You’ve seen the Step Up series bring the moves before. You’ve seen Channing Tatum tear up the dance floor and Rick Malambri battle it out at the club. But you’ve never seen anything like what Ryan Guzman and his Miami flash mob are about to throw your way this Friday in Step Up Revolution. Guzman isn’t afraid to try new moves, whether it’s learning how to pop and lock on top of a lowrider or daring to be seen in public with a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. Check out our exclusive interview with Ryan below!
Q: Tells us a little about your character, Sean.
Sean is the leader of a group called “The Mob” that goes around Miami doing flash mobs trying to get notoriety through a YouTube contest they’re competing in. Then his world gets flipped when he finds out his boss, who also happens to be his new girlfriend’s dad, is planning to destroy his neighborhood as part of a real estate deal. So it becomes this huge problem for him, and he and the Mob have to figure a way out of it.
Q: We’ve heard the romance of Step Up described as “Romeo and Juliet in the world of hip hop.” What do you think Shakespeare would think if he saw this movie?
For sure it’s like Romeo and Juliet! You’ve got the upper class female lead who doesn’t really know about the lower class and the poverty they have to go through, and then you’ve got the lower class male lead struggling to make it in the world, but he’s happy with life and loves to have a good time. When they fall in love it’s kinda like two worlds combining, and they actually find out they can learn a lot from each other, whether it’s making the best out of a tough situation or realizing that actions can really speak louder than words when it comes to trying to change the world.
Q: What do you think makes Step Up Revolution different from other dance movies, including the previous three films?
I think this one stands apart even though it’s part of the franchise. You do have that love story that’s kind of expected and the dancing that’s kind of expected, but then not only do we take it to a whole new level with the flash mob scenes, but we give the characters a chance to use dance to actually change the world. At no point in this movie do you look back and think ‘I don’t get why they’re dancing right now,’ or ‘this is cool but it just kinda came out of nowhere.’ At no point will you ever think that—you’ll think ‘this is amazing and I totally get what these kids are trying to do.’ You’ll really start rooting for them and hoping they’ll succeed!
Q: The movie uses flash mobs as a central storytelling element – have you ever experienced or participated in a “real” flash mob?
Aside from the promotional stuff we’ve done, no, I have not been in a flash mob. But I like to think that the flash mobs we do in the movie are like flash mobs on steroids — there are things in the movie that I don’t think anyone’s ever seen before. People were leaving the premier just in total awe of what they’d just seen. Take the best flash mob you’ve ever seen on YouTube and multiply that by a hundred, project it in 3D and that’s what you get in the movie.
Q: This is your first feature, but you’ve done some modeling and MMA in the past. How did those prepare you for Step Up Revolution?
I wasn’t born into an acting life and that gave me time to have some incredible life experiences on my way here. I’ve been through ups and downs and seen so many different things that I can really draw on that and bring it to the screen. At one point I was trying to become a professional baseball player and ended up getting injured and having surgery on my arm. So I turned to professional fighting and did seven-and-a-half years of training. I fought in the Octagon for a year-and-a-half and did some modeling at the same time. On screen I get a chance to use what I’ve learned and offer something no other actor can.
Q: Are you reading anything right now or have a favorite book that inspires you?
I’m always on the lookout for the next book that’s going to go Twilight and be a hit on the big screen. I just got done reading The Fallen, which is a book about a troubled girl that goes into a reform school and it has this kinda Twilight-esque feel to it but instead of werewolves or vampires there’s angels and demons and she has to choose between them.
Q: If you could play any character from a book, who would you choose?
I know it’s a little risqué, but I’m starting to get into Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m going to start reading that one next because I’m kinda thinking I might like to go out for this Christian Grey role. I don’t think they’ve decided to make it into a film yet, but there’s a lot of rumor and hearsay, and I really do think the rumor is going to come true. People wanna see this movie be made so I definitely want to attach my name to it if I can.