Ryan Guzman is on the rise after starring in the last two “Step Up” movies, and opposite Jennifer Lopez in “The Boy Next Door.” Next up: “Jem and the Holograms,” which opens Oct. 23, and Richard Linklater’s 2016 baseball drama “Everybody Wants Some.”
Was it scary to sing in “Jem”?
I’d rather fight a 300-pound dude, but I told (director) Jon Chu that I didn’t want a voice double. He got me a great coach, so that’s me in the film.
Why did you pick “The Boy Next Door”?
I fell in love with the idea of playing a psychopath. I got to play a 19-year-old kid who thinks he knows it all.
What were you like at 19?
I was a real idiot. I was a baseball pitcher at Sierra College, and I went 9-1 my last season, but I did nothing in class. I had a torn labrum and a numb arm, so I started learning MMA. I was defeated in a welterweight match for the Norcal championship. It made me realize I had to work harder.
And you then became a model?
Yes, and I hated it. But I started booking commercials and got six in six months, and then I got “Step Up Revolution.” They brought in a dance double for me, so I worked my ass off, and it is me up there dancing.
What was it like working on “Everybody Wants Some”?
I got to relive my baseball career. Richard Linklater is the Man. We called him Rickapedia ’cause he’s so knowledgeable.