The Punisher himself Jon Bernthal has opened up about his experience working with director Edgar Wright on Baby Driver, Wright’s upcoming action thriller about a getaway driver with tinnitus trying to escape his life of crime.
During a set visit last April, Collider got a chance to speak to star Bernthal, who plays Griff, the muscle for Kevin Spacey’s criminal mastermind Doc in the film. In the interview, he discussed how great it was to work with Edgar Wright and his thoughts on practical versus digital effects. For Bernthal, working with Wright felt like he was given a look into Wright’s mind:
“Look, I mean, obviously, that’s why you sign on to something like this, to work with someone like that. He’s a visionary. Every director, every job is different. I think with this particular project, it’s so specific, this movie already existed in Edgar’s mind before. You know, sometimes you get called into something and even with the great directors, it’s kind of like, you all get there and you play and you sort of figure it out, what it is. I think he’s different. I think these films exist in his mind before you get there. You know, not to take the onus off myself or the other performers, I can only speak for myself, but it kind of takes all pressure off of you, you sort of just show up and be an uber marionette for what he wants. Since so much of this movie is set to music, it’s really about fitting in in the strict choreography. I think there’s a freedom in limits. But think, like I said, the movie exists in his mind, and it’s sort of, you know, when he says jump, ask him how high once you’re already in the air. It’s a long-ass answer to a short-ass question.”
Bernthal continued to praise Wright’s direction by speaking about what makes him so unique:
“Every director’s so different, and I think what’s uniform among all the great ones that I’ve gotten to work with is passion. And, you know, the sense that you’re going to be all right, you’re in good hands. So you’re not gonna leave the set until you’ve got something, until you’ve got something special. So that’s good. I mean, I think the big fear, especially, coming from TV, is that you’re going to walk away with that attitude of like, “Okay, yeah, we’re going to be all right,” like, “Okay, that’ll do,” you know, and “that’ll do” just doesn’t really do with me. I don’t like that. I need to know that it’s not going to be two or three takes, that we are literally going to sit here until my man is happy. And if my man is happy, that’s why we’re here, right? So I’ve noticed that with him. He doesn’t always let you know when he’s happy, you know? He’s not one of those guys, he’s not a big rah-rah guy. Another thing that I feel like that’s really uniform, and I’ve never seen with anybody except for Polanski and him, is that he’s always there. He’s always there. He’s always on set. He’s always the first guy there and the last guy to leave and he’s always there, second unit, he’s always there, when everybody else is sleeping, he’s there, and he’s never just sitting around and enjoying set life. He’s working, working, working, always, and I love that, I respect that.”
With the constant debate between practical and digital effects, Bernthal chimed in on what he thought was the best method, in terms of his performance in Baby Driver:
“Yeah. I mean, look, not to take away from digital effects artists, because they’re artists in their own right, but to me, there’s practical, it’s practical, practical, practical, it’s right there, you can touch it, you can see it, you can react off of it. You know, I always not only prefer that, but I think actors, your greatest tool is your imagination. So there’s a lot of stuff you can do with greenscreen and all that, but you know, when there’s real blood to feel and play with and play off of and you’re really seeing what’s going on and you can touch it and feel it, I think it just provides so much more opportunity to explore, to create.”
The film stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx. Here’s the official synopsis:
A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
Baby Driver rolls out on June 28.
2017 Summer Movie Preview: What To Look Out For
What do aliens, robots, superheroes, pirates, genetically-modified apes, and Will Ferrell all have in common? All of them will be visiting theaters this summer, most as perennials of the blockbusters sphere. There’s a cavalcade of riches this summer, with new offerings from both DC and Marvel, new (and in some cases, final) installments in long-running franchises, and a couple newcomers testing the waters for future sequels. Even some non-theatrical films get in on the fun, like Netflix’s War Machine starring Brad Pitt.
Here are over 20 films worth seeing over the next four months. Click Next to start!