Details: Is it true that you got into dance after your mom took you to a New Kids on the Block concert?
Kenny Wormald: I grew up near Boston, and they were huge there. I went to a concert on my sixth birthday and had a blast. I remember wearing the pants with the funny patterns and Velcro straps—we called them jammin' pants—and thinking I was the coolest dude on the planet.
Details: Did kids bully you in school?
Kenny Wormald: Totally. They called me ballet boy and fag. I remember being bummed-out and not knowing why they were making fun of me. What the hell were they doing after school? Playing video games? I'm in a room with 40 or 50 girls!
Details: Everyone knows about the plight of the struggling actor in Hollywood. What's it like being a struggling dancer there?
Kenny Wormald: I was sharing a two-bedroom apartment with four other people. I scraped to get by, teaching dance at some studios to make a few hundred bucks. Taco Bell was walkable. I actually don't live too far from there now, but I don't live with a hundred people and I don't eat Taco Bell anymore.
Details: Your big break was performing as a backup dancer on Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveShow world tour. Give me a good story from the road.
Kenny Wormald: After my last show in Europe, there was a big birthday party for one of the dancers in Amsterdam. We're riding home in the cab, and we're all pretty . . . happy. Then the choreographer gets into a scuffle with the cabdriver, and all of a sudden the cabdriver starts pepper-spraying us! My friend grabs his neck while he's fucking driving, I'm trying to block my friend's face from getting maced. That tour finished on a low note.
Details: Did you feel any pressure auditioning for the role of Ren McCormack, the part immortalized by Kevin Bacon in Footloose?
Kenny Wormald: When I heard Zac Efron wasn't doing it and Chace Crawford wasn't either, I just put my focus so hard into it. The casting agent had worked with Justin Timberlake on Black Snake Moan, so she e-mailed him. Justin had told her I was a kick-ass dancer. I knew once I danced for them, they'd see that no other actor could do what I do.
Details: The most famous scene is arguably the warehouse dance. Was that hard to film?
Kenny Wormald: We call it the Angry Dance. Holy shit. The three most insane days of my life. I was in a harness wrapped in a chain two levels up, jumping off this ledge, hoping the stunt guys knew what the fuck they were doing. The hardest parts were (a) looking cool and (b) not fucking dying.