It's official — it's been 18 years since the cheerleading classic Bring It On came to movie screens around the world. So many of the cast members still seem so young, it's tough to imagine that nearly two decades have passed since they graced the screen as Clovers, Toros, and the people who supported them.
The movie ended up spawning countless sequels — all of which were pretty cringe-worthy and nowhere near as good as the original. Many of the actors and actresses who were young starlets when the film came out ended up becoming genuine A-Listers. And we're betting that, even 18 years later, you still remember a lot of the cheers and songs because come on, everyone cheered along from their couch at home.
If you've seen Bring It On more times than you can count, why not take a peek behind the scenes and learn about some of the secrets from the set. Who's been in trouble (and even got arrested?!)? What was the filming process like? How old was Kirsten Dunst really? There are so many questions that die-hard fans might have, and now, we've got a few answers — here are 15 behind the scenes secrets from the movie that you absolutely need to know.
15 During Filming, Four Of The Cast Members (Including Eliza Dushku) Were Arrested In Mexico
Okay, we have to admit — we had no idea anything quite this scandalous was going on behind the scenes. It turns out that during filming, some of the cast got a little bit bored, and decided to take a road trip down to Mexico. Jesse Bradford told Entertainment Weekly about the little secret, saying that "me, Eliza [Dushku], Rini Bell, and this dude Lance, one of the male cheerleaders on the Toros. I'm gonna blur the details of how and why, but needless to say, we got arrested. We had to go in front of a judge." Dushku claims she sweet-talked their way out of there, and whatever happened, they needed up making it back in time to film their scene that day. Many of the crew didn't even know what had happened until way later.
14 The Screenwriter Was Obsessed With Gwen Stefani And Based Torrance Shipman On Her
If you tried to guess who Torrance Shipman was inspired by, chances are, you'd think of a bubbly pop star at the time, or perhaps a cheerleader from the writer's high school that was particularly memorable. Well, you'd be wrong — it turns out that writer Jessica Bendinger was inspired by none other than ska queen Gwen Stefani. Yes, the woman who had hair in all shades of the rainbow, and was an alternative girl's dream. It seems that Bendinger was obsessed with Stefani, and even had pictures of her taped above her desk while she was working on the script — that's dedication to your inspiration! So, next time someone thinks Torrance is just a little too sweet and adorable, just remind them that she's inspired by none other than Gwen Stefani.
13 Everyone Who Auditioned Needed To Have A Cheer Prepared
Some of the cast had experience cheerleading from their own school days, but many of them had never shaken a pom pom in their lives. However, they weren't able to just learn everything at cheerleading boot camp — they had to prove they had at least some skill at cheerleading before they were even offered the role. It turns out, every actor and actress who was auditioning for a role needed to have a cheer prepared to show the producers, to give them a little taste of what they'd be like as a member of the squad. Of course, once they selected all the cast, they sent them to camp to really work on their cheering skills. Still — a disastrous performance in that initial audition probably meant you wouldn't be part of the film.
12 All The Actors Had To Do An Intense 4-Week Cheerleader Boot Camp
There are some movies where you can bring in stunt doubles for more physically active scenes, or to do something that a particular cast member just can't, but let's get real — when you have a movie entirely about cheerleaders, the cast needs to know at least a few movies in order to make everything work. The producers were so committed to having cheerleading authentically portrayed on the screen that they sent the entire cast to a grueling four-week cheerleading boot camp to learn all the tricks. Some picked it up faster than others, but in the end, they all got there — and were able to do their own stunts in the movie, which is pretty amazing. We wonder if any of the cast ever busts out their old cheer moves all these years later.
11 Gabrielle Union Wanted A Part In Another Cheerleading Movie At The Time, But They Didn't Want To "Go Black" On Their Casting
Gabrielle Union was definitely one of the oldest members of the cast — even though she totally blends in with the other high school students, she was actually 27 at the time of filming. So, she'd been around the block a few times and knew the kind of roles she wanted (and didn't want). Before she ended up cast as Isis, she was actually pursuing a role in another cheerleading movie, Sugar & Spice. However, she didn't get the part — and it was specifically because they didn't want to "go black" with any of the characters. Union was over it, and wanted to pursue a project that was more committed to diversity — so she ended up working on Bring It On. We have a feeling she'd agree she made the right choice on that one.
10 In The Scene Where Les Is Checking His Rearview Mirror, It's Because Someone Is Getting Pulled Over By The Police
During the scene after Eliza Dushku's amazing, embarrassed doorway dance, Les — who is driving the carpool car to the football game — keeps looking in his rearview mirror. Most fans just assumed it was a choice he made to express something about his character — that he was a cautious kind of guy or something like that. Turns out, the reason that Hunter Ritter, the actor playing Les, kept looking in the rearview mirror is that there was major drama going on. Apparently, a car was trying to drive the actors' car off the road because he was upset at being held up by the motorcade involved in filming the scene. After some aggressive driving, the cops ended up pulling over the road rage-y driver — which is what Les is watching go down in his rearview.
9 The Toros' High School Name, Rancho Carne, Literally Translates To "Meat Ranch"
One of the reasons Bring It On was such a huge success was that it didn't take itself too seriously. It was a cheerleading movie, but there was a fair bit of making fun of cheerleading and sassy, tongue-in-cheek jokes. One of the subtle jokes you may not have gotten back in the day is the meaning behind the high school the Toros cheer for. Their school, Rancho Carne, translates quite literally to "meat ranch." Considering the typical view of cheerleaders in society, it seems like a fun, cheeky way to reference the stereotype with a bit of humor. I mean, the Clovers are from east Compton, an actual Californian town — the writer could have easily put the Toros somewhere real, but instead, she crafted her own cheeky town, which we love.
