Perhaps for the first time in history, an Electronic Dance Music soundtrack blared through the walls inside the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. EDM for the Thursday premiere of “We Are Your Friends,” starring Zac Efron.
A youthful crowd of millennials gathered around the landmark to get a peek of the former teen heartthrob as he walked the red carpet alongside his co-stars, Emily Ratajkowski, Shiloh Fernandez, Jonny Weston and Alex Shaffer.
Efron shared with Variety that he’s long been a fan of EDM, which has become increasingly popular within the past five years. Leading EDM acts David Guetta and Skrillex both have landed hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 with collaborators such as Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber.
“It’s fantastic that we were able to integrate electronic music into what is a really universal film. It’s sort of like what disco was in ‘Saturday Night Fever.’ That movie really is about a guy transitioning from a certain place in his life and becoming an adult and the backdrop is disco, so this is our generation’s version and it’s electronic music.”
The film is a coming-of-age story, which circles around a 23-year-old aspiring DJ (Efron) and his friends from the San Fernando Valley. Although the film is set against the backdrop of EDM, director and co-writer Max Joseph emphasized that the story is universal.
“I think whether you are making something — whether it’s a book, play or a movie — all you can do is be honest and hope that that honesty resonates with people,” he said.
Ratajkowski echoed her co-star’s “Saturday Night Fever” comparison and said the film is a story representative of the time.
“I think that this is an accurate representation of what a lot of young people experience going to festivals and going out with their friends,” she said.
The choice to include the party scene was just time appropriate, according to co-writer Meaghan Oppenheimer. She said that the film shows more than just the partying and is able to speak to the harsh realities of an underrepresented community.
“It was really important for us to make this movie about someone who hadn’t made it yet,” explained Oppenheimer. ‘It was about the people that are trying really hard and about millennials also that are struggling so we talked to a lot of promoters and people who are on the scene hustling.”
The after-party was held at the Avalon in Hollywood, where a DJ spun EDM music while strobe lights beamed across the room filled with guests enjoying burgers and fries with their cocktails. Celebrity attendees included Aubrey Plaza and Joseph’s “Catfish” co-host Nev Schulman.
Warner Bros. releases “We Are Your Friends” on Aug. 28.