In director Bille Woodruff’s third installment of the Honey series, Honey 3: Dare to Dance, Kenny Wormald (Footloose, Love & Mercy) portrays Erik Wildwood, a young dance-loving music major studying in Cape Town, South Africa. American recording artist Cassie Ventura plays Erik’s girlfriend, Melea Martin, whose determined struggle to produce a hip-hop version of Romeo and Juliet is the main focus of the film. HNS had a chance to chat with Kenny about this endeavor:
HNS: When you have a movie like this with all of the intense dancing, do you learn the dancing first and then add dialogue or do you just rehearse them all at once together?
KW: We did a bunch of rehearsals at the beginning before we started shooting so we had a library of routines and things ready to go. So we would just focus on what was going first and we would clean and perfect the thing that was up next. And there’s so many dance scenes that aren’t in the movie, I’m sure there are a few that are on the DVD extras as well. We would have to shoot and then on our one day off that we had, we would have to rehearse, so it was like a constant flow of choreography and shooting and rehearsals, and then go to the physio doctor to make sure your knee is okay. It was a constant flow of dancing and shooting and acting and sweating, so yeah it was incredible!
HNS: Oh you mentioned your knee, did you get hurt?
KW: No I didn’t get hurt. There was a physio down there for us if anyone needed it. I had like a little tweak in my lower back so she put some needles in my back and I was like, “Ok I am in South Africa and this woman is putting needles in my back, this is weird!” and then she did it and I was instantly cured. I was like, “What is this?! This is amazing!” She did some sort of acupuncture and it was really beneficial. But yeah it was constant dance, constant rehearsal but it was good though because that’s when you get to really hang out with everyone. All the dancers were so cool and they really welcomed Cassie and I.
HNS: So this movie takes place in South Africa and you actually filmed there. So you were actually filming with talent that was from South Africa, correct?
KW: Yes I think that is what I’m proudest of – for them – because these dancers have never been in a movie, and they’re so distant from all of Los Angeles and New York City and the dance industry. The dance industry is based mainly here (US) as far as what you see in a lot of music videos. A lot of people from all over the world come here to be in those videos or train to be in those videos, so they were so far from that that I didn’t know if their training was going…I had no idea of their level. They were incredible! They blew me away immediately not only with talent but they were so passionate about it and they loved it so much and they’re not jaded. They have a lot of pride in where they’re from and to see how excited they were to represent where they’re from and get to be in a movie and dance with us…I mean to get that much joy out of a job! I want to make a documentary about the dancers because that is how much they impacted me. A lot of them are from pretty rough backgrounds, and they don’t have all the things that we might have growing up, so to see their talent and their passion just smash through any of those challenges is also just another inspiring aspect that I got (to see) when I was there. They were so nice and they all support each other, it’s really rare.
HNS: Since you are an accomplished professional dancer did you feel comfortable in voicing your opinion or to actively participate in the choreography?
KW: The choreographers were also from there (South Africa) so they were happy to have someone who had the experience that I have. They were definitely not only willing but wanted to collaborate with me. A lot of the solo moments that I have, it wasn’t just them telling me what to do, they would set the scene and say, “this is where you are, this is how you feel” blah blah blah and then I would do my own movement and one of the choreographers that I worked with the most, his name is Luke, he would just oversee it and say, “oh that was cool but also do this!” It was such a collaborative effort which I think is always the best way to go.
HNS: Not revealing too much, do you have a favorite scene that you filmed?
KW: Whenever I got to watch the dancing even if I’m not on screen, just to be off-camera and watch the dancing I was like, “Oh my goodness this is really good!” Then watching the film for the first time seeing those dance moves, I watched with my eye but now seeing them on screen and they’re even better! That was so exciting and so powerful and all these dancers they just came with it, they brought it and they attacked it and I think you can really see that on the screen and that’s exciting. But also the finale scene, the Romeo and Juliet, the big ending that whole moment was really gratifying so it’s fun to watch. And we are performing in front of an actual audience there so it wasn’t fake claps, it was real claps!
