Joe Slaughter Talks Step Up 3D

Recently I got the chance to speak with rising star Joe Slaughter about his breakout performance as Julien in Step Up 3D. I want to thank Julien for taking the time to chat with me and for Alexandra for arranging the interview.

GVK: How did the audition process go? Was the focus more on your dancing or acting abilities?

JS: I started out as a dancer and was actually on tour at the time. A video submission was sent to the director Jon Chu. The lead choreographer got my name to them so I had to fly to New York to meet with them and read for the part. We talked about dancing and but since they knew I could dance, I had to sell them on my acting ability. I read for the hero originally but I had read for Julien. I found out two weeks later I got the part of Julien.

I came to L.A. about four years ago to dance and reach my goals and I have been very fortunate that I was able to reach most of them in a couple of years and to have my first movie already I am very lucky.

GVK: How much prep did you have to do for the part and how different was it doing elaborate dance routines on film as opposed to live as I am guessing with film you start and stop often and that must affect the timing and flow of a dance.

JS: I am a performer at heart so the rush to perform is always there I have been studying acting as while it was not while I came to L.A. after a few years it seemed like that it could be a next step. When filming they can cut and reset if you make a mistake which is not something you can do live. That being said some takes like the final battle, we did the whole thing from top to bottom so we could really focus on the dancing.

GVK: Was the film shot in 3D or was it converted later and what was that experience like?

JS: It was shot in in 3D and they used the latest cameras and tech. You could even see the paybacks of a scene in 3D which was cool as after we did a scene, you could see everyone around the monitors with their glasses on to view the playback.

They have a great new 3D tech that used two cameras, one shots horizontal and the other shot vertically so it was great.

GVK: I had read that the technology used is now said to become the new standard as future musicals will all need to look at being shot in 3D as it is a great tool for the genre. This in my opinion is great as prior to “Avatar” the new 3D tech was limited mainly to horror and animated films.

JS: It really is a superior technology and it was really awesome as the new technology has really changed the game in Hollywood and I could not have asked for a more perfect transition project.

GVK: How much pressure did you have as being the villain of the film you, the male lead, and the female lead are counted on to carry the film and all eyes are on you?

JS: I loved the pressure and having to make it work. I love to work and this was a great way to push myself. I tried to make Julien have some of my personality and while coming in I had an idea of who Julien was and what he was all about, I wanted him to come across as more organic and not the typical cheesy bad guy. Jon was great as about half of the lines I improvised got to stay in and round out the character.


GVK: In films like this it seems that it is usually dancing and looks first and acting ability is an afterthought but in this film, top to bottom they nailed it as they have a cast that not only does the dancing well but also acts the parts well.

Looking back what were some of your memories from the film and your performance?

JS: We had a great cast and I got to work with so many talented people. I am my own worst critic but it was a great experience from top to bottom and that fact that it had so much great dancing was a bonus. I was a bit weary at first about pulling it off but I loved the final result and it was very believable.

GVK: What do you have upcoming as there are already questions on your IMDB profile popping up where people want to know stuff about you and your future work?

JS: I did not know that, that is really nice to hear and I appreciate you passing that along. I have nothing set in stone yet but have a lot of meetings and discussions going on. I am sure you will know about it as soon as we have it set. It is so hard to make it in this business and aside from having the right look, talent, and a good team behind you, luck and timing play a huge part in it and above all when you have your meetings, they must like you. Since I did ‘Step Up 3D” the doors have been flying open and I am continuing to do my homework, keep up with my acting studies, and I am confident you will have more projects from me coming in the near future. I was very fortunate to have a father who is a photographer and I shared his love and affinity for the arts and what I do.

GVK: Thank you, I am looking forward to your next projects and appreciate you taking the time to chat with us.