Baby Driver BTS - Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Edgar Wright, Flea, Lanny Joon

 

Were there any more specific influences on this film?

I think things from when I was growing up. I mean, there’s obviously things like Scorsese’s films and Tarantino’s films. But a big influence on me, I really like Walter Hill’s movies, Walter Hill’s early movies, like The Driver and The Warriors. I love those movies and I liked his style. Walter is somebody else that I’ve got to know through doing Q&As, so I’ve made him fully aware. I’ve said, ‘You know I’m totally ripping you off, right? We’ll call it, it’s a big tribute to you.’ So I think a lot of those films, that would be a big influence. The Driver, Walter Hill’s film, which, if you’ve never seen it, is really great.

At the beginning of production you Instagrammed a photo of David Bowie. Courtney [Hoffman], the designer, teased that you’re really into his music and he had a big influence on you. I was wondering if he had any impact on the story.

Well, I don’t know if you know this, but he died earlier this year. No, he’s one of my favorite artists. It has nothing to do with anything on set. It’s just, I’m a huge Bowie fan. He was my favorite artist so I was very sad to see him go. But also, it was a good excuse to reconnect with all of his songs. There is no David Bowie song in this film.

Since music is such a big part and you’re filming in Atlanta and the film’s set in Atlanta, do you have any Atlanta music? Is there like Mastodon or trap music or something in this?

You know what, there was a track, weirdly enough, the one track that I couldn’t clear is one that was an Atlanta track. So I’m trying to find something else. I want to find something that’s like an Atlanta, you know, musically, some of the stuff that’s coming through. There was a track I wanted to use, but they hadn’t cleared one of their samples so I can’t use it. But we’ll see. There will be something.

Baby Driver BTS - Jamie Foxx, Lanny Joon, Ansel Elgort, Edgar Wright

What was it about Ansel [Elgort] that made you want him as the lead role? What about him really got to you?

I like that he’s very musical. He plays instruments. He can dance. He’s a DJ as well, he writes music. So that aspect of it. He’s also very young, so he qualifies as a baby. It’s also the idea of having someone like him, Ansel just turned 22, but to have him in the same frame as Jon [Hamm] and Jamie [Foxx] and Kevin [Spacey] and Jon Bernthal, it’s great. You want to feel that the character is very young. It’s kind of the point of the movie.

The title also shares its name with a Simon and Garfunkel song.

It does.

Does that give us insight into where they came from? Is there a connection there?

No, I always just liked that song. It’s not inspired in terms of, like, the lyrics of that song don’t really have anything to do with the movie. But it’s definitely, that album and that song, I used to love a lot as a kid.

When was the decision made to set the movie in Atlanta, and how has that helped develop the film?

It’s been good, actually, because as you probably know, a lot of films are shooting here, but not many of them are set here. I think one of the frustrations becomes that if you’re shooting somewhere and it’s not there, it becomes a lot of extra work. So as soon as we knew that it was a possibility and I came to look at it, I decided to rewrite it for Atlanta. And then I immediately became invested in doing it here. There are also elements of the story that make a lot of sense here, in terms of the music scene and the love of cars. I’ve never seen a city with more muscle cars in my life. And the crime. So it actually worked pretty well. I think the thing is, whenever I’d been here before – and I’d only ever been here on press tours, like Shaun of the Dead was the first time I came to Atlanta – so I think the last couple of times I went, I made a real point of just not going to the touristy spots, and trying to see the rest of the city and the places that you don’t usually go.

You’ve got an eclectic group here, with Jon Bernthal and John Hamm and Jamie Foxx. You’ve got people all over the place. How did you pick these people out of the millions of people you could have chosen?

I think it was just the right people for the job in each role. They were the people that we went to. I did a read-through of the script in like 2012. I think Jon Hamm was the one actor who was at that read-through, playing the same part in it that he is in the movie. So that’s nice. I always had him in mind, for sure.

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