Last April, a group of fellow journalists and I visited the set of Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver in Atlanta. For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it follows Baby (Ansel Elgort), a young getaway driver who constantly plays music in order to drown out a hearing impairment he suffered as a child. When he falls for a local waitress (Lily James), he must find a way to escape from crime kingpin Doc (Kevin Spacey) and his other criminal associates. The film also stars Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx.
During a break in filming, we got a chance to talk with Jamie Foxx (Bats), Eiza Gonzales (Darling), and Flea (Eddie) . They talked about their specific characters, the unique wardrobes and tattoos they wore, acting in time with the music, what it’s like working with Wright, and much more.
Check out the full interview below. Baby Driver opens June 28th.
EIZA GONZALEZ: I think it’s been very exciting for me to be part of this project in general because Tia is the only girl criminal with all of the guys, so it’s pretty exciting for me, because Sky is in it as well, and then Lily and then me. But, Lily is like the good version and then I’m like the evil one. I always play the bad ones, which is pretty exciting. It’s been such a pleasure for me because I’ve gotten to learn from so many great actors. I got to work with Kevin and John and Jamie, and Jon Bernthal as well. They’re all people I admire and grew up looking up to, so it’s been exciting. She’s just such a badass guys. She’s always glammed up. She looks real cool. She has such a cool style because she has this like ex-stripper thing to herself, but she turned to the criminal world.
She gets married to Buddy, which is played by Jon Hamm, and we have this dynamic duo Bonnie and Clyde thing going on for the characters. So, it’s pretty exciting. It’s also cute to see how they have each other’s back no matter what. While you watch the movie, you’ll see how they work together as a team always. They always compensate each other and they take care of each other. He’ll have my back and I’ll have his. It’s just so fun. The character is brilliant. She has such a cool energy and she’s such a badass, but she’s kind of like a space cadet as well. She’s like all smiles but she’s just kookoo, so I like it. I like to be able to play a character that you can see have super sweet moments and wonder how she wandered into all these guys. Then you see it and you’re like, “Oh, okay. That’s why. She’s a sociopath.” And, she’s kind of disconnected with reality. At the end of the day, I think all the characters are a bit, so it’s been exciting.
Do you wear a lilac fur?
GONZALEZ: Yes, I do.
How badass is that to be dressed to the nines?
GONZALEZ: It’s amazing. It’s so cool because, when you guys get to see the movie you’ll understand, but there’s a lot of music involved with the whole movie. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the theme of it, but we did this whole big sequence based on the song “Tequila” with shooting guns, which was crazy. The song was going down and we’re battling like crazy on set. It’s just so funny to see all of the guys. You see Jamie and then you see this girl with like pink fur just going with like machine guns going (machine gun noises). So, it’s really cool. It’s such an iconic role. I think that this movie will really deliver what we love about movies.
As soon as I got this script, I was just so in love with the whole movie. It just reminded me of those old-time movies, like the Pulp Fiction world and that whole energy where characters were iconic. It just really gave me all these vibes of like Mia Wallace and all these cool female roles that you don’t get to see as much now. But, she’s still so like interesting-looking, the way that Courtney Hoffman — who’s our head of costumes — did our costumes. It’s just so iconic. Like, you’ll notice certain things. Everything is thought of. Every character has one specific color. Mine is pink. Jamie’s is red. So, it just visually creates such an impact on each character, and it was just so exciting for me to be able to do this cool looking character but still be a badass and still be independent and still be this powerful energy in an all male driven room.
So, no pressure guys. It was nerve wracking at the beginning for me. I was really nervous when I walked into the set for the first two to three times, but I also came from a job which was with Robert Rodriguez, which really just made me feel very comfortable in my own skin. I got to do certain things I never thought I would, so I sort of felt that was prep for this. This cast has just been amazingly nice and supportive.
What have you gotten to do on this movie that you haven’t done in your other projects?
GONZALEZ: In From Dusk till Dawn, I get to be very bad, but it’s more in like I get to transform into this creature and like eat people and rip off limbs and stuff like that. But, I really didn’t get to shoot guns. It’s been interesting because, for me, I had to prep a lot physically as well because I have a couple of scenes you’ll see where I had to carry machine guns. I had to be very strong to look like I could carry them. I remember the first day we came in and they were like, “Well, you might have to shoot this, this, and these. We’ll see if you can carry them.” And I was like, “Oh hell no.” I started training a lot and just lifting a lot to be able to seem like I was in shape to be doing this and make sense. So, that was very exciting.
I also get to play kind of crazy, which I hadn’t done before. I played more of a dark kind of queen in Dusk, so for this it’s more of a sociopath, loony woman that she’s completely detached from reality. Like, I’ll roll into a heist like drinking a slurpee or eating a popsicle. She’s just like completely disconnected to reality, so it’s kind of like this thing where you’re like, “Oh, she might cut me any second, because she’s just so weird.” It’s been really fun to work with Edgar. I’m such a fan of Edgar’s work, so as I said, as soon as his script came around there were a lot of people fighting for this role, especially because it’s just two strong, female roles in the movie. So, I remember every girl reading for it. And I was just like, “I really want this. I’ll get this. I’ll fight for this.” And, I really prepped for it.
Being such a fan of Shaun of the Dead and all these movies, like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, I was just really excited to see how Edgar worked on set and see how his mind transferred on set. Seeing him doing an action thriller that I think we saw slightly before but not as deep as it is right now. I was also very interested in seeing the whole choreographing movements, and seeing how it was going to work on screen. So, that has been challenging for sure, because you still have to do all the movements and seem like you’re a natural and doing all these things. But, at the same time you have to choreograph everything and move to the beats and look cool and realistic at the same time. So, you’re giving depth to your character by trying to peel off all of their layers while doing all of these things. So, it’s been interesting.
I think the most challenging thing has been schedule, just going up and down. There’s just so much in the movie. There’s a lot of heists. We have a bunch of bank robberies, and they’re all with different sorts of people, so it’s been fun. It’s cool to see how every time the gang changes with certain parts. Like, when Flea is with Jamie and Ansel, or when we are with Ansel, or when we’re with Bernthal instead of Jamie, you get to see the whole scoop of it. It’s really interesting to see how the dynamic between the people will change.