NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29:  (L-R) Actor Miles Teller, direcor Damien Chazelle, and actor J.K. Simmons attend Sony Pictures Classics' screening of "Whiplash" hosted by The Cinema Society and Brooks Brothers at the iPaley Center For Media on September 29, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Damien Chazelle Sees Whiplash As A Twisted Sort Of 'Origin Story'
Damien Chazelle's 2014 film "Whiplash" argues that, in order to truly learn and achieve greatness, a student has to endure all kinds of torture. The film follows the antagonistic relationship between Andrew Nieman (Miles Teller), an ambitious jazz drummer, and Prof. Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), a ruthless man who believes in abusive motivation.
In a 2014 interview with Interview Magazine, Chazelle talked a little bit more about his beliefs on the matter, notably pertaining to Fletcher's motivations. Chazelle said, "J.K. and I talked a little bit about how that kind of behavior gets passed down. And I think in many ways the movie is almost a weird origin story for a new Fletcher, or an instrumentalist version of Fletcher.”
Andrew essentially becomes another version of Fletcher, proving the latter’s philosophy that only pain and outrage can lead to greatness that will leave a permanent mark on the music world. Chazelle added, “Andrew starts to exhibit the same type of cruelty, and that was very much part of the design of the character.”