We were part of a conference call with Christina Milian where she was asked questions about her latest movie “Bring It On: Fight To The Finish” which will be airing on the ABC Family Channel on Sunday, January 17th at 8PM. Check out Christina’s interview below:
Q: I was wondering what made you want to step into those tennis shoes?
A: Well, I was always very athletic growing up and had this little dream of being a cheerleader in high school, but never really got the opportunity because most of the time, I was actually a young actor and young singer, so I really didn’t get to enjoy the experience of school the way normal kids did. When I got the opportunity to go to shoot Bring it On, I thought, that is just perfect. This is the perfect opportunity to play this role. On top of that, it’s like I get to be a kid again. I think that’s part of what acting is; it’s living out some different part of your life that maybe you hadn’t experienced or maybe your reflection of something that you’d been before. But I had an awesome time; it was even better, I think, probably doing it for a movie, compared to doing it for real life, like for high school.
Q. And what was it like working with director, Billie Woodruff?
A. I love Billie. I had a great time working with him. Actually, we shot a music video together once for one of my albums so we already had a really good friendship. When we started shooting the movie, it was so easy for him to direct me just because we already had our mind set to what we would like the movie to look like, and it was almost like, “Okay, let’s make it look like this really great music video, and colorful, and the most beautiful Bring it On movie that you’ve ever seen.” And on top of that, he’s great at shooting chorography. I think he captured everything that we needed for Bring it On and I think it’s one of the best ones yet.
Q. What did you specifically have to do to prepare for the role?
A. For one month, I had to do full-on training for about five days a week, 12 to 14 hours of training with Tony Gonzales – they call him Tony G. We had to train every day and learn, I think I had to learn over 20 choreographed cheerleading routines. I had to learn 20 choreographed dances for the movie, out of the 25 dances in the whole movie. I had to learn a lot – about three to four a day. And practice, practice, practice, and learn half of each song that I had to do in the movie. It was a lot of work. In the morning, we’d warm up and go running, and we’d do lots of sit ups so we could wear those little cheerleading outfits. It was actually a lot of fun because it was a big bonding time for the actors and me.
Q. I’d like to know what was the audition process like?
A. Well, you know what’s funny, I didn’t have to audition for this one. It was great. One thing, of course, having the relationship with Billie Woodruff, but the second thing I think is that Universal, the people that produced the movie, actually kind of just got it. But I think based on my fan base, it was pretty easy to say, “Okay, Christina can definitely handle this.” I don’t have to do much regarding auditions, but I did get to audition the other actors, which was a lot of fun to actually sit in the room with the casting director and audition everyone. It was fun, especially when I got to actually audition the guys to be – yes, you’re my love interest. I had a lot of say in that. I was like, “You have to go with this guy.” I was pressuring them for like two or three weeks because they still didn’t know who they wanted. But that was the first time I really used some pull in a movie. I was like, “He’s cute, he can handle it as far as the chemistry” – we had good chemistry. He even came into his audition with a basketball and I just thought he had a really good swagger about him that worked really well with his character. So I was like, “This works well; I think these two characters work well.”
Q. You are very multi-talented – singing and dancing and acting and everything really. But which talent got you your first break into the entertainment industry?
A. My first talent to get me into the industry would be – it was a combination because I started off first with musical theatre. In musical theatre, you’re acting and singing and that was the first thing that ever brought me, technically, to Hollywood. I started out in Maryland growing up, working out of New York, and I used to do print work, and I did commercials. So I mean if you want to say that – commercials was one of my first things. I did a Wendy’s commercial when I was ten years old. That was my moment where I felt like, “I know for sure when I got my first job, I’m sticking to this forever.” My first thing that I ended up doing professionally, after musical theatre, was just acting for a long time. Then music, as far as I guess a profession, came along in my later years when I was about 17, 18 years old.
Q. What would you say to everyone to convince them to watch Bring it On: Fight to the Finish?
A. I would say – well in the first place, I’m a huge Bring it On fan so I’d say if you’re a Bring it On fan, you need to bring it and you need to watch this movie because this is the best one ever. It’s got a lot of great fusion as far as Latin Hip Hop and lots of great choreography, cute boys, and a lot of really great punch lines. It’s a fun movie and definitely – you know, of course, every Bring it On has a little lesson to it. But, I mean, that’s not why people watch movies. It looks great and it’s a great movie to sit down with your girl friends and just totally have a full-on popcorn night and bond with each other while watching it.
