by Gillian Sagansky

Summer Waits for No One
A fully equipped game room, ping pong table, Olympic-sized pool, baseball diamond, bowling alley, bunk beds, and the loudest snorer exiled to the far side of the room—sounds like your average summer camp—or director Richard Linklater’s Texas estate, where actor Ryan Guzman and the rest of the cast of Linklater’s upcoming baseball comedy Everybody Wants Some stayed for three weeks prior to shooting the film which is set to be released this fall.

At 27, the Texas-born actor is on his way, with a gaggle of devoted female followers, who regularly declare their love on his Instagram:

So Hawt oooommgggg!! 

 Omggg bae♥♥♥♥”) in tow

U need to star n a Nicholas Sparks movie

His success is the product of talent and a touch of luck that even he can still barely believe. A former MMA fighter, Guzman made the move to Los Angeles in 2010 to pursue modeling (“it was always a means to an end”), soon fell into commercial work, and after a mere nine months with only three acting classes under his belt, got cast as the lead in Step Up: Revolution.

“I was at the Grove watching Bridesmaids and ran out of the theater, with tears in my eyes—everyone must have thought I was crazy,” Guzman recalls of the moment he was told that he got the role—a role that has taken him farther than one would expect from starring in the fourth installment of a dance franchise. Since then he has starred opposite J. Lo in The Boy Next Door and had a recurring role in the tween melodrama Pretty Little Liars. Next up Guzman is starring in the NBC reboot Heroes as well as two feature films releasing later this year. One of those is Linklater’s baseball comedy, which involved a production process that has been as unconventional as you might expect from the cult director.

“For the audition they asked me about my childhood—what kind of person I was growing up and what I did for fun. I talked with them for about 15 minutes, then I left. I had no clue what happened,” Guzman explains from Toronto where he is currently shooting Heroes. “A week later the casting agents sent me a list of characters that I could choose to read for, but the character I wanted (Roper) wasn’t on the list.” In a ballsy move, Ryan threw caution to the wind and read for the part of Roper all the same—and got it. “It was a risky thing to do but it took a really open mind on their part to see through what I was doing,” he shares.

Open mindedness seems to be a major theme in the Linklater camp. In the weeks that followed, the director invited the cast to his Texas home, which Ryan said was the ultimate summer camp, complete with bonfires, bowling, and embarrassing moments, including a momentous wardrobe malfunction on a rope swing in which he flashed the entire cast and crew. “I forgot the physics of what happens on a rope swing. Everyone went from cheering to covering their eyes. They were trying to be nice about it but it was completely embarrassing.”

As for the most trying moments on set: “Every single one of us was worried that we weren’t funny enough. We’d be calling our girlfriends worrying that we weren’t delivering lines the right way. But everyone was hilarious. We all pushed each other without knowing it to make the best product.” Nicholas Sparks should take note.

Photographer: Greg Lotus for OpusReps.com.

Stylist: Jimi Urquiaga for OpusBeauty.com.

Groomer: Frankie Payne for OpusBeauty.com using Chanel.