our craft, we're still learning as actors. I think that will be a continuing craft that we work on, and dancing is an evolving kind of thing. It's never set, so you're always learning something new. And I think we both enjoy each one of those.

McCormick: It's given me a sense of confidence that my voice is actually something that can stand alone and be heard and tell a story.... I'm not just a dancer, but I'm capable of so much more. And I think going into it I was kind of a little bit hesitant, and I was nervous and I doubted. But leaving it, I felt like it was just this whole new boost of confidence that I have more than I even thought I did to give and to share.

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Miami New Times staff

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