8 The Dancing On The Bed Scene Was 100% Kirsten Dunst's Idea — No Choreography Needed
One of the cutest moments in the movie follows the sad scene when Cliff is waiting on the porch for Torrance, only to see her with her ex. He simply hands her a cassette tape and leaves, so naturally, the moment she gets into her bedroom she tosses the cassette into her stereo and presses play. She starts bopping her head a bit and eventually ends up dancing up a storm to the song, pom-poms in the air. It turns out, that particular dance wasn't choreographed at all. As the director said, "Kirsten dancing on the bed was really something that was all Kirsten. We knew the idea and the emotion we wanted, but I think we only did a few takes. That was really all Kirsten." It was probably a relief on her part to not have to learn yet another choreographed dance!
7 They Spent A Huge Part Of The Budget On The Rights To "Cherry Pie" For That One Scene
Though many teen movies nowadays are given super-sized budgets, back when the team was putting together the cheer film, they only had about $10 million to work with. It's not a small amount of money, but in comparison to other movies, it's pocket change. They had to be careful with their budget, but they ended up blowing a fairly substantial chunk of change in order to convey the mood they wanted in a particular scene — yep, we're talking about the audition scene. After some cringe-worthy auditions, a sultry wannabe cheerleader auditions to Warrant's classic "Cherry Pie" — and it cost them $40,000 to buy the rights. The director said that "it was so perfect for that scene; it needed to be raunchy and inappropriate. That was the single biggest music cue and expense we had in the movie."
6 Kirsten Dunst Was Still In High School During Filming, And Her Mom Was A Chaperone
It's no secret that many of the cast were quite young when the movie was filmed, but no one would guess just how young Kirsten Dunst was — she wasn't even out of high school yet! Many of the cast mention how they kind of viewed her as a little sister they'd all protect, and she didn't get up to the same kind of scandalous behind the scenes behavior as the rest of them because of her age. In fact, she wasn't even there alone — because of her age, her mother ended up coming along as a chaperone, and brought her brother along with her. Dunst was just happy to not have to be doing schoolwork since the movie was filmed during the summertime when she was on her summer break from high school.
5 The Girls In Blaque Were Touring At The Same Time They Were Filming — Exhausting!
The girls of the Clovers may not have been in as many scenes as Dunst and Dushku, but they were still present in a fairly substantial portion of the movie. Life on set isn't always easy, but it was particularly tough for the girls in Blaque because they weren't just filming the movie — they were also touring to perform their songs. They apparently had to spend hours in the beauty chair every night, getting their hair re-done for the next day's stage performance, and would often be flown out to do shows in the few days off the cast had during filming. On the one hand, it's great that they were able to work on both projects at the same time — on the other hand, it sounds downright exhausting.
4 Kirsten Dunst Says Torrance Is The Character She Most Relates To — Who Knew She Was A Cheerleader At Heart?
Kirsten Dunst has been in the entertainment industry since she was just a child, and has played a ton of roles over the years. She's been in everything from major blockbusters to melancholy indie hits, so she's definitely got a ton of interesting characters to choose from. However, when it comes to the character she most identifies with, it turns out Torrance is her number one. "I was that girl," Dunst confessed to Gotham. "It was like me being in high school as myself. It wasn't a stretch at all. I was a cheerleader, my best friend was a cheerleader, I wasn't in competition but I watched them on TV." Many of her later roles probably challenged her as an actor more, but hey — sometimes you just want to have a little fun on set.
3 Whitney And Courtney Are BFFs In Real Life — Maid Of Honor Caliber BFFs!
They may not be in very many scenes, but one thing is for sure — Whitney and Courtney captured everyone's hearts as the mean girls you kind of love to hate. They were always making snarky comments to one another and basically just feeding off one another's energy. It seems that Nicole Bilderback and Clare Kramer, who played the two characters on screen, developed a real connection during those scenes together — they're besties in real life, and Bilderback was even the maid of honor at Kramer's wedding. Now, we just have one question — did they bust out any of their old Rancho Carne cheers at the reception? We have a feeling there were probably more than a few Bring It On fans attending who would have been thrilled to see even two of the Toros back at it again.
2 There's An Alternate Ending Where Torrance And Isis Are At The Same University — Clovers And Toros Mash-Up?
Fans who had the movie on VHS or DVD probably remember the iconic "Hey Mickey" end scene, where the whole cast danced around and lip-synced to the hit song in their uniforms. What better way to end the movie? The producers ended up going with the cheery ending where everyone was singing and dancing, but it turns out there was an alternative ending filmed (check the DVD extras for the dirt). Apparently, they initially thought they'd end the movie with Torrance and Isis both joining the cheer squad at U.C. Berkeley. Uh... why on earth have they made a billion sequels with other casts and never returned to show Torrance and Isis competing against one another on the same squad, trying to become college captain? We'd pay good money to see that movie.
1 Isis' Sidekicks On The Clovers Were A Girl Group, Blaque, Who Had Never Acted — And Kept Staring Into The Camera Accidentally
All of the cast seemed to have a good relationship with one another and a good rapport on screen, but there were three Clovers cheerleaders in particular that really seemed to mesh. That's not an accident — it's because they'd known each other for quite a while, performing as girl group Blaque. The three had never acted before but ended up being cast as Isis' main squad members, and they definitely brought a whole lot of attitude to the screen. There was only one problem — since they were used to doing music videos for their songs, where they were told to look straight at the camera while they were singing, they often found themselves accidentally looking straight at the camera rather than at their fellow castmates like they were supposed to. Whoops!
Sources: diply.com, seventeen.com, movieseum.cm, mtv.com