Step Up with Joe Slaughter

Joe Slaughter at

by Kat Wong Too Yen

A promising actor about to make his big screen debut, Joe plays bad boy Julien in the first ever 3-D dance movie, Step Up 3D, set to premiere on August 6, 2010.
In between Joe’s training, I chatted with him about the third instalment of the Step Up franchise and his career aspirations.

VG: Aside from this being in 3-D, what’s the biggest difference between this third instalment and the first two Step Up movies?

JS: Ultimately, I think that we’ve achieved a whole new level of how the dance moves are shot. Not only that, but in this movie you’re dealing with really prominent dancers. It’s new talent; it’s the cream of the crop and when we put this movie together with John (Chu), it was a huge opportunity to work with the best.

VG: Take us through your typical day of being on set?

JS: Oh, that’s kind of tough; it’s different because there’s no “typical” day. I just have to wake up really early, like 5 or 6 am. It’s a long day, sometimes 12-14 hours. A lot of it is “hurry up and wait”. You get some breakfast, go back to your trailer and then it’s a lot of waiting around. You’re on set with a lot of other people though, so you get to hang out. We have a lot of conversations and just have fun! We’ll sit on set and watch what’s going on. It’s great, because everyone enjoys what they do.

VG: How hard was it for you to land this role of Julien?

JS: (laughs) I was fortunate with this one. I was on tour with the Pussycat Dolls right before I auditioned (for Step Up 3-D). We were supposed to come back from Europe and then go out with Britney (Spears) for the Circus tour but a lot of the guys’ roles got axed. We didn’t end up going on the road and I went back home to Chicago. My agent called and told me about Step Up 3-D and I sent in a video submission. It was actually my first audition for a movie! They called me in and I initially read for the good guy, but got a call-back for the bad guy, Julien. We didn’t get any feedback after the readings. Then a couple of weeks went by and I got the phone call. I was pretty excited.

VG: Your reaction seems a little understated?

JS: Yeah, okay, well I was dancing around and going crazy but we won’t go into detail on that! (laughs)

Joe Slaughter

VG: If your closest friend was to describe you, what would he or she say?

JS: That I’m interesting? (laughs) They would probably say I’m kind of eccentric, crazy and out there, but also very focused on my work. They would say I’m really a loving person and a good friend with a lot of love in my life. I pretty much bend over backwards for my closest friends and family. I guess they would also say I’m goofy, and kind of klutzy. I’ve got a bit of a dorky side, I mean, no one is perfect and no one is as cool as they say they are, right? For the most part I try to stay humble and help others whenever I can. I try to make everyone’s lives better.

VG: Who is your biggest inspiration?

JS: Artistically and musically it’s Michael Jackson. He is one of the biggest people I grew up watching. There’s also Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly…you know Singing in the Rain, I grew up watching that. Of course, there’s my family. It sounds cliché, but if I didn’t have them, well, there wouldn’t be a purpose for what I’m doing. They’re always in the back of my head.

Did Joe go to prom? Click here to find out!

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