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Sabrina Carpenter, Liza Koshy and Jordan Fisher show off their best moves in the new Netflix dance film Work It, directed by Laura Terruso. The high school comedy sees the overachieving and studious Quinn Ackermann, played by Carpenter, form a new dance team in order to impress her dream college while finding her passion for the art form along the way.
The cast, who are not strangers to having a passion for dance, opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about what makes Work It different from others dance movies we’ve seen before and why they wanted to be a part of it.
“I love dance and I’ve been dancing for a very long time,” said Fisher. “To be part of a new kind of culturally defining dance film that’s super, super diverse, that is very character driven in the way that the arcs of the story and how they [are] all shaped and take place is that it’s really about people, it’s not necessarily about dance, even though that’s kind of vehicle that you are riding in that takes you from point A to point Z.”
“I didn’t think that I would get to do such a fun dance film, especially not right now,” said Carpenter. “It even felt like from the table read I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into until we were on set and we were filming. We were doing these numbers and everything just looked so great, and it was so fun and effortless. Obviously there was a lot of effort put into it, but I loved dance my entire life. So, I think getting to do this, it hasn’t really hit me, yet. I don’t think it’s hit me that I’m a part of something so special.”
Despite being known for their acting pursuits, Fisher, Carpenter and Koshy are all trained dancers.
Possibly best known for her viral comedy videos and digital fame, Koshy grew up dancing, even joining the drill team in high school. A raised dancer, she now describes herself as an “unprofessional professional one.”
Carpenter also took dance lessons growing up, now showcasing her skills onstage as a pop artist signed to Hollywood Records.
“[Dance] was a huge part of my life and kind of what shaped me into the performer I love being,” said Carpenter.
For his part, Fisher has shown off his moves in the televised productions of Grease Live! and Rent: Live, among other projects. He even won season 25 of Dancing with the Stars with partner Lindsay Arnold.
As it turns out, Fisher and Carpenter were both showing off their dance and musical chops on Broadway when the New York theatre district shut down in March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Fisher, who was starring as the title role in Dear Evan Hansen, and Carpenter, who was playing leading lady Cady Heron in Mean Girls, opened up about what it was like having their Broadway runs cut short, at least for now.
“[It was] really crazy timing that [Jordan and I] were both on it at the same time and had to experience the shutdown together,” said Carpenter.
“We didn’t know that we were saying goodbye,” revealed Fisher. “The initial shutdown was very temporary. It was only supposed to be like three weeks. Obviously, things have changed and we’re waiting to hear when it’s actually going to be able to come back up. Obviously, all of our fingers are crossed for January. We’ll see. We’ll take it all step by step.”
As for whether or not it’s “goodbye” for good, both Fisher and Carpenter say they would love to return to their respective roles once Broadway reopens.
“Hopefully timing works itself where when Broadway reopens I can be back on that stage wearing that polo and waving through windows again,” said Fisher, referencing one of Dear Evan Hansen‘s iconic songs.
“I learned so much in my two months of rehearsal leading up to the first few shows that I was so lucky to do,” said Carpenter, whose run started only two performances before the shutdown. “Hopefully when it returns I can play Cady Heron again, because she’s a fun one.”
Watch the video above for more.
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