*This week marked the 20th anniversary of “Bring It On,” the cheerleading film that starred Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union in a story that tackled cultural appropriation way before it became a household term in recent years.
RadioScope attended the June 2, 2000 press junket held several months before the film’s release, and asked Union – then a 27-year-old on the verge of her breakout role – about the amount of training that went into nailing all of those round offs and high kicks on screen.
Below, she talks about underestimating the rigors of cheerleading during a 9-day boot camp set up for the actresses in her on-screen Clovers squad.
In a recent interview with Vogue about the film’s 20th anniversary, Union talked about the plot’s racial element involving her character’s predominantly-black, inner city cheerleading squad facing off against the suburban, predominantly white Toros team led by Dunst’s Torrance. Regarding that one scene where Union’s Isis rejects Torrance’s attempt to write the Clovers a check for ripping off their choreography, Union told Vogue about the importance of the Clovers’ not being portrayed as victims.
“I didn’t want to be saved and I didn’t want the Clovers to be indebted,” said Union, 47. “I wouldn’t have been okay with being saved by anyone else. That’s me in real life and that’s me in Bring It On. I do not find the concept of “Great White Hope” or white-savior movies appealing or entertaining in the least. I don’t like them, I don’t watch them, and I certainly don’t want to be in them if I can at all help it, so that scene was necessary.”
Here’s what the 27-year-old Union told RadioScope about the importance of that scene at the June 2000 junket.