In Fired Up, Nicholas D’Agosto (“Heroes,” Rocket Science) and Eric Christian Olsen (Beerfest, The Last Kiss) play two friends in high school who sign up for cheerleading camp as a desperate attempt to meet girls. ComingSoon.net talked to the guys about the challenges and advantages of playing the roles.
ComingSoon.net : What advice did Matthew Gross give you? What did he tell you that he actually did at cheerleading camp?
Nick D’Agosto: I let it go right out my ears, the minute he said it, it was very dirty, I didn’t want to hold myself accountable on the set? He didn’t tell me much, just have a good time basically.
Matthew Gross: I taught him how to act cute.
D’Agosto: He just said, “Smile!”
Eric Christian Olsen: Nobody taught me! I’m screwed.
CS: So we hear there’s a scene where you actually have to run through camp naked.
Olsen: Funny they brought that up, huh? Especially for your website, I’m looking that up right now.
D’Agosto: That was fun, man, we actually had a lot of fun on that one. We shot that at the beginning of the shoot, about six months ago? It turned out well though. Hopefully it will turn out well, it was a lot of fun we were streaking. Cold, night streaking, near nude, about 200 yards down the path.
CS: So what are some of the other things we’ll see you guys do at camp?
Olsen: There’s seventeen jokes that could fit. It’s the full gambit, you definitely want to immerse these guys in the reality of cheer camp. So you do everything that cheerleaders do, you learn all the routines for two and half weeks doing training with Zack Woodley, a professional choreographer extraordinaire, so we do all the cheers and all the stunts, throwing the girls up and everything else, and as far as that journey goes, its also our characters finding out about themselves and what they really care about and a couple of nice little love stories. Prior to the love stories, there’s a lot of making out with random girls.
D’Agosto: A lot of making out with random girls, random girls making out with each other. I don’t know how we got them to do it?
Olsen: I think we just called, Action!?
CS: So when you guys first read the script and read that you were going to be male cheerleaders, what was your first reaction?
Olsen: Hard pass.
D’Agosto: Which was followed up directly with, “Just go meet the director first. Before you make a decision, meet the director.”
Olsen: It’s kind of a genius idea and I wish I was smarter when I was in high school, because it does make a lot of sense. You go to these cheerleading camps and there’s like these 300 beautiful girls and us. Which I’m not a mathematician, but that’s pretty great odds? What was the question?? Just thinking about those 300 girls.
CS: Did you guys have male cheerleaders when you were in high school?
Olsen: I have no idea.
D’Agosto: I went to an all male school so there were definitely all kinds of cheerleaders. They were like those Sound Leaders, just a bunch of dudes that really needed girls to be around them.
Olsen: I dated a couple of cheerleaders, but I don’t remember if there were guys on the team, I don’t think there were. I loved their outfits.
CS: What do your outfits look like in this movie?
Olsen: Glorious! Spectacular! Orange, and they’re orange. They are many shades of orange. You really get the tiger stripes coming to full effect. Any time you find the words velour and stripes you think your headed some place special.
D’Agosto: We have such a pleasant looking tiger on [them] Isn’t the tiger smiling? It’s very intimidating, the tiger is like shaking your hand. It’s fun, they are a laugh, I hope people will get a laugh out of them. The whole movie realizes we all want to have a good time. I think all the colors and all of the uniforms look should make light of the situation?
CS: What’s it like having John Michael Higgins as your cheerleader coach?
D’Agosto: So freakin hilarious.
Olsen: That guy’s a genius.
D’Agosto: He’s a comic genius, he makes us crack up constantly, he’s always improv-ing, he’s always playing, it’s really fun.
CS: And Molly Sims?
D’Agosto: She’s wonderful.
Olsen: She’s so charming, and so wonderful and we’re so lucky to have her. There’s all these beautiful women and there’s the one that’s hovering above the rest which is Molly Sims. Such as life. The scenes are so much fun to do. That’s who I fall for, I fall for Sims. My character falls for Sims, and she’s married to John Michael Higgins, hence the drama. Stakes are raised into the third act. A lot of good things happen?
