We are cheerleaders! Bring It On became an instant cinematic classic when it debuted in August 2000, thanks to knockout performances from Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union and more cast members.
The comedic film followed a group of rival cheerleaders as they competed to win a national championship amid allegations of cheating, blossoming love and plenty of other run-of-the-mill teen drama. Dunst (Torrance Shipman), Union (Isis), Eliza Dushku (Missy Pantone) and Jesse Bradford (Cliff Pantone) led the cast.
“[I was shooting] in Prague, and I remember not turning it down, exactly, but not being super sure about it,” Dunst told Entertainment Weekly in October 2015. “I was like, ‘A cheerleading movie?’ It sounded like it could have been just a cheesy teen movie, but what sealed the deal for me was talking to the director, Peyton Reed, on the phone — he was just so smart. I agreed to do it mostly because of Peyton.”
Union, for her part, did not have to audition due to her previous roles in teen films like 10 Things I Hate About You and She’s All That, but that does not mean the role came easily to her. “I played soccer, basketball and track, and nothing can prepare you for what cheerleaders go through,” she admitted. “Those rehearsals were some of the lower points in my life — I questioned my very existence. Everything hurt. That’s probably why there are a lot of close-ups of me, not wide shots.”
The fan fervor surrounding the movie has stuck with the cast too. “Even when I’m promoting different movies or my TV show, people still want to talk about Bring It On,” Union noted. “When I run into Katie Couric, it’s the first thing she talks about.”
Those who love Bring It On do not always get the quotes right, though. “I get lines from the spoof — ‘It’s already been broughten,’” Union said. “I don’t remind them that that actually wasn’t in our movie.”
Dunst, meanwhile, was none the wiser until her costar filled her in. “That wasn’t?” she replied, laughing. “I thought it was.”
While celebrating the film’s 20th anniversary in August 2020, the cast threw around ideas for a potential sequel. “Kirsten, maybe we’re, like, coheads of the PTA,” Union suggested, to which Dunst replied: “Or we run a cheer school, like [on the Netflix docuseries] Cheer.”
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Scroll down to discover what the cast of Bring It On accomplished after the movie took off in 2000!