Ryan Guzman on ‘Jem and the Holograms,’ Working With Richard Linklaker

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.

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