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22 JUMP STREET

Around Campus
In the supporting roles, the filmmakers cast a variety of up-and-coming actors.

In the role of Maya, who has a fling with Schmidt after the two connect at a poetry slam event at a campus coffeehouse, the filmmakers cast Amber Stevens. "She's attracted to Schmidt - she's intrigued by his chutzpah," says Stevens. "His slam poetry is terrifyingly bad, but he's the type of guy who'll get up and do anything, and that's pretty sexy to a girl. She's not the type who just goes after the hot guy - she's interested in someone who has something to offer."

Stevens also got the chance to work closely with Ice Cube, and reports that despite his tough-guy persona, she saw a different side. "He's going to hate me for saying this, but he's a teddy bear," says Stevens. "I thought he'd be intimidating, but he's not. He's calm, friendly, and gracious to everyone in the room; he's very prepared and respectful of other people's time. I just love him."

Wyatt Russell takes on the role of Zook, the school's quarterback who forges an instant bond with Jenko. "It's love at first sight," says Russell. "They develop a bromance that's very different than the one between Jenko and Schmidt. It's a football thing, a jock thing. They hit it off in a way that only people of their intellect can handle."

Russell says that much of the humor of the film comes from the characters acting completely sincerely - even in ridiculous situations. "My favorite scene is a video that Jenko and Zook make to show off their football skills to the big-time schools," says Russell. "We had to do crazy things and be weird, but we also had to be earnest - we had to be in the moment. We had a great time together, shooting that."

Jimmy Tatro takes on the role of Rooster, Zook's frat brother. "The name Rooster obviously comes from his bright red Mohawk," says Tatro. "He's a jerk - he likes no one and isn't afraid to show it. He's the epitome of that frat-football guy that you would meet at every college party- and he is certainly not welcoming to these new pledges and walk-ons in his territory. His sensitive side shows when his best friend Zook starts hanging out with a new guy and he suddenly finds himself riding third wheel in their bromance."

Tatro came to the franchise as a fan of the first film. "I was a huge fan of 21 Jump Street," he says. "I remember walking out of the theater with two of my buddies still laughing, we had been cracking up the whole movie and I said, 'This is the hardest I've laughed since Superbad.' Then, three years later, I left the 22 Jump Street table read thinking, 'If we do this right, this could be even funnier than the first one.'"

Jillian Bell, the rising star of Comedy Central's series "Workaholics," takes on the role of Mercedes, Maya's roommate. "Mercedes is a total snot," says Bell. "She does not like Schmidt at all and she reminds him of how old he is every time she sees him."

All of that open dislike comes to blows as Mercedes takes on Schmidt in a no-holds-barred (and very uncomfortable) fistfight. "Jonah is a comic maniac," says Bell. "It was such a fun day. We were breaking bottles on each other's heads, rolling around and punching each other."

"We actually met with Jillian for a different role, but loved her so much that we developed this role for her," says Landau. "She's hilarious - she gave it a spin we never expected, which was perfect for the movie."

Rob Riggle and Dave Franco also joined the cast, reprising their scene-stealing roles as Mr. Walters and Eric, the supplier and dealer who met quite an unfortunate fate in the first film. Now incarcerated for their crimes, Walters and Eric get Schmidt and Jenko pointed in the right direction when they hit a dead end in their new investigation.

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