LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Diego Calva arrives at the "Babylon" Global Premiere Screening at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/FilmMagic)
Movies - TV
Diego Calva Prepared For Babylon By Pretending To Be Brad Pitt's Assistant
Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon” is a sweeping epic that encompasses the director's fascination with old Hollywood, and to make the movie believable Chazelle took the idea that “life imitates art” quite literally. To get Diego Calva into his “Babylon” character, Chazelle orchestrated a meta circumstance that had Calva working as Brad Pitt’s assistant in real life.
“Babylon” opens with Calva’s character, Manny Torres, working as the assistant for Jack Conrad, played by Brad Pitt, so Chazelle thought it would be educational for Calva to work as Pitt’s assistant in real life. When Chazelle worked on a commercial with Brad Pitt, Calva recalled “[Chazelle] told me he wanted me to pretend that I was [Pitt’s] assistant or a PA on the commercial.”
At that point, Pitt hadn’t met his co-star, so Calva went undetected until Mary Zophres, the costume designer for “Babylon,” exposed Calva and Chazelle’s plot. Calva recalled “Brad just turned to [Chazelle] […] and he said […] ‘Damien, what’s going on?’ It’s a very, very funny way to meet Brad Pitt, actually. In this case, I think the shock was on his side, not mine.”