Bring It On: Put Your Spirit Fingers Up For These 12 Fun Facts
“Awesome, oh wow! Like, totally freak me out! I mean, right on! The Toros sure are number one.” Bring It On turns 20 this year, but the iconic cheerleading movie still holds up. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, and Gabrielle Union, the film gave a whole new life to cheerleading as a sport, but in a comedic and genuine way. The cheers were also catchy as hell. How many times have you found yourself saying, “Brr, it’s cold in here! There must be some Clovers in the atmosphere!”? It’s a movie that will always be special for real-life cheerleaders (even if it’s not super accurate to real cheerleading) and loved by so many people. In honor of the movie’s big birthday, we put together a list of 12 fun facts you might not have known. So, let’s go, mighty, mighty Toros!
Kirsten Dunst Didn't Originally Want the Role of Torrance
The role of Torrance was offered to Marley Shelton before Kirsten Dunst came on board, director Peyton Reed told MTV. Shelton turned the role down to be in Sugar & Spice, the other cheerleading film being made at the same time. Reed wanted to get Dunst in to play Torrance, but she said no a few times. “We kept coming back to Kirsten – and she kept turning us down,” executive producer Caitlin Scanlon told MTV. Dunst came around, though, and signed on for the film.
The Actors Actually Went to Cheerleading Camp
Director Peyton Reed had no desire to use body doubles for the cheers in the movie, so not only did he make everyone do a cheer to audition, but he then sent them all to cheerleading camp for four weeks, he told DVD Talk. “We needed to know they at least had some sense of rhythm and coordination because not only did they need to act, but they needed to meet the physical demands of the roles,” he said.
Warrant Charged the Creators $40,000 to Use Their Song "Cherry Pie"
Director Peyton Reed told DVD Talk that he had a fixed music budget to start, but he had to have Warrant’s song “Cherry Pie” during the tryouts scene. He said he ended up shuffling some things around to put as much money toward the songs that were the highest priority, and this was one of them. Warrant charged the studio $40,000 to use “Cherry Pie,” which Reed said was a price they talked the band down to.
Jesse Bradford Was Promised a Convertible If He Agreed to Do the Film
Executive producer Max Wong told Jesse Bradford back during negotiations that if he agreed to do the movie, he’d give him a convertible. Wong told MTV: “So we went back to Jesse and we were like, ‘Come on! It’s going to be a cheerleading movie. You’re going to be in the sun in San Diego with a bunch of girls! What could go wrong?’ And he was like, ‘Can I get a convertible?’ And I was like, ‘Of course!’ Which was a total lie.”
Sparky Polastri Was Almost Completely Improvised
Director Peyton Reed worked with Ian Roberts (who played Sparky Polastri) in the Upright Citizens Brigade, so he called on him to play this role with some pizzazz and comedy. Reed told BuzzFeed that nearly everything Roberts did in the film was improvised. “That role in the original script was funny but thin and stereotypical. We knew he had to be a charlatan at the center of all of this – a guy who was up to no good – but we wanted to create something we hadn’t seen with this pill-popping guy who was just a total fraud.”
The Movie Was Greenlit Before It Had a Director
In a move that’s highly out of the ordinary, the pitch for Bring It On, which was originally titled Cheer Fever, was purchased by Beacon Communications and the movie was greenlit by Universal Pictures before it even had a director, screenwriter Jessica Bendinger told MTV. She had shopped the idea around for a while, and even after Beacon bought the pitch, it was still another few years before production started.
The Director Saw Eliza Dushku as the Veronica to Kirsten Dunst's Betty
When looking to cast the role of Missy, director Peyton Reed told MTV that he liked the juxtaposition of Eliza Dushku’s look compared to Kirsten Dunst’s. “I loved the idea that physically those two looked different: one’s a blonde, one’s a brunette. Almost like a second Archie comic in a way, there’s Betty and Veronica. And she just seemed to be that character,” he said.
The Toros and the Clovers Had Different Choreographers
Even though the routines were the same, each squad worked with a different choreographer behind the scenes to make sure the routine was tailored to them. “The cheerleading stuff was heavily choreographed with Anne Fletcher,” director Peyton Reed told BuzzFeed. “She hired another choreographer named Hi-Hat who was assigned to choreograph the Clovers stuff so they had entirely different styles.”
The Cast Drove From Theater to Theater on Opening Night to See the Turnout
The night the movie opened in 2000, director Peyton Reed said he and some of the cast and crew drove around local theaters to see moviegoers. “And then we went up to Universal City Walk for dinner when the numbers started coming in,” he told BuzzFeed. “At a certain point, we knew it was going to open at No. 1 and I remember Kirsten, little 17-year-old Kirsten, in tears, saying, ‘I’m going to have a No. 1 movie?!?!’ She was so thrilled. It was so sweet. It was pretty much an unbelievable experience.”
The Opening Cheer in the Movie Almost Got Cut
Yes, that iconic opening cheer that you probably know all the words to almost didn’t make the film. Screenwriter Jessica Bendinger told HuffPost: “There was talk of cutting the opening number, and I just threw myself on the sword. I was like, ‘If you cut this cheer, then it’s just a dumb movie! Who cares?’ You need to let everybody know your tongue is in your cheek. There needs to be self-awareness.” Can you even imagine this movie without that cheer?
Some of Those Stunts Wouldn't Have Been Allowed in Competition
Cheerleading rules are pretty strict, and some of the stunts performed in the competitions would have gotten the squads disqualified in the real world. Seventeen noted, “All stunts more than two bodies high and fly-overs are illegal in competition at the high school level, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.”