Briana Evigan Is Andie

The heart of STEP UP 2 THE STREETS is Andie, the young woman from the same tough neighborhood as “Step Up”’s Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) who must try to find a way to transcend her troubled past and fit in at MSA, while still staying true to her roots on Baltimore’s streets. As with Chase, the filmmakers knew they would need to find someone who had both the dancing skills and the acting chops to make her journey come alive. This led them to a brand-new face: Briana Evigan, who at the age of 7 started dancing with hip-hop choreographer Shane Sparks (television’s “So You Think You Can Dance?”) and has gone on to appear in several music videos and independent films.

It was when Evigan first read with Robert Hoffman—and the temperature in the room soared—that the filmmakers were sold that she was their Andie. “When they read together, it was magic,” recalls Chu. “Briana came alive, and she and Robert fed off each other’s energy just as we hoped.”

Adds David Nicksay, “Briana brought a deep, soulful quality to Andie. She comes off as very authentic, organic and moving. She’s also incredibly funny and a smashing dancer.”

Evigan, too, was grabbed by the strong affinity between her own struggles as a young actress and dancer and those of her character. “Andie might start the film having lost a lot, but she’s got a goal and dream and she’s not going to let anything get in her way,” Evigan says.

“Her mother has died, she has no father figure, and she’s a little unsure about men. But slowly she learns that sometimes you have to put some things aside to let what you want really come to you. By the end, she falls in love with the guy she’s been pushing away the whole time, and she learns about the importance of not only belief but of respect.”

When it came to the demands of the dancing, Evigan took a new approach—trying to emulate the strength and fury of street dancers. “I had to drop the whole sexy thing that I had developed and break away from that for a more hard-core approach,” she explains. “It was challenging, but I loved it and learned so much. I also loved the way the members of the dance crews each had such strong personalities so that the dancers and their personal relationships stand out much more than they do in other dance movies I’ve seen.”

Most of all, Evigan was inspired throughout by Andie’s unbreakable spirit, which brings her to a place she never expected. Sums up the actress: “When times are really tough and everything is falling apart and you feel like you don’t belong anywhere, Andie shows that you just need to stay strong and keep going and never let anyone step in the way of your dream.”

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