Baby Driver is now in theaters and receiving universal praise as one of Edgar Wright's best and most stylish works to date. We had the opportunity in April 2016 to check out the production on a rather exciting set visit that involved some real life, epic car sequences and meeting the cast behind the heist flick.
There are multiple heists in the film, with different teams of criminals on each. We spoke with Jon Bernthal who's involved in one and later in the day sat down with Lanny Joon who's involved in another, one that involves quite a bit of in-car comedy dialogue.
Our conversation covers working with director Edgar Wright and his unique style; shooting practical action sequences and car stunts timed with music, dressing for the part, and being the "number one dude in the Asian world" when it comes to the Kevin Spacey's crime boss character choosing the best.
What can you tell us about JD?
Lanny Joon: JD is... I look at him as a big fish in a small pond going in the realm of being a small fish in a big pond. Getting the opportunity to play with the boys. He knows very well that he’s very smart but he’s not at all. I actually told this to one of my friends and they said what actually of the character do you have to act in, “I get it.”
In terms of having that similarity with JD there is definitely a part of me that thinks I’m smarter than I really I am. So that was easy for me to tap into. I feel like I get to play all the best parts in this film because everything that I do is with all the guys. I feel like the frosting of the movie if that makes sense. So I’m just enjoying the ride.
Can you talk about your characters tattoos?
Lanny Joon: I can’t give too much away, but some of the tattoos play into the story lines. If I say what it is it gives away part of the story. That also plays into my idea of thinking I’m really smart. I wish I could say what my tattoo say but once you see the film you’ll get it.
Jon [Bernthal] said he’s the muscle so what your role when you guys are inside the bank?
Lanny Joon: Its funny you say that, because I think JD would think that he’s the muscle, but he’s not. I’m that guy who is just always trying to play catch up the entire time. This is his first time playing with the big boys so once you watch the movie you’ll realize he’s not quite up the par just yet. It’s funny Bernthal said that, because that’s me.
How has it been shooting the stunts?
Lanny Joon: It’ like a kid in a candy store. We got to shut down the freeway. Zigging and zagging out of cars having this thing called the biscuit. You go inside this thing and it tilts and it jumps, it’s basically like being paid to go on a roller coaster. Yes, please. Everything in terms of action has been everything and more. Some people were saying that our stunt doubles would double us and say if that’s the case, that’s part of the fun, being a part of this crew and getting to do the things that real bank robbers get to do. That’s the real joy of it.
What would you describe this film as most?
Lanny Joon: A sexy crime noir, is that one? It’s a sexy film in my opinion just with the little footage that we’ve seen… I’m sure I’m a little bias in saying this but it’s the best movie ever. The cast plays so well with each other on and off screen, so the energy is always flowing on set and you’ll definitely be able to read that on screen.
Is JD’s relationship with other guys on the heist confrontational or does he get along with everyone?
Lanny Joon: I think he’s knows, he is not the big fish anymore. The relationship is quite new with everybody in the crew. He’s just a guy who does his thing but also listens to the big honchos like Bats and Doc obviously.
Does he work with Doc?
Lanny Joon: It’s a new relationship, there is no real history that’s given in the script, but I think I’ve done enough heist on my own to create a name for myself so doc found me through the grapevine and brought me into the crew.
What his relationship with Baby?
Lanny Joon: At first JD thinks he is a complete idiot. Weird and borderline handicap and just doesn’t want to be around this new energy but in terms of realizing who baby is and what he can offer JD bows down, no questions asked.
Was there something specific in this film that you never been able to do before?
Lanny Joon: All of the stunts. Getting to work with the Biscuit that you guys saw on set, it actually tilts almost 180. Playing with this cast. I think one of the worries that had was meeting all these people and jiving with them. Once you meet them you just get this inviting feeling and welcoming that you get. And you don’t really find that in a lot of sets. Especially with the caliber of this cast but to have that and things meld so well it’s been really fun and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this cast.
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