Richard Linklater is an iconic American director who encompasses healthy college masculinity in his latest drama Everybody Wants Some!!, the semi-sequel to his beloved cult classic Dazed and Confused. Following up his masterful Oscar winning masterpiece Boyhood would be challenging. Managing expectations and creating quality entertainment can be a daunting task. Thankfully, Linklater hit another home run with his baseball themed coming of age set during 1980’s college with Everybody Wants Some!!. I had a chance to sit down with members of the cast (Glen Powell, Wyatt Russell, and Quinton Johnson) to discuss Linklater, what it was like on the set, and what audiences need to take away from the movie.
One of the pleasures of this interview was discussing the simpler free spirit days of college on the campus of Colorado University in Boulder. The setting of the round table occurred at the legendary bar/restaurant The Sink an institution we easily could’ve seen our protagonists spending their nights having a great time. This was an extremely appropriate backdrop to discuss those fun loving times in an atmosphere as energetic, goofy, and sentimental as the movie. Glen Powell, Wyatt Russell, and Quinton Johnson were having a good time discussing Everybody Wants Some!!.
Glen Powell known for smaller roles in bigger movies like Expendables 3 spent an extensive amount of time in ATX and understands the importance of a prominent filmmaker like Richard Linklater.
“I grew up in Austin, Texas. Rick is the unofficial mayor of Austin He runs that town,” Glen said. “Obviously everybody idolizes him because he makes great movies. Getting to have this premiere at SXSW was extremely special, but to work with him someone who’s your idol when you were a kid was even better.”
Glen reflected on working with him when he was 16 years old on feature movie Fast Food Nation. He was nervous to tell Richard that he broke his arm while playing baseball. The easy going nature of Richard Linklater reassured him that wasn’t going to be a problem.
Wyatt Russell, who played hockey professionally before focusing on acting, admired Linklater for Dazed and Confused and Boyhood. Yet, he wasn’t sure what he was getting himself into while working on Everybody Wants Some!!.
“The process took a little of me by surprise in the best way in this incredible experience,” Wyatt said. “He really involves you in his work and that’s his process. Just being able to be given the role and having confidence instilled in me by Rick, I was able to be confident on screen and to me that was really invigorating.”
Quinton lucked out being cast in a Richard Linklater movie as his first feature film. He was attending University of Texas in Austin and his professor knew the casting director. Thankfully he looked enough like an athlete and succeeded with the baseball skills assessment. Everybody Wants Some!! will always be a meaningful experience to him.
“To have Rick be my first was actually really special,” Quinton said. “Coming from a theatrical background, it the greatest possible film experience I ever could’ve imagined. He was so collaborative and so giving. When your a heater kid thinking about doing film you don’t always hear about writers and directors being so giving. Rick was a real treat.”
Wyatt was spoke very passionately about his ability to combine his athletic and acting talents while making Everybody Wants Some!!
“It was fun and exciting. It was a great experience to be able to get out of hockey and get into film,” he said. “And use some of the experiences that I used in hockey to inform my acting. Having someone like Rick who plays sports and understands sports and for him to translate into athletic terms was extremely helpful. It was a big growing experience for me in film. I’ve done a lot of sports movies but the character is more than the sport.”
Glen discussed how thrilled and humble he was to be working on a Linklater production.
“It is unlike anything I’ve worked on because you get to collaborate with Rick,” he said. “He is one of the most genius filmmakers in the world. Yet at the same time he doesn’t make you feel like that. He is so secure in what he’s doing he just makes you feel like your special. You feel like you are partaking in the process with him.”
Glen reiterated to Quinton just how lucky he was to work on such a great set, “The guys aren’t usually this talented. They aren’t this nice. You don’t always have a really nice, low key director. At the end of the day, you are drawn to a movie like this because of Rick. He is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He is the reason we are all here. He’s the reason this whole thing got made. Movies like this don’t get made unless you have someone like Richard Linklater on board.”
When I asked what was a challenging aspect to making Everybody Wants Some!! from their perspective, all agreed that it was finding extras that looked like the period especially for all the disco and party scenes. (“People that have mustaches, mutton chops, and long hair.”)
Even though Everybody Wants Some!! has a lot of fun moments, the actors wanted audiences to take away serious moments of figuring out who you are and not succumbing to societal expectations of knowing everything.
“A lot of times at least when I was younger. People pressure you to figure out what you want out of life very early,” Glen said. “They expect from you to know what you want to be like a lawyer or doctor. College used to be not much pressure on the education, but figuring out who you are and what you want out of life. I think kids should take it easy and that life in college is this perfect purgatory of four years. The stakes aren’t that high and have a good time and figure out what you want to do before your 50 years old down the wrong path of doing what you don’t wanna do.”
Everybody Wants Some!! is another Linklater classic about the coming of age discovery of masculine youth. Opening in select theaters in April, it opens wide later this month.