Thomas Bevan was one of four dancers cast in the musical number “Summer in Ohio” for the film “The Last 5 Years,” which comes to cinemas on Feb. 13, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
“I was lucky enough to spend some time with both Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan both on and off camera,” Bevan said. “My feature in the film, however, is entirely with ‘Cathy.’”
Bevan is a 2010 graduate of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. He explained filming was often tiring, but fun.
“We had a long day of shooting the same choreography over and over again,” Bevan said. “By afternoon, we were so tired we started a little motivational catch phrase, ‘What would Beyonce do?’ Before every take we would just say ‘Beyonce, Beyonce, Beyonce,’ and it seemed to work, since we survived the day.”
Bevan’s favorite moment on set happened as the cast and crew filmed the final shot for “Summer in Ohio.”
“The boys fan their arms in a peel-off as the camera zooms through us,” Bevan said. “I was in the front of the line, so whenever we would start up again the clacker had to be clacked directly in front of my face. There is something very magical about that happening when you have spent your life dreaming about making movies.”
Bevan had a difficult time accepting production’s end.
“I’ve been waiting so patiently for the official release,” Bevan said. “We finished filming in the summer of 2013.”
Bevan’s time on set lasted four days. This encompassed two days of rehearsal in New York City: one of those days rehearsing with Kendrick, the other without. One day rehearsing camera angles and dividing the choreography into various filming segments, and one day actually filming the number.
Bevan said his time at UWSP taught him a lot about how to present himself and maintain a professional work ethic.
“It is impossible to pick a single example of how UWSP helped prepare me for my life in New York City,” Bevan said. “I’m eternally grateful.”
Bevan is grateful for professors who believed in him, called him out on his mistakes and pushed him.
“That kind of support fills you with the confidence you need to succeed,” Bevan said. “That mentorship is what I remember most fondly.”
Shortly after shooting, Bevan joined the Broadway National Tour of “Chicago” for a year as the character, The Spirit of Fosse. He is also an understudy to Amos.
“I am now signed with a new agency and fill my time between regional work and traveling the world singing with a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute group,” Bevan said.
For those aspiring to journey to New York City and be part of the entertainment industry, Bevan offered his advice.
“You are not the best and you will never be the best, so push yourself to become your best and don’t worry about anyone else,” Bevan said. “There are so many talented people in this business. All you can do is bring your A-game and hope you have the special something that the faces behind the table are looking to find.”
Bevan will fly to Los Angeles, California for the film’s premiere on Feb. 11. He is excited for audiences to feel the film’s passion.
“I can’t wait for audiences to go on this emotional rollercoaster with us,” Bevan said. “It was a love project for the director, Richard LaGravanese. You can feel the heart and soul he poured into it.”
Arts & Entertainment Editor