Ryan Guzman: Superhunk. That’s what was required of the Step Up Revolution actor in Rob Cohen’s new erotic thriller The Boy Next Door, in theaters January 23rd. Ryan Guzman plays Noah, the studly next door neighbor of Claire, played by Jennifer Lopez. He spends the first third of the movie saying all the right things, and the rest of The Boy Next Door on a stalking rampage.
We spoke to Ryan Guzman in Los Angeles about what it’s like to play a character who is defined by their irresistible sexiness. We also learned a lot about the MMA screenplay he is currently writing, and the upcoming feature film adaptation of Jem and the Holograms, where Guzman will make his singing debut as Rio, a hapless road manager caught in a love triangle between Jem and her secret identity, Jerrica.
And sorry, Jem and the Holograms fans, but Ryan Guzman says that Rio won’t have his trademark purple hair in the live-action movie. But he hopes to bring it back in the sequel!
CraveOnline: What is it like to at least partially get a role because you’re a superhunk?
Ryan Guzman: Well, I don’t know because to be honest, it was kind of a weird process of me getting the role. There was another guy I think that was actually up for it, and actually got offered the role or something, and things fell through with him and I continued busting my butt to try to get it. My last audition was flying back from Vancouver filming Step Up All In to go on my birthday…
Oh, that’s a good gift.
Yeah! Oh my God, best gift ever. And I auditioned for my last test with Kristen Chenoweth and Jennifer Lopez. So I don’t know if it was the hunky thing or if it was the devotion.
The camera loves your abs, clearly.
There were a lot of people in the audience just going, “Yeah… There’s a little something for everyone in this movie…”
We like to please everyone, all demographics. [Laughs.]
“‘Don’t you dare turn into Fabio and say this dreamboat line!'”
It’s interesting to see a film with a certain amount of justifiable objectification. Because it’s an erotic thriller, you have to be teased. You have to be seduced by the film.
Yeah, it’s got to be visually appealing, but not only visually appealing. It’s got to bring you into the whole nature of the beast, and then after that, that’s when we give you the whole storyline. That’s when we give you the intensity that we’re trying to give you. So it’s just about giving an enjoyable ride, [a] fun, entertaining ride, and I think we did that.
Your seduction style is very on point in this. All of your lines are perfect.
You’re like, “You don’t have to try.” And I’m like, “No, she doesn’t!”
I can’t be that smooth. Did you talk about that, whether you should underplay this or milk it and be the sexy lothario dreamboat?
I hate when you have to act sexy. For some reason that [doesn’t] feel authentic and it feels just weird to me. But yeah, there was a certain point, there was a border that you had to go back and forth on. I wanted to deliver my lines just matter of fact, but there was also a thought process and you could tell if you really watch the movie that I kind of take bits and pieces, little beats, for me to tell myself, “Don’t you dare turn into Fabio and say this dreamboat line!” [Laughs.] You know, just tell her! And Rob was great. Rob Cohen was great in guiding me in a way I needed to be for the role.