The Silver Linings Playbook choreographer reveals the laughs, respect during practice
The quest for Dancing with the Stars‘s mirror-ball trophy just wrapped, but these Silver Linings Playbook costars went from having no previous dance experience to looking like pros in just a month, choreographer Mandy Moore tells PEOPLE.
In this exclusive video, the actors are hard at work in a local Philadelphia dance studio, where they worked tirelessly with Moore, who notes the pair’s “chemistry was amazing.”
“They were really, really good. From the first hour of their first day, their chemistry was easy to deal with,” she says. “They were very kind to one another, but laughed a lot. I never felt any sort of frustration between either of them. Together they were a great team.”
According to Moore, Cooper, 37, “has some real natural dancing ability,” but for Lawrence, 22, who plays a dancer in the film, the actress had some initial self-doubt.
“One of the first things Jennifer said to me was, ‘I’m not a dancer. You’re never going to be able to get me to dance.’ And I thought, ‘Yeah right, sister. We’re going to make sure we make this happen.’ ”
Following an “intensive process,” Moore reached her goal.
“Jennifer needed a lot of repetition, and I had to be very specific with her,” she says. “[But by] the night we wrapped, both of them were like, ‘Oh, my god, I want to dance again! This is really, really fun.’ ”
Moore commends the costars – who dance to Stevie Wonder, The White Stripes and David Brubeck in the film, which is in theaters now – for pulling off their fancy footwork the way it was envisioned by director, David O. Russell.
“Not always can you set aside your ego and know that you don’t know what you’re doing in order to learn something, and they both really did that,” she says. “The dance wasn’t supposed to be a polished piece. It’s supposed to look a little funky and crazy the way that they are. I think finding those particular moves that were going to represent that was a challenge, but it was worthwhile.”