Q. I wanted to if you related to how Lina feels when she transferred schools and isn’t the top girl anymore?
A. Oh, gosh. Well, I can definitely say I probably related in a lot of ways. I was never really the top girl at school, I will say that. But everybody kind of knew who I was. I did move around a lot because of my career. I had made a big move from Maryland to California, and in that move, it was to pursue my career. When I first got here, to California, it was kind of scary because schools looked nothing like my old school. It’s kind of opposite; I used to live in a really suburban area and then I came over here to L.A. and some of the schools had fences around them and at the time, there was gangs and all this stuff. So it was like, “Don’t wear this; don’t wear that.” It’s kind of funny that Lina and I are a little bit opposite in that way, but it is hard to just fit in to a new situation where nobody really gets you. So one thing that I admir about Lina that, no matter what, somehow she really doesn’t care what anybody thinks and somehow she ends up taking over and really helping a bunch of other people. I guess where she and I are similar is the, “It’s okay, I don’t scare,” kind of approach. At the end of the day, it’s whatever makes you happy so for me it was my singing, my acting, and the same thing for Lina. Lina loves to perform and she’s a go-getter who’s really outgoing. She’s feistier than me, but I definitely understood the not fitting in at first kind of thing.
Q. In your opinion, does the film capture the pressure of high school and trying to fit in realistically?
A. I think so; I think in a lot of ways. I mean, high school’s not the easiest and there are so many people – they’re just, especially if you’re the new kid, I find that’s the hardest. My first week of high school was the worst. So I’ve got to say, I think it does capture very much how high school is and how long it takes her – what it takes to actually –fit in, and if you don’t want to fit in, sometimes it doesn’t matter. I think in most cases, it really doesn’t matter. It’s just making your own friendships. And it’s not about trying to be the next “big” person or the popular person.
Q. In addition to the acting, how much fun or work was the dancing side of your role?
A. Oh, that was a lot of fun. It was a lot of work though, I will admit, because it had been a while since I’d ever gotten ready for a music video so it was like, “Okay, so we’re going to jump into this movie and you’re going to learn 20 dances.” I’m like, “What?” So it was pretty immediate. I don’t know if I was ready for it immediately, but thank goodness I workout sometimes so at least my stamina was up. It was more my memory, trying to really lock into remembering everything I learned. It was a lot to remember, but the challenge of it was a lot of fun. That’s the thing for me – it’s all about a challenge. I’d rather have that challenge any day and, then on top of that, having cast mates like the girls that I had on that movie. All of us were going through it together.
Q. So the challenge was just getting the moves down.
A. Oh, yes. Getting the moves down and remembering them – remembering everything. There were so many routines; there were a lot of them.
Q. So, kind of a heavy question. What place in life do you think cheerleading has today? And what does it do for a teen girl?
A. Well, that’s a good question because it’s so different. All the schools you hear about – so many different things nowadays, like activities and different activities being taken out of school, but cheerleading is one thing I’ve never really heard being taken out of a school. I think it’s important – I think it’s one of those activities that is good for your self-esteem and your confidence, and athleticism. I don’t think a lot of people realize how athletic cheerleaders are – it’s a sport. So it definitely ranks in the leagues really high up there that our parents’ parents could have been cheerleaders and generations on will continue to do the same thing. Now, I find it funny, it’s not even just a girl thing; it’s great, even if it’s a co-ed activity. I find that it’s a great thing to definitely have and it’s one of those activities, especially after school, I think it’s really necessary to continue to have that in schools.
Q. What are you doing now or next in singing and acting?
A. Next stop – well, I have a baby on the way so….That’s about to happen in a month or so, so once the baby is born, I plan on delving back into my acting and going back in the studio this summer. I had an album that was already made but since I’ve taken the time off, I’ll probably go back and redo some of the music and make some new songs, and everything on the album and find my new inspiration there. And, by the end of the year, probably come out with a new album.
Q. Do you know if it’s a boy or girl?
A. It’s a girl.
Q. You’re obviously very talented at both your singing and your acting, and I just wanted to know if you had a particular passion for one over the other, or if they were equal?
A. They were both always pretty equal. I mean I can name it from being really little and just like singing, singing, singing – I sing when I eat, I sing when I’m happy, I sing when I’m sad, I sing when I’m in the car. And then the same thing with acting. I was just always enthused by watching actors on television and thinking that I was practically living a movie, like my life was a movie. So I’d always be a little bit extra dramatic growing up. I always had passion for both. They happened in different order as far as when they became professions for me. But, yes, I’ve always just loved to entertain.
Q. Did you contribute to the choreography in the movie? Or did someone else do it all?
A. Tony G is pretty much one of those people that you can sit to the side and he comes up with it. I didn’t really get to contribute in making up any moves – let me think. I can’t even remember even coming up with something on my own because the whole time Tony was like, “Okay, now you’re going to do this and you’re going to learn this.” And he had some other dancer teaching me something every ten seconds so I didn’t really get to come up with my own stuff, but I did get to put my own flair as far as how I was going to move. I was going to put myself in it.