Actors Jack Huston and John Magaro were enrolled in a musical boot camp for writer-turned-director David Chase's new rock band movie - with Steven Van Zandt and one-time Beatle Andy White as their mentors.
Not Fade Away follows a group of New Jersey high school kids as they put together a band in the mid-1960s, and Chase hired Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band member Van Zandt to serve as the on-set mentor for his big screen directorial debut.
The guitarist, who also starred in Chase's mob series The Sopranos, admits he faced a tough task prepping newcomer Magaro and Boardwalk Empire's Huston for the music scenes to make them as authentic as possible.
He tells the New York Daily News, "We put the actors in my studio for five or six hours a day for three or four months. They had to be believable or the whole film wouldn't hold together."
However, the stars proved to be fast learners and Van Zandt was pleasantly surprised by their talents.
He says, "John Magaro and Jack Huston had to learn in three months how to play what took me three years... They learned how to play guitar and drums. We could've faked it but we didn't have to. My biggest concern was the singing because every movie I see, I always have trouble with actors pretending they're singing; I never quite buy it. I got very lucky because they both could sing and by the time the cameras rolled they were a band. They could do a set right now for you."
White, who famously replaced Ringo Starr on the drums for the Fab Four's first single, Love Me Do, was also brought in to give the actors lessons and Magaro can't quite believe it.
He adds, "It was intense. Andy White, who played on some of the Beatles' first tracks and lives in New Jersey now, would come in every day and teach me how to drum."