Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Culture | By Kelly Harrison

The song that begat 'Baby Driver,' a quasi-musical on wheels

The song that begat 'Baby Driver,' a quasi-musical on wheels

The blistering action film stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx. The action-thriller, which was shot in the USA city of Atlanta, features plenty of vehicle chases set against an eclectic soundtrack. I don't just mean that songs fit the vibe of a scene.

What made you think of Ansel Elgort as your musically inclined driver?

"The big question in the film is, is Baby doomed to be unhappy?"

For Elgort though, Baby Driver - acclaimed or not - may already be the best film he ever worked on. Why?

Ansel Elgort attends the LA premiere of "Baby Driver" at the Ace Hotel on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Los Angeles. Over the course of our lunch in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood, where he now lives, the actor is nothing if not expressive-gesticulating, putting on voices, and telling stories about his sister's Argentinian Spanish teacher and expensive steak dinners with friends that ultimately have nothing to do with his craft or "Baby Driver", but that amplify how easy he is in no-fuss charm and conversation. He boosted his first auto at 12, but one day he makes the mistake of ripping off a vehicle filled with illegal goods owned by Doc (Spacey).

"I had tinnitus as a kid of 7 or 8, and it was very painful". Wright liked it so much that he included it in the movie. "Every young actors dream".

Gonzalez, who plays Darling, a member of the heist gang, says the set could get insane, such as when they were filming a shootout to the song "Tequila".

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Her stance continued after she was cast. I really hope so. "So to balance that we brightened her up, and it also helped to explain why Buddy is so in love with her".

Spacey, who said he had a blast on the set of the movie, described his role as something Michael Caine would have pulled off. The offensive song to him was Guns "N Roses" "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" cover, but the "hex song" in "Baby Driver" comes from a tune Jamie Foxx actually detests: the Eagles' "Hotel California".

The director felt it worked out, however, because while both are auto cities, the southern metropolis still leans toward the big-powered gas-guzzlers.

The rising star explained that he thinks the New Yorker is "embarrassing" to the nation and is taking away part of the U.S. that 'make us a good country'. I love being onstage and doing a scene and getting out that one line, that beat, that pause, and all else is quiet, and you can hear the electricity hum. "I'll say it on record: I'd do a James Bond!" In the ensuing chase, this synthesis of on-screen movement, editing, and musical timing coalesces into a balletic tour de force, complete with wry visual gags like Baby hiding among cars of a similar color and make on the highway so as to dupe a police helicopter.

Baby Driver is inspired from the makers of "I'll be home in two minutes, mom".

"We wanted to shoot Atlanta for Atlanta and that was really important to us", director Edgar Wright told Hot Topics digital producer Jessica Sooknanan. I think I probably got this part because of my musical background.

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