How Ansel Elgort and Jon Hamm Got to Work With Edgar Wright

We’ve heard the film has some percussive elements to it, like the windshield wipers are timed to the music, the gunfire is timed to the music, do either of you have a favorite moment that you get to play that’s kind of choreographed in that style?

ANSEL ELGORT: Yeah, in the very beginning of the movie, Baby is dancing in the car to this song, sort of as the robbery’s going on, he’s trying to pretend it’s not there and he’s dancing in the car, and he does, he puts the windshield wipers on and magically they go with the beat in his head bobbing. Yeah, there’s a lot of moments like that, it’s a great one. When people see this, they’re really gonna like it.

JON HAMM: There’s a lot of stuff, I think, too, with kind of inanimate objects, you mentioned the windshield wipers, but there’s things with whole cars, I mean, cars are choreographed and things like that. I wasn’t sure how that wasn’t going to play like on the day and in real life and again, having seen it cut together and working, I was impressed. The soundtrack is very much -- Edgar’s crazy encyclopedic knowledge of film is only matched by his crazy encyclopedic knowledge of music, and he has this really cool offbeat interesting playlist and sense of music that fits with all this stuff. It’s incredibly eclectic, it’s bands that you might’ve heard of or musicians you might’ve heard of, but it’s deep cuts of their stuff, and it really does -- again, I don’t know how much he shared with you and how much I’m allowed to share with you, but it’s all very specific and interesting and it works incredibly well with this weird tone of this movie. It definitely sets its own world, and again, it’s all kind of from the aural POV of this one savant character.

ANSEL ELGORT: There was some music that he couldn’t find rights for because he couldn’t find the ownership, he had no idea who’s the guy. It was a sample that this band did but like, they were like, “I don’t know where that came from and actually would you mind not digging into that because we don’t want to get sued for using that sample, please.” It was awesome. [laughs]

Your character is tied to Eiza’s character, right? So what is it like having that pair in this film?

JON HAMM: Well, it’s fun for want of a better word. I didn’t know Eiza before shooting and she adds such an infusion of youth and energy and her character’s so kind of carefree and fun-loving and mine’s a little more serious and intellectual, so that’s a good combination. And yeah, we’re sort of like a fucked up lovers on the run kind of team for the good and the bad, without getting too much into specifics. But yeah, it’s been fun.

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She was talking about manipulating your character, how she could sort of set you off.

JON HAMM: Yeah, she definitely has -- the relationship is very much there, you know, if there was any sort of influencing of my character, and I mentioned this guy who had found himself on the wrong side of the law and enjoying the good things that happened on the wrong side of the law, I think having a relationship with Eiza’s character is one of those good things that tends to happen on the wrong side of the law. I think he very much enjoys that part of it.

Can you talk about working with Edgar, then? Like how was the collaboration between you both?

JON HAMM: Well, I’ve been a fan of his work for a long time. I’ve actually known him for quite some time as well, we’re neighbors in LA which is cool. But he’s -- for being as specific as he is in what he wants, and I don’t know if you’ve seen storyboards, but there’s wall-sized pictures of what this movie’s meant to be, meticulously drawn out and previs'd, and put together. This movie already exists in a previs way, in a storyboard way. So for as specific as the world exists in his mind, he’s very -- he very much asks for thoughts. What do you think, what should we do, and he gets excited about that, which is fun as an actor to just not have to come in and go, “You’re gonna stand there and you’re gonna be over there and shut the fuck up if you don’t like it and in twelve hours we’ll all go home and then we’ll do it again.” It’s way more fun to be engaged.

Key Release Dates
  • Baby Driver (2017) release date: Jun 28, 2017
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