Margot Robbie and Diego Calva Rehearse 'Babylon' in Damien Chazelle's iPhone Video [Exclusive]
It's like a family movie, but starring Margot Robbie and Diego Calva.
Damien Chazelle and his iPhone are at it again. For his most recent star-studded and divisive film, "Babylon," the filmmaker picked up his phone early in production to imagine scenes and take notes. Today, ahead of the film's release in 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD, Paramount and Collider shared some exclusive footage straight from Chazelle's phone, which we're excited to show you.
In the sideshow, you can see that Chazelle didn't really focus on camera positioning or cinematography. It looks like a family movie that anyone would make -- if you've got Margot Robbie and Diego Calva at your disposal, that is. This scene is a conversation between Nellie LaRoy (Robbie) and Manny Torres (Calva), and it feels like Chazelle just wants to document how the actors play against each other. This is one of the many techniques filmmakers use to study a scene before actually getting everything ready to shoot it. Time is money in Hollywood, as in any other industry, and you need