Among the countless famous folks making cameos in Pitch Perfect 2 are a few a capella all-stars from our own neck of the woods. The members of the Arlington-rooted, Grammy-winning vocal group Pentatonix get a short but sweet placement near the end of the film during a heated singing competition scene.
If you're not familiar with the Pitch Perfect series, it centers around the Barden Bellas, an all-female a capella group that, in the sequel, has already won three national championships. We won't spoil major plot points, but it's more than fair to share that the Bellas' second-movie dreams rest on winning the world championships.
Pentatonix's members perform briefly as the Bellas' Canadian competition. Members Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola take on part of the wonderfully cheesy Journey classic, "Any Way You Want It" - their contribution can be heard on the movie's soundtrack, already out.
We got in touch with Grassi, Pentatonix's soulful tenor, by email to find out more about their star turn, which was filmed in New Orleans, standing in for Copenhagen, Denmark.
"A lot of people from The Sing-Off also worked on the film, so we had connections," Grassi said. "Plus, our fans practically petitioned on social media for us to be a part of it, which was awesome."
The Sing-Off is the hit NBC reality competition whose third season helped launch Pentatonix into the national limelight. One of the show's vocal producers and arrangers, Deke Sharon, also worked in a similar capacity on Pitch Perfect 2.
In a video featurette promoting the movie, Sharon says having Pentatonix on camera in the movie was an easy call, dubbing Grassi and company "one of the groups at the forefront of the modern a cappella movement.
Grassi says that even though his group has performed in front of the President and won a Grammy, being on the set of such a high-profile film was "pretty surreal."
"It was crazy to see how much actually goes into creating a major motion picture, and how tedious it can actually be," Grassi said. The production was pretty intense; we had a really great time!"