It seems only natural that the country’s favorite a cappella group will appear in the country’s favorite a cappella-based movie, right?
Pentatonix, the five-person ensemble that rose to fame after winning the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, has joined the cast of the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2. The band reveals exclusively to EW that they’ll play a rival group to the Barden Bellas, the collegiate a cappella singers at the center of the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster, due in theaters in 2015.
The members of Pentatonix spent just one day on set in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a 12-hour whirlwind that included full makeup and wardrobe treatment for members Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan, Kirstie Maldonado, and Kevin Olusola. “We’re wearing some pretty interesting things,” teases Hoying. “You can definitely tell it’s the five of us, but what we’re wearing and who we’re portraying is definitely not Pentatonix.” Grassi adds: “You’re going to love it.”
Pitch Perfect 2 finds the original Bellas—Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, and others—returning for another year at Barden University, where they’re ushering a new crew of members into the national-winning group. Expect the five members of Pentatonix to offer threatening competition to the Bellas’ well-oiled machine.
Pentatonix became involved with the film thanks to the efforts of two mutual friends: Deke Sharon, who arranged music on The Sing-Off and the Pitch Perfect films, and a film publicist who coordinated Pentatonix’s performance at the original Pitch Perfect’s premiere. Fans who tweeted producers urging them to cast Pentatonix also contributed to the cause, Olusola tells EW.
Though the band will not be playing themselves, they did get to arrange their own song to make sure they retained “the Pentatonix sound,” says Hoying. “They gave us a song, and we arranged it and sent it back, expecting them to say, ‘You need to change this, this, and this.’ But they came back and said, ‘Great, that’s it!’ That was really cool.”
To the extent that Hoying and company are fans of the original Pitch Perfect, their set visit revealed that the band had its own admirers in the cast. “Anna Kendrick came up to me on set and said, ‘Me and my roommate watch your Vines!’ and Skylar Astin came up at the premiere and said, ‘I am the biggest fan of Pentatonix,’” recalls Hoying. “It’s just crazy to think that Pentatonix has developed this following where celebrities know who we are.”
The gang won’t get any dialogue (“Let’s be honest, it’s probably for the best,” laughs Hoying), but they did get some major screentime—and some off-camera facetime with the gals who play their competition. “I will say, all the Barden Bellas are hot,” says Olusola. “So I was pretty happy.”