16 surprising things you probably didn't know about 'Bring It On'

Universal PicturesThere’s a famous bathroom scene in ‘Bring It On.’
  • The cheer film “Bring It On” has become a cultural phenomenon since its release in 2000.
  • Kirsten Dunst almost wasn’t cast as Torrance and the film was originally called “Cheer Fever.”
  • The movie has also been adapted into a Tony-nominated musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The 2000s film “Bring It On” worked its way into the fabric of pop culture through its portrayal of competitive cheerleading.

Starring Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union, Eliza Dushku, and Jesse Bradford, the movie debuted at no. 1 in the box office and has inspired five spin-off films. Even 20 years later it’s still a favourite among many for its major sass and killer choreography – but even fans may not know everything about it.

Read on for 17 things you probably didn’t know about “Bring It On.”


The iconic opening cheer almost didn’t make the cut.

YouTube/MovieClipsThe first cheer in the movie is part of a dream sequence.

Fans of the movie know “I’m sexy, I’m cute, I’m popular to boot” as the raunchy opening dream sequence of the movie, but this cheer was almost cut entirely. Screenwriter Jessica Bendinger said she fought to keep it in the script.

Speaking to HuffPost, Bendinger said, “I was like, ‘If you cut this cheer, then it’s just a dumb movie! Who cares?’ You need to let everybody know your tongue is in your cheek. There needs to be self-awareness.”


There are six “Bring It On” movies total.

Universal Studios Home EntertainmentFrancia Raisa played Leti in ‘Bring It On: All or Nothing.’

After its subsequent success, “Bring It On” went on to have five spin-off films.

The films featured different storylines and characters, but each had the same amount of attitude and cheerleading at the forefront.


Every actor who auditioned had to have a cheer prepared.

Universal PicturesThe casting directors wanted to know the cast had rhythm.

When auditioning for the film, actors needed to perform a cheer for casting directors.

Director Peyton Reed told DVD Talk the producers “needed to know [the actors] at least had some sense of rhythm and coordination because not only did they need to act, but they needed to meet the physical demands of the roles.”


Dunst was not originally cast as Torrance.

Universal PicturesDunst turned down her role in ‘Bring It On’ a few times.

Actress Marley Shelton (“Never Been Kissed,” “Uptown Girls”) was actually in talks to play Torrance.

The film’s director revealed to MTV that after a few meetings with Shelton, she turned down the role to pursue a part in the “rival cheerleader movie” of the time called “Sugar, Spice, and Semi-Automatics.”

They then offered the role of Torrance to Dunst, who turned it down a few times before accepting.


The Toros and the Clovers had different choreographers.

Universal PicturesThe Clovers were choreographed by Hi-Hat.

The film’s choreographer, Anne Fletcher hired, another choreographer named Hi-Hat who she assigned to choreograph the routines performed by the Clovers.

Reed told BuzzFeed, “When Hi-Hat choreographed ‘Brr, It’s Cold In Here’ for the Clovers, Anne had a great time choreographing the really stiff, white-girl version for the Toros.”


The film’s screenwriter also wrote “Stick It,” “Aquamarine,” and episodes of “Sex And The City.”

Storefront PicturesThe movie ‘Aquamarine’ features strong female leads.

In addition to penning “Bring It On,” Bendinger has writing credits on “Sex And The City,” “Stick It,” and “Aquamarine.”

Bendinger explained that although she knows she is known for teen movies, she considers her films “more as coming of age stories.”


Dunst improvised Torrance’s bedroom dancing.

Universal PicturesAriana Grande also recreated this scene in the ‘Thank u, next’ music video.

Because the film wanted to pay tribute to the athleticism of cheerleaders, most of the scenes were choreographed in advance.

One that was not prepared in advance, however, was when Torrance hears Cliff’s music for the first time and dances on her bed.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Reed said of the scene, “We knew the idea and the emotion we wanted, but I think we only did a few takes. That was really all Kirsten.”


James Franco and Jason Schwartzman auditioned for the role of Cliff.

