Richard Linklater’s latest mostly plotless rumination on Being a Young Man in America, the irresistibly fun Everybody Wants Some!!, mostly depicts its characters — the members of an early ’80s college baseball team — getting drunk, casually philosophizing, going to great lengths to get laid, and otherwise generally bro-ing out for three days before school starts. But while girls and alcohol take priority, naturally, the guys do eventually get around to actually playing some baseball.
Supergirl’s new Superman, Tyler Hoechlin, drew on his real-life college baseball background to play McReynolds, the team’s arrogant captain and best pro prospect. Hoechlin played in the MLB’s annual All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday night, where, true to McReynolds, he was named MVP. His castmates Glen Powell, Juston Street, and J. Quinton Johnson joined him in San Diego to cheer him on, and in honor of All-Star Weekend and Everybody Wants Some!!’s Blu-ray release, EW caught up with the guys about playing fake baseball as a real team.
“We tried to figure out what skills each person would need to know the most for what they were probably going to do,” Hoechlin explained of the movie’s one baseball sequence, a practice scene that showcases the entire team’s abilities.
“These guys were pro-level ballers,” Powell said of Hoechlin and Street, also an experienced ballplayer. “And I think they’d say the same about us.” Street clarified: “We kind of just had to say, ‘Hey, what’s the one thing that you can do that we can film? What can you do the least bad?’”
“They had to take us under their wings and show us the ropes, because our baseball skills were less than stellar,” admitted Powell. “It’s like, ‘Okay, wielding a bat is not your thing… We’ve got to find some other skills.’”
The baseball came more easily to some of the guys than others, but it only strengthened their bond as a team. “There was a great camaraderie that came out of that kind of thing,” Hoechlin said. “[It was] probably, actually, in a weird way, one of the closest, if not the closest team that I’ve ever actually played on. Because you’re also not just working as a team towards the game, but creatively, you’re working towards something.”
When not carousing, the teammates of Everybody Wants Some!! compete with each other almost compulsively, placing bets on anything and everything, issuing meaningless challenges, and elevating games of ping pong and bloody knuckles to all-important contests of manly worthiness. That was pretty true to real life, too.
“Tyler, I don’t think you knew about this, but I actually had a bet with someone as to what would be the next thing you’d break,” Johnson admitted. “It’s like the Midas touch,” Powell said of Hoechlin’s uncanny ability to break things, including a pitching machine and bowling apparatus.
“Technically, I did not break the pitching machine,” Hoechlin said in his own defense. “The pitching machine stopped working when I…”
“You touched it,” Johnson said.
“When I got up to hit, it stopped working. Twice. And then we were bowling, and the thing dropped down as I released…”
“You touched it.”
“Anything mechanical was not…” Hoechlin trailed off. “I knew if anything went wrong with the camera on the first day, I was getting fired… If there was a technical thing, I was just going to walk out.”
Luckily, nothing went wrong when shooting began — nor ever, apparently. “Everybody was really nice to each other; there were no speed bumps on the whole thing,” Powell said. “I was like, ‘Something rad is going to go down…’”
“We were kind of expecting something bad to happen, but nothing ever [did],” Street agreed. “It was, like, too good to be true — and then it just kept going.”
Everybody Wants Some!! is now available on Blu-ray and digital HD.