Brittany Snow has been immersed in music her entire career, dating back to her breakout TV series, American Dream, to Hairspray, all the way to the Pitch Perfect films. In fact, even when her movies (John Tucker Must Die) or TV shows (Nip/Tuck) have no music in them, she likes to make mix tapes for the cast as gifts. Snow reprises her role as Chloe in the singing sequel that all but solidified a third film after it debuted to $69 million at the box office — more than doubling the budget of the $29 million movie. The actress talks about playing a drunk, offers her favorite New Orleans drinking spots, and Pitch Perfect 3 in this exclusive interview.
What was it like returning to Baton Rouge for Pitch Perfect 2?
It feels like I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a while. I filmed the first one there for three months and then we filmed the second one there and it was just like returning to a home away from home. It was very surreal because we stayed in the exact same neighborhood. We went to the same restaurants. So it was really nice. It felt like we got to get another opportunity to have the same amount of fun that we had on the first one.
What are some favorite bars or restaurants that you guys liked to visit in Baton Rouge?
On the first Pitch Perfect, we spent a lot of time at this strip mall bar called The Cove. It was the place that we went to every night after work. Sometimes we drank. Sometimes we just sat there and played pool and stuff, but it was very smoky, very Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We made it our own and became friends with the owners and it was our place to go. Then this time they opened up another restaurant that was behind it, Corporate Brew and Draft Baton Rouge, that was just a little bit nicer, so we spent a lot of time there. There was pool there and it’s the same owners as The Cove.
Did you guys check out New Orleans while filming?
Oh, yeah, actually my best friends live in New Orleans and so they became everyone’s friends as well. We probably went to New Orleans every other weekend, maybe less when we actually had to work on the weekends which we did a lot. But we spent a lot of time in New Orleans and we had a team party there one weekend to kick off the whole movie. It was a Back to School theme, so everyone had to dress as their favorite stereotype. I dressed up as a Goth teenager with black lipstick. We went out in New Orleans a lot and I consider New Orleans basically my second home. I’ve been there way too many times.
And the thing about New Orleans, it’s easy to blend in there.
That’s true. We would walk around dressed as high school stereotypes and it didn’t really seem to matter. Just lots of high fives and shots.
Do you have a favorite bar or restaurant that you guys would go to?
Well, pretty much it’s almost foolproof that the day after we hang out in New Orleans we end up at Yo Mama’s, which is this hamburger joint that’s right off of Bourbon Street and it is our go-to. The bartender already knows me. She makes my drink when I walk in. It’s kind of homey, like it’s really like an old school burger place where the waitresses are kind of mean to you and you can smoke inside and it’s just gnarly. But the day after you’ve been in New Orleans it’s kind of a prerequisite that we ended up there, so that was a staple. We didn’t spend a lot of time on Bourbon Street because my friends live on Bourbon Street, so we just kind of hung out at their house. We did spend a lot of time around Frenchmen Street. We went to a lot of bars there and watched live music and had some really good times. That’s always the most fun.
Frenchmen Street has some really good food.
Yeah. There’s really good food down there. It’s just a really good spot over there and I really love shopping on Magazine Street, so it’s kind of everything you want in one place.
What was it like to have Elizabeth Banks behind the camera for Pitch Perfect 2?
It was great. She’s a really strong lady, very independent, and really inspiring when it comes to her work ethic and what she does. I just really look up to her. And you would never have even known that this was her first time directing. She’s done shorts and things like that before, but because of how well she knows the business and us and the project, it really felt like she just knew exactly what she wanted and what she was doing. And she’s so good with timing and comedy that it really felt like this was just the next thing that she was needing to do.
How do you feel the cast is upping the ante with the sequel?
This time everybody knew a little bit going into it what was in store. The first go-around we signed up for a really fun movie, but we didn’t know that it was going to be so liked. So this time we felt a little bit more pressure that we had to make it good. But we knew each other so well that the chemistry that we have and the connection that we all have really worked for the comedy because we know how each other work. We just tried to push it a little bit because we knew how far we could go, how much we could improve and how crazy we could get with our characters. People will see in this one that we’re just having a lot of fun and really pushing the envelope. A lot of it won’t be in the movie. We had to cut it out because a lot of the stuff went R-rated, but we had fun with that knowing that it wasn’t going to be in the movie.
These days they come out with Unrated versions of a lot of Blu-ray and DVD releases down the road.
Oh, yeah, I’m sure a lot of stuff will be in the DVD extras. I’m hoping because a lot of my stuff got cut because I played Chloe this time very drunkenly. Chloe has been in college for three extra years this go around, so she’s really drunk.
How have you seen singing take off since Glee and the original Pitch Perfect?
It goes along with the basic fact that everyone — even if you can’t sing or even if you think you’re unable to sing and you’re terrible — you always want to be able to sing and be a rock star and have fun with it and dance. Everyone wants to sing along with the movie and that sort of energy combines with these really interesting quirky characters that people can relate to, and the cast singing your favorite pop songs that are dorky, guilty pleasures. It’s cool now to be dorky and a nerd and to do something that’s a little bit out of the box. And that’s where a capella comes from: it doesn’t have to look pretty. It can also be really dorky and that’s what makes it really cool.
What are the challenges of having to do a capella when filming a movie and having to do stuff over and over again?
The hardest part about doing it over and over again was the dancing and just being in front of an audience. In the finale, we were actually performing in front of like 3,000 people and doing it over and over again. It’s pretty amazing because you feel the energy of the crowd, but at the same time you get the realization that they are getting paid to be there and so the cheering and screaming for you might be because they’re getting paid to be there. It’s really trying to make that same energy every single time. You do start feeling like you’re performing for an audience at a concert or something.
Now you guys have two movies. Where would you like to see this franchise go next if they were to do a third?
Gosh, it’s so weird because there could be a third and I think that the third one would have to be just a totally different direction because even this one really upped the energy and upped the jokes, and it’s really pushing the envelope. The next one would probably have to be a completely different direction. I don’t know. I hope I’m in it.
You’ll have to keep flunking out to be in the next one.
I’m like Chloe, I don’t know, she may be homeless by that point and that might be funny.