HNS: I know that you played the lead in the remake of FOOTLOOSE, a part originally played by Kevin Bacon. Do you like playing characters like those in HONEY 3 that no one has played before as opposed to following in another actor’s footsteps?
KW: To be honest during the whole FOOTLOOSE experience, I didn’t really feel like I was in a place to mimic anyone or I had to take a character that had already been done. It felt like my own character, it felt like a new experience because it WAS for me so I kind of used that in that situation. But yeah the freedom to be able to do anything you want and not have anyone’s preconceived notion is fun because you CAN do whatever you want, mind you if you’re playing an iconic character then that’s not so bad either, it means you have a good gig! So yeah I like the challenges that they both bring.
HNS: Apart from a love of dancing of course, do you and your character (Erik) share any similarities?
KW: The thing about Cassie and I’s characters is that we’re kind of fish out of water a little bit in that aspect, and I took some of my personal experiences you know growing up in Boston and being in a real tough guy mentality. I was the only boy, of course I thought in the world, but really just in the town, that was dancing and it was a fish out of water experience. It was very like you know you’re just different than everyone so it’s just something that I remembered as a kid, so you kind of use that particular type of mindset. It takes a lot of strength and it takes a lot of courage and you just kinda gotta do it and that’s what these characters did, they went to South Africa, went on this adventure and what does it feel like when you show up there when you get off the plane? So I just kind of envisioned myself going through all that but to be honest, I WAS going through that experience. I had just come to Cape Town and I was meeting all these new people so there was excitement about a new adventure that I tried to kind of use, and you know I’m not gonna say I’m jealous but he (Erik) had his reasons to be jealous and you know if I have a reason to be jealous in real life then yeah I might be jealous a little bit, but what I like about him is that he stuck through it and you know when she (Melea) needed him, he came through. So I think that would would be something I would probably do or at least I would hope that I would.
HNS: I know you’ve performed in many music videos and you’ve toured as a dancer with JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and the PUSSYCAT DOLLS, is there anything in the music world that you can reveal that you might be involved in in the future or do you think you will be focusing more on acting?
KW: As far as anything in the near future to do with dancing and music videos, I’m definitely not straying away from it, although as far as being a dancer and in a video for an artist, they call that a backup dancer I don’t like the name, I’ve done that. I’ve reached a lot of goals that I had in that, so to find new challenges and new things to inspire me is where I’m at. So whether it’s dancing or acting or film-making or taking photos, editing music or creating music like I’m for all of it. So hopefully I’ll be in some music videos but maybe not. I just like to stay creative in any way I can.
HNS: This is something that I like to ask since I’m very involved in animal rescue and work with several animal rescue groups. Do you have any groups you support or causes close to your heart that you would like to share?
KW: I’m not currently attached to anything as far as for me to announce or promote but actually I’m just, it’s funny that you mention this, but I’ve just been working with someone who runs a big company that I’m going to be joining hopefully and it’s a mental health awareness program, but I don’t have all of the details and information yet. Next time we chat I’ll be able to give you that information for sure.
We certainly look forward to future chats with Kenny and we really enjoyed the movie! Honey 3: Dare to Dance is available NOW via Universal Home Entertainment on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD including some amazing special features so make sure to get your copy!
DIGITAL HD, BLU-RAY AND DVD BONUS FEATURES:
- Deleted Scenes
- Extended Dance Sequences
- Behind the Dance: The Making of Honey 3: Cast and Crew discuss the challenges of creating a film in the dance genre, and the steps they took to make Honey 3: Dare to Dance unique.
- South African Backdrop: Learn how Cape Town’s extraordinary energy and culture contributed to the feel of Honey 3: Dare to Dance.
- Battle Dakota Club: Cast and Crew break down the big dance battle at the Dakota Club.
- Feature Commentary with Director Bille Woodruff: Director Bille Woodruff gives an inside look to how he made Honey 3: Dare to Dance in this feature length audio commentary.The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack includes a Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet™.
- Blu-ray™ features a pristine high-definition picture, theater quality sound and exclusive extras.
- DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
- DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet™ lets you watch movies anywhere, and plays on your mobile devices.