Although Rick Malambri got his start in show business on the TV series “How I Met Your Mother” and appeared with Bruce Willis in the 2009 movie “Surrogates,” the 28-year-old actor and dancer calls landing the lead role in the new Disney dance movie “Step Up 3D” a big step in his career.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of the ‘Step Up’ franchise,” Malambri said during a recent press junket in Hollywood. “When I found out that I got the part, it was like a breath of fresh air. I stood out on my balcony and just started screaming really loud.”
In the film, which opens Friday, Malambri plays an aspiring filmmaker named Luke who runs a warehouse where groups of dancers train for competitive dance battles.
“What I really liked about this movie is that the director, Jon Chu, has made a very cutting-edge 3-D dance film,” he says. “It’s really the first of its kind. I mean, I haven’t seen anything like this before. In the movie my character has a larger vision than just dance. We focused more on his direction and leadership than him as a dancer. But I do still get to show off my moves too, which was a lot of fun.”
Malambri, who recently moved to Los Angeles from Florida, and who looks like he could be Ashton Kutcher’s brother, has, in the past, considered himself to be a good dancer. But after doing the tango and more in “Step Up 3D,” he thinks he’s even better.
He says, “Going out with my friends now is just so much more fun and competitive. I do show off a lot more now than I used to.”
Malambri started dancing when he was a young child, but got into flashy, more intricate moves during his teen years.
“I started break-dancing when I was 13 years old. Me and a friend discovered this website that taught us how to do the electric boogaloo. This movie just brought back all the hard dance work I put in at an early age. I can’t wait for the world to see it. I think it’s going to blow people’s minds.”
IF YOU GO
Starring Rick Malambri, Adam G. Sevani, Sharni Vinson, Alyson Stoner, Keith Stallworth, Kendra Andrews
Written by Amy Andelson, Emily Meyer
Directed by Jon M. Chu
Running time 1 hour 37 minutes