Universal PicturesJesse Bradford played Cliff.

Both James Franco and Jason Schwartzman auditioned for the role of Cliff, but Jesse Bradford was eventually cast.

Reed told MTV that although both Franco and Schwartzman brought interesting perspectives to the character, they were a little more “off-beat” whereas Bradford offered the full package.


The film was initially going to be named “Cheer Fever.”

Universal Pictures‘Bring It On’ aired in 2000.

While the film was in its early stages, it was referred to as “Cheer Fever,” Reed told MTV.


Union almost didn’t appear in the film.

Universal PicturesGabrielle Union played a Clovers cheerleader.

Union, who played Isis, almost appeared in the 2001 cheer movie “Sugar and Spice” instead of “Bring It On.”

Speaking to MTV, Union said her decision partially came down to which film she felt was more committed to diversity.

“There were a ton of teen movies at the time that I passed on that were not committed to getting it right. The reason why I even took the table read of ‘Cheer Fever’ was because the cheerleading movie I wanted about bank robbing [“Sugar and Spice”] – they didn’t want to go black on any of the characters,” she told the network.

“So it’s interesting, the group that didn’t want to commit to diversity didn’t seem to do well and the movie that was about righting the wrongs did well, and that included diversity,” she added.


The audition song cost producers $US40,000 to licence.

Universal Pictures‘Cherry Pie’ is performed by the band Warrant.

Reed told BuzzFeed that Warrant’s hit Cherry Piecost the studio $US40,000 to licence.

The song was used during the audition sequence, and according to Reed, “it was so perfect for that scene; it needed to be raunchy and inappropriate.”


Dushku’s work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” played a role in her casting.

Universal PicturesEliza Dushku had previously played Faith on ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’

Dushku, who played Missy in “Bring It On,” was previously the most well-known for playing Faith on “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.”

Reed said that, prior to casting, the film’s producers were fans of “Buffy,” and familiar with Dushku’s work.

When casting the role of Missy, Reed explained they wanted someone totally opposite of Dunst, saying, “I loved the idea that physically those two looked different: one’s a blonde, one’s a brunette. Almost like a second Archie comic in a way, there’s Betty and Veronica. And she just seemed to be that character.”


The “Bring It On” girls were somewhat inspired by Gwen Stefani.

Mark Mainz/GettyNo Doubt later broke up and Gwen Stefani went solo.

Bendinger told MTV she had a picture of No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani hanging on her computer while writing the script and she drew on her sassy sense of empowerment for Torrance and the girls.

The screenwriter also told Austinist using Stefani as inspiration helped her “make cheerleading cooler than it was.”


“Bring It On” became a Broadway musical that Lin-Manuel Miranda worked on.

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesLin-Manuel Miranda is famous for his work with ‘Hamilton.’

The beloved film was adapted for the stage in 2011 with the help of “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Miranda wrote all of the music for the show and earned two Tony nominations for best musical and best choreography.


Torrance is the role Dunst feels closest to in real life.

Emma McIntyre/Getty ImagesKirsten Dunst had been a cheerleader in high school.

Speaking with Julianne Moore for Gotham Magazine, Dunst talked about the strong connection she felt with her “Bring It On” character and her background in cheer.

“When I was 16 and did ‘Bring It On.’ I was that girl. It was like me being in high school as myself. It wasn’t a stretch at all,” she said. “I was a cheerleader, my best friend was a cheerleader. I wasn’t in competitions, but I watched them on TV.”


The “Bring It On” screenwriter said Tom Hanks helped greenlight the film’s production.

Anthony Harvey/Getty ImagesTom Hanks owns a record company.

In an interview with Austinist, Bendinger creditedTom Hanks with helping the film “pick up steam” when she was trying to sell it in the late 1990s.

The soundtrack later ended up on Hank’s record company, Playtone Records.

Read More:

THEN AND NOW: The cast of ‘Bring It On’ over 20 years later

28 details and hidden gems you may have missed in ‘Clueless’

11 surprising things you probably didn’t know about ‘Clueless’

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