CS: You guys don’t really think his character is straight?
Olsen: No, it’s a marriage of convenience, I think. And my character just wants to make her happy, what’s best for her.
D’Agosto: Yes, that’s exactly right
CS: Did you guys have any mishaps while trying to learn some of these steps of cheerleading?
Olsen: Did we ever, dude. I think overall we probably dropped.
D’Agosto: I had a rumble with my face once. So we’re learning how to toss. There are a lot of steps with that, and part of it is figuring how to toss at the same speed, same people speed. You see, he’s got one foot and I’ve got the other, so if one tosses harder than the other, the girl is going to go one way or the other. Eric was like at the time throwing a little bit harder, I was trying to figure out and threw her a little bit harder this time, and she just went straight up and she started coming down and I didn’t move, because I was like stunned, like she’s really falling back and the thought never got close to completion, like right on my face in a pile, on the ground, Eric tried to save her, and so Eric’s in the middle and all three of us are on the ground together, so that was a pretty good one, I think that was like the second day.
Olsen: You drop a lot of people that’s just part of the game I think. Two people had to go see the doctor for concussions. These dancers are so tough. Everybody’s taped up because their ankles and their wrists are all screwed up. It’s pretty intense.
CS: Who are the two people that had to go to the hospital?
Olsen: One of the dancers, and then Margo. Margo hit her head, pretty hard.
D’Agosto: That wasn’t our fault, for the record.
Olsen: No one has ever hit the ground with the two of us. We’ll sacrifice our faces. We’d be the heroes on the set. It was just a combination of everybody learning, because it takes a lot for the girls too who actually keep themselves steady and any little movement change there can affect that, but they were alright, they were okay?
CS: You’re better, you’re better cheerleaders than some of the girls.
Olsen: I mean, I was. I mean I would never ever say.
CS: So the scene we watched a few minutes ago with you two over there talking, that’s where we first see you at cheer camp.
Olsen: You see the cheer camp as this beautiful 360 shot. Where it’s like the camera weaves in and out of all these women and this is the first time this happens, with like everyone?
CS: So are you kind of improvising or are you going right off the script?
Olsen: We’ve got a really solid script. I think that Gluck and Freedom Jones put together a really solid script and great dialogue. The banter between especially these two guys is pretty great. I think that’s kind of the key to these kind of successful comedies that have been going out right now is that natural dialogue between the characters.
D’Agosto: Yeah, with that being said you know Eric’s a really funny guy and Michael’s a really funny guy and I just get to laugh along with these guys. We just kind of play just a little bit here and there and there have been a lot of nice moments because we have a great script and they bring that stuff down. They’re good about creating new jokes on the fly and sort of figuring out what sort of works in those moments and there are definitely moments in there where improv comes out that will stay in the film. We’ve had a lot of fun with that too.
CS: Is that you’re line where you say how you want to lick her face without sounding totally creepy?
Olsen: That was my line, that was totally my line. There’s definitely things that you pitch to it, and that’s why I took that pause there so they can always cut it out if it doesn’t work.
D’Agosto: Oh, I was wondering why you took that pause.
Olsen: Always, because I thought that it came off too creepy. They can cut, yeah you’re just trying to figure it out and sometimes you think of it in such a narrow minded sense which is in that scene if it’s funny, but does it play as far as the character and the rest of it. With that you definitely don’t want things to be like?. If your reaction is like, “Ewwww” that doesn’t work, if your reaction is, “Ewwwww,” but then your laughing, then it does well. So we tried it three or four different kind of ways. We’ll let you guys watch it and then let you guys decide.
D’Agosto: And by you guys decide, like hopefully they’ll make the right decisions and then you’ll want to go see the film.
Fired Up opens in theaters on February 20.