Ansel Elgort gets revved up about 'Baby Driver'

Posted June 27, 2017

You can catch Ansel Elgort in Baby Driver when it hits theaters on June 28th.

Baby Driver stars Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and Jon Bernthal, and follows the titular getaway specialist Baby, who finds himself taking part in a heist after being coerced into working for a crime boss. It was when I first heard "Bellbottoms" by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, when I was about 21 and living in London. The soundtrack is nearly constant and writer-director Edgar Wright does a nice job keeping us in Baby's head, changing the volume of the tracks as his focus shifts and even dropping it altogether when his earbuds become dislodged.

"The good thing that came out of it is, I got to kind of move on to [Baby Driver], which was a script that I had already written", Wright recalled.

Still, it took him more time to get it to the screen because of other commitments. He also made "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World", an adaptation of a graphic novel.

"When I started writing this 10 years ago, Ansel was 13, so you couldn't say that I wrote it for him", the filmmaker said. Wright takes the "no honour among thieves" credo to its logical, lethal, and fatal extremes, and whenever Baby Driver needs to take a turn for the serious, no amount of fun, investment, or tension is lost because the characters are constantly moving and evolving throughout. Like preeminent drag queen RuPaul addressing his contestants on "RuPaul's Drag Race", Wright told Elgort to choose a song for the junkyard cue and metaphorically lip-synch for his life-and, arguably, for the role of his 23-year lifetime.

The film's story focuses on Baby, a child prodigy vehicle thief. This one is made for everyone. The influence of Wright's pal Tarantino is clear - the characters are all too-cool-for-school, the violence is stylishly shot, and the dialogue is full of quotable one-liners (my favourite involves a "HATE" tattoo that one of Doc's criminals had changed to "HAT" to improve his job prospects - "Who doesn't like hats?"). His condition is one of the aftereffects of an auto accident that killed his parents when he was a kid.

Baby suffers from tinnitus, and listens to music to drown out the ringing in his ears. He adds that the idea for it came surprisingly rather late to him while reading Oliver Sacks' book "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain". George Miller, I think, has sort of claimed a flag at the top of Mount Everest, because he is the King of the Car Chase now. Each major sequence in Baby Driver has a distinct sense of choreography to match the disparate styles of the soundtrack's songs, which range from the Damned's caterwauling punk to the anthemic roar of Golden Earring's "Radar Love". There are also songs like "Easy" by the Commodores, which Elgort used in his audition. Although we enjoyed the movie that was ultimately released, we would have very much liked to have seen Wright's version of Ant-Man. Along the way, however, Baby falls hard for a sweet local waitress (Lily James) and determines to make a getaway of his own, with her.

"It was one of those days that you'd ask yourself if you were on an acid with the music and the gunshots and people running all over the place", says the tall Mexican-born actress. Buddy's love, Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), is as deadly with her sexuality as she is with her guns.