The song that begat 'Baby Driver,' a quasi-musical on wheels

Jay Jacobs
June 26, 2017

Ansel Elgort can do everything. Yes, we totally made that up, but this action movie isn't about returning home to meet the end of a flying slipper.

"I've done a lot of things in my life to prepare for this", Elgort, 23, continued.

Wright knew the scene was pivotal to Baby's development because it showcased his reliance on music in even the most dire situations.

Elgort, who now hones his musical skills by producing original electropop (he expects an album release later this year), remembers Marlon Brando's performance in "On the Waterfront" as one of the first that inspired him to practice dramatic acting in conjunction with musical theater.

What initially attracted you to Baby Driver? "In LA you just sit and get sunburnt in a convertible".

Everyone in Elgort's accomplished family has a high-profile arts career - his father, for example, is famed fashion photographer Arthur Elgort - so celebrity is familiar, apparently neither carrot nor stick. I like NY traffic.

He also stands out in a place like Hollywood because he's really tall.

"Baby Driver" basics are as follows.

"Baby Driver" borrows liberally from a handful of its predecessors, beginning with 2011's "Drive", in which a pretty getaway driver played by Ryan Gosling is under the thumb of an ugly cruel boss played by Albert Brooks.

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Wright also liked the idea of Baby and his girl dreaming of heading west toward California. I did four or five stunts. The automotive stunts are dazzling - particularly the auto crunching finale set in the confines of a vehicle park - but the fleet footwork of Elgort and the supporting cast is just as impressive. "That gave him hope that I might be right for this character".

It's a pretty by-the-numbers story that has its fair share of turns, but that's totally fine: the story acts purely as a vehicle (eyoo) for some of the best set-pieces I've seen all year. As the lights went down I crossed my fingers that this would be the film to buck that trend, and I'm happy to report that it most certainly is. So they didn't have to worry about Lily being there.

"Music has become a thing that I can stay creative with. I love driving and I love music, and I like nothing more than to drive to music, but sometimes the vehicle is not as important as the ride".

I could keep going on about the numerous technical and emotional virtues of Baby Driver, but Wright has once again constructed a film that's created to be watched multiple times; packed to the rafters with Easter Eggs, blink-and-you'll-miss-'em sight gags, and musical cues that will enhance rewatchablitly. "Society tells us happiness and success are directly correlated, and while that's partly true, I've learned real happiness comes from pure human connection". "They gave it to me for my birthday [March 14]".

Ansel also just dropped a brand new song called "All I Think About Is You", which according to him, "is inspired by a past memory".

So it's fitting that the movie was essentially born from a single song.

"I had tinnitus as a kid of 7 or 8, and it was very painful". I don't just mean that songs fit the vibe of a scene. I loved Oklahoma!, Fiddler on the Roof, Les Miserables and 42nd Street.

"I'd say that I'm like Baby". The last three days I've been in L.A. doing interviews all day, but then I go into the music studio and from 7 to 3 a.m.

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