Chace Crawford on Footloose: "I Need to Start Stretching Now"

Celebrity News May. 28, 2009 AT 12:38PM
Chace Crawford Chace Crawford attends the 2009 The CW Network UpFront on May 21, 2009 in New York City. Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage.com

Chace Crawford has his work cut out for him now that he's starring in the upcoming Footloose remake, Entertainment Weekly reports.

The Gossip Girl star was offered the part last week after High School Musical star Zac Efron opted not to appear in another movie musical.

See photos of stars on set.

"I know Zac, and we're actually friends," Crawford says. "He's gotta make the best choice for his career at this point, and I have to make the best for mine, and luckily it worked out for both of us." Still, Crawford won the part on his own merit, he says. His audition, which included dancing and singing for the film's director Kenny Ortega and the film's producers, was brutal. "It was, like, five hours of the most rigorous tests ever," Crawford says. "I walked out very confident."

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Still, the actor doesn't plan to do some of the more elaborate choreography from the original. "I don't know if the gymnastics [high bar] scene is going to make it," says Crawford, who will soon begin an Ortega-plotted training regimen before filming begins next March. "I've got some movement in me, but I'm not a dancer." He jokes: "I need to start stretching now." Although Crawford, 23, wasn't born when the 1984 film -- starring Kevin Bacon -- hit theaters, he says he's excited to be one step closer in the famous Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game.

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"I want my number to be up -- my Bacon number," he says.

Another young star who will get the same opportunity will be Dancing With the Stars' Julianne Hough. The pro dancer, who auditioned along with Hayden Panetierre, will screen-test this week for the role of Crawford's leading lady, a Paramount spokesperson confirmed to Entertainment Weekly. Hough's recent success as a country music star could give her an advantage. "It's a much more singing-intensive movie for the female lead," producer Neil Meron says. The new Footloose, which won't be a "burst-into-song" type of movie musical, will pay homage to the original with possible cameos by the first cast and the performance of the familiar title song. "The classic hit songs from the movie will be sung," producer Craig Zadan says. "There will be new songs that will be written by new artists, and those will be soundtrack songs."

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