MXA MINI-VIEW: “Free Style” Movie Actor Corbin Bleu

December 8, 2008
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You probably don’t know who Corbin Bleu is, unless of course you have children who are in love with the “High School Musical” movies. Bleu is a 19-year-old actor from Brooklyn, New York, who has been brought up under the Disney awning. Currently one of the most recognized teenage actors, Corbin’s time is spent working on feature films and also TV shows (he has made guest appearances on “Hannah Montana”). Why should you know who Corbin Bleu is? He has taken on the responsibility of playing a character that is an amateur motocross racer trying to become a pro. Before you groan and have flashbacks to the highly tragic “Supercross: The Movie,” we can assure you that the level of cheesiness isn’t nearly as bad as the aforementioned flick. “Free Style” is set to release sometime in February and is focused on the youth market. We caught up with Corbin at Kawasaki’s movie release ride day on Saturday at Piru motocross track here in southern California.

What is “Free Style” about?
Free Style is about Cale Bryant, who is my character, and his pursuit of turning professional in outdoor motocross. However, freestyle motocross is what he does on his free time when it comes to having a pressure release. That’s where the name comes into the film, which is actually explained in the movie. Cale’s father left him when he was a kid, so growing up Cale had to be the man of the house. He plays a father figure to his younger sister, who is played by Madison Pettis. My mother is played by Penelope Ann Miller and he works two jobs to support the family. Because of his father he is forced to live a hard life, but he’s trying to make a better life by winning amateur titles so that he can signed to a professional racing contract.

The movie trailer also shows the beginnings of a love story. Is that true?
Yeah. There’s also a great love story. Sandra Echeverria, who is actually from Mexico City, is a beautiful actress and there’s a love relationship that forms over the course of the film. I guess you could say that it’s a film that has something for everybody.

How much training did you do for the film?
A lot, actually. About a year ago I started learning right here at Piru. My manager happens to ride, so he took me out. Cole Seely [note: an MXA test rider] taught me to ride, along with Lance Coury [note: an upcoming freestyle motocross rider]. One thing about this movie is that I surrounded myself with the sport. I went out and attended quite a few different races and I learned as much as I could about motocross. We wanted to stay true to motocross. A lot of times in motocross movies people try to glam it up, but in reality it’s a sport that’s down and dirty and takes a lot of hard work. Also, you’re not going to hear the ring-a-ding of two-stroke when there are a bunch of four-strokes around. In every aspect we tried to stay true to the sport.

That’s relieving to hear. What races did you attend this past year?
I went to the Anaheim Supercross, Loretta Lynn’s for the big amateur championship, and also to Glen Helen for the World Vet Championship.

How difficult was it moving from a musical based film to an action based film?
I’ve always been a very physical guy and I love learning new things. With ?High School Musical,’ even though there is a lot of dancing, it still can be pretty hard on the body sometimes. So making the transition to riding dirt bikes wasn’t that difficult because I had to be physical. As for the character differences, it was very different playing Cale Bryant as opposed to Chad from ?High School Musical.’ Chad is a simple guy and he’s a jock. Cale is a troubled guy who has a bit of a temper. It was nice being able to do something different.

On the level of difficulty, how hard was it to learn to ride motocross?
[Laughter] Oh man, it was difficult! Like I said, I’m a physical guy so I try to break everything down. Still, just like any sport, it takes a lot of practice to get good. On a scale from one to ten, it was a seven or eight in difficulty. Motocross isn’t easy.

Corbin Bleu and Kawasaki’s Jan Plesner


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