Gabrielle Union Talks ‘Bring It On,’ 20 Years Later

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I don’t even know if the kids have seen it, to be honest. Maybe they have. Hold on just a second, let me ask. 

I’ll be right here. 

[To Zaire Wade] Have you ever watched Bring It On before?… A long time ago? Okay, what did you think? […] He said, “I like Bring It On, it’s a classic.” There you have it, that’s the most we’ve ever talked about it. 

And he’s right, it is a classic! 

It covered ground that no other teen movie has ever covered then or since. Ever. Like, in history. It would’ve been as relevant 60 years ago as it was 20 years ago, and it’ll probably still be relevant 20 years from now. It’s the subject matter and how we handled it so unflinchingly with humor. It’s really stood the test of time and still packs the same wallop, but in a campy, good time. 

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I feel like Bring It On was initially sold as this cheeky satire, but when did you first realize it was being embraced for the campiness? 

It wasn’t until much later that I realized Bring It On was even campy. I mean, the original Hairspray is my all-time favorite movie. I watched it a hundred times growing up and know every word to movies like Grease and Grease 2

Were you caught off-guard by the tone when you saw it all come together onscreen? 

One of the only times I’ve seen it was at the premiere, but we were yelling and screaming through the entire thing because we were so drunk. And cheering. You kinda miss how normal people are gonna receive it because you’re so attached to everything happening onscreen. I love a camp classic, I just never thought of Bring It On that way—at least until much much later when I saw whole parties where people would dress up as the Toros and Clovers and do all the dances. I realized Bring It On is like other people’s Hairspray. It’s their Grease 2

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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