Roll call! The cast and crew of Bring It On took it back to Rancho Carne High School this week, spilling to MTV News for the movie's 15th anniversary.
Stars of the flick, such as Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, and Gabrielle Union, as well as director Peyton Reed and screenwriter Jessica Bendinger, dished on the months they spent filming the beloved 2000 cheerleader movie in California, and revealed some juicy secrets along the way.
Dunst, who was just 17 at the time of production, may have been much younger than many of her costars, but she led the movie to its impressive box office haul and instant cult classic status.
"She was such a sweetheart," Dushku, 34, told MTV News of Dunst, now 33, who played spunky cheerleader Torrance Shipman. "She wasn’t involved in as much of the debauchery because she was still in high school."
And debauchery there was. While Dunst told the outlet that she spent the summer relishing in her break from school and getting to know her fellow cheer-tators, a few of the stars and the movie's extra cheerleaders took a little trip across the border to have some fun.
"I remember a lot of intermingling with the actual cheerleaders and I remember there was a lot of flirting, but I don’t know how far things went with that," said Lindsay Sloane, who played outgoing head cheerleader, Big Red. "I know there was a weekend where they went to Tijuana – that happened. Eliza somehow she ended up there. I mean we were kinda close [to Tijuana] but I remember thinking like, 'Oh wow, she’s kind of like her character in the movie, she went to Tijuana, she’s so edgy.'"
Union, who famously played East Compton Clover cheerleader Isis, was one of the actors who went on the trip, telling MTV News, "It was a pretty good time, there might have been some trips down to Tijuana, perhaps. Unconfirmed! Unconfirmed bribing of federale. The stuff of legend."
Executive Producer Max Wong expanded on the stars' brush with the local Tijuana, Mexico, law enforcement, explaining to the outlet, "[They] were on the beach drinking and got arrested and got thrown into Mexican jail. And at some point, Eliza and a couple of the actors felt like they were in so much danger they decided to make themselves less attractive [by] using lipstick to draw all over their faces. I don’t know how that worked, but that was their strategy. Needless to say, I got a middle of the night phone call to bail them out, and I did."
Dushku, who added that her "bro" Bradford (Bring It On's dreamy Cliff Pantone) was along for the ride, had a different version of events.
"I want to go on the record and say no producers came and bailed us out," she told MTV News. "There may have been an incident in TJ one weekend but we got ourselves out of it. I got us out of it and there was no producer bailing out happening, so that was an embellishment. I am quite a negotiator. I would admit there was an incident, but we got out in that turquoise convertible VW beetle and were back for work on time."
Producer bail out or not, the excursion was enough to bond the stars for a lifetime. Wong revealed that many of the actors who starred in Bring It On still spend time together to this day, explaining that Nicole Bilderback (Toro cheerleader Whitney) was the maid of honor in the wedding of Clare Kramer (teammate Courtney) to her producer husband Brian Keathley, and "Jesse Bradford and Eliza Dushku pick each other up at the airport" when they're in one another's hometowns.
"I’ve run into Kirsten over the years, and it’s always love," added Union, who faced off against Dunst in the flick. "It’s like something happened in that movie that kind of cemented us all. We all respect the experience and hold it near and dear."
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