With a scholarship from Vanderbilt University in hand, everything was going well for Temple Baker, but his whole world shifted when he went into a local casting call.
Baker, 23, was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He was majoring in history and political science at Vanderbilt when one day he received information on a casting call from a friend.
The casting call was for Richard Linklater’s current, buzzworthy film “Everybody Wants Some!!” The film is a spirited sequel to Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused,” where he switches the focus from high schoolers in 1976 to college life in 1980.
Freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) is the newest addition to the baseball team at a small Texas college, and he is quickly swept up in the rowdy, competitive atmosphere of the house where the entire squad lives. The movie is based on Linklater’s own experience as an outfielder for Sam Houston State baseball team.
Baker walked into the audition with little to no acting skills, the last time he was center stage was in his fourth grade production of Romeo and Juliet.
They asked him one question, “Do you have any funny stories from college?”
“I told them some funny stories about college and next thing I knew I had the part, pretty surreal,” Baker said.
Baker has grown up watching Linklater’s classics, to the extent where he believes “Dazed and Confused” is based on his former high school.
“He made so many brilliant movies, it was amazing, the most humble guy you could ever meet,” Baker said. “Before we started filming [Linklater] offered an invitation to collaborate and create.”
Linklater invited the group of guys to spend a few weeks on his ranch in the rural Austin area for a great bonding experience. Baker called it “a big adult summer camp” and said it was the best way to bond and build chemistry in order to play an on-screen baseball team.
The days consisted of playing basketball in the morning, rehearsal, baseball, and other bonding activities. This gave Linklater an opportunity to observe each actor and take note on what they can bring to the table of their character.
Baker plays Plummer, not the brightest of the bunch, but leaves a memorable impact on the viewer. “There are elements of me in Plummer. He [Linklater] told us to bring part of us to our characters,” Baker said. “You bring yourself to a character, but that’s not your true self.”
Having been awarded a baseball scholarship to Harvard prior to Vanderbilt, Baker doesn’t consider him the best player from the movie. He faced stiff competition from co-stars Tyler Hoechlin, who was the former starting third baseman at Arizona State, along with Juston Street a former pitcher at the University of Texas.
From a plot standpoint, very little happens in “Everybody Wants Some!!” but it’s the feeling you get going into college that is portrayed perfectly. You feel invincible, like the whole world can’t be any other way and the next four years will be the best.
“This experience is all about finding yourself, it’s a really important message, that there’s no intrinsic value in what you’re doing, other than the meaning you put into on what you’re doing,” Baker said. “Anything is ridiculous if you really think about it, but it’s the meaning you put into whatever you’re doing is what you take away from it. Following your passion has its own value, regardless what everyone else is telling you what matters.”