‘Footloose’ Star Kenny Wormald Talks Rebellion, Bullying and a Love for Arguing
His breakthrough performance is the result of years of hard work, practice … and yes, being bullied for being a dancer. Kenny spoke with Celebuzz about his experiences in the past, as well as how he enjoys playing the rebel role of Ren in Footloose. So, before you see him yell “Let’s Dance!” in the film’s final moments, check out what Kenny had to say in our exclusive interview!
Hollywood is full of rebellious icons, from James Dean to Madonna – who are some of yours?
I’ve become a huge James Dean fan over the years. Who else can make only three films and be that legendary? Unfortunately James and some other icons of rebellion have left us a bit too soon, in my opinion. I’m trying to be around for a long time! I’ll rebel in my 70s!
In real life, what causes are you passionate about that are worth fighting for?
The whole bullying issue has really struck a nerve with me. It affects so many different types of people at a vital time in their lives. I used to get made fun of a lot for being a male dancer, especially growing up in Boston. Kids are terrible, they don’t realize how heavy words can be. I almost quit many times, but now I go home and see those same kids and they’re congratulating me! I smile and say thanks, but I really want to throw them into a locker!
What is the most rebellious thing you’ve ever done?
Probably the time me and my buddies conducted a royal rumble-style wrestling match in a Korean hotel room and absolutely destroyed the room. We had to pay for the damages, but it was some of the best money I have ever spent!
While filming Footloose, what scene do you feel you really let loose the most in?
Without a doubt the “Angry Dance” warehouse scene! Its one of the most iconic dance scenes in the history of dance movies, so to get to create our version of that was amazing! We use the White Stripes “Catch Hell Blues” so it’s definitely an amped up version of the 1984 classic.
As your first lead role, the pressure is on! What gives you courage? Was there anything in particular during filming the movie that helped you gain courage to shoot?
I’ve been working on sets of movies and music videos for about nine years now, mostly as a dancer, but the experiences I’ve had have helped me a lot to be prepared for this opportunity. The moment that I remember gaining the most confidence from, though, was when Craig Brewer — the director of Footloose — called me and said: “You didn’t book this because of your dancing.” Knowing that right there gave me all the confidence I needed from that moment on. We had a great relationship on set and I learned so much from him.
Are you similar to your character in that he has a strong, bold personality? Or are you more chill & relaxed?
Being from Boston, I would have to say that I have a bold personality and a very strong opinion. I love a good argument and sometimes I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut if I think someone is wrong. I definitely relate to Ren in the sense that I’ve always fought for what I believe in, and I don’t quit until I have accomplished what I set out to do.