Baby Driver star Ansel Elgort reveals how theatre helped him look cool in the movie

by - 15:10

It’s been 22 years since writer and director Edgar Wright dreamt up the idea for what would become Baby Driver. His short answer for what took so long to get his passion project to the big screen? He was waiting for Ansel Elgort to be the leading man.

Elgort, who plays the titular character, and Wright were joined by co-stars Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Lily James and Eiza Gonzalez for the Los Angeles premiere of Baby Driver recently.

This musically-propelled heist thriller follows Baby, a young talented getaway driver who relies on his headphones, and a number of iPods, to get a job done. The soundtrack was developed simultaneously along with the story, as both songs inspired scenes, and scenes were written to songs, Wright said.

“Some of the songs I had in my head – to use in a movie for 20 years. It’s crazy,” Wright told Variety.

Though Elgort is a musician himself, he said it was actually his musical theatre background that proved most beneficial in filming. In one of the first scenes of the Baby Driver, Baby strolls down the sidewalk with effortless swagger in a three-minute long take.

“It was all choreographed and there was no cutting,” he said. “I have to thank musical theatre for that.” Baby, who almost constantly has headphones in his ears to drown out his tinnitus (tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears), remains acutely aware of the world around him. There was a lot of prep involved in capturing the essence of Baby, Elgort said. He had to learn sign language, choreography, driving, and parkour – to name a few.

“There was light at the end of the tunnel in that one day I would be made to look like a bad@%% in a driving film,” he said. “I was excited for that.”

Baby Driver opens in July in Malaysia. – Reuters/Rebecca Rubin

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