Sarah Hyland, Graham Phillips in EDM Comedy-Drama XOXO
No CGI for this EDM movie.
Those crowds are real in the new Netflix original movie, and so’s the energy coming at Graham Phillips, a young DJ getting the chance of a lifetime in “XOXO,” about a fictional music festival that was shot at four real raves.
“It made my life a lot easier, being up on stage,” Phillips tells Made in Hollywood. “It didn’t take a lot for me to get pumped up and feel a lot of adrenaline when I was actually in front of all of those people who are there to actually see real DJs and listen to music.”
The only question was how big those crowds really were. From the stage, it sure looked like 80,000 people. “I’m making that number up,” Phillips acknowledges. “But it sounds right.”
Sarah Hyland, Graham Phillips on Shooting at Real Festivals in XOXO
Sarah Hyland plays Krystal, a wide-eye girl who attends the festival looking for love. “She goes in with very, very high expectations and thinking the night is going to go one way and it goes different away and she has to deal and make do,” says the “Modern Family” star, who also is one of the producers of “XOXO.”
And like Phillips, Hyland fed off the crowds. “We had a great time,” she says, “just to feel that energy and all of that love and tenacity of the people.”
Phillips’ Ethan is equally naive, a kid who hit it big on YouTube and gets thrown into the XOXO fest as a last-minute addition to the bill.
“Ethan is already socially anxious,” says Phillips. “He’s definitely not confident in himself or his music yet. When he doesn’t have his support system, his best friend with him, he starts to lose it with everything else around him disintegrating. In the end it’s just about him coming to terms with himself and with his music.”
The movie afforded Phillips the opportunity to work with legendary EDM DJ Pete Tong, who’s the musical director of “XOXO.”
“Any time you saw me on stage it was essentially organized by Pete,” says Phillips. “Because he’s such a mogul in the industry and he knows everyone, getting to shadow him a little bit and basically get to meet the people he met was really informative for my character. He’s such a cool guy and the soundtrack he managed to put together and get access to is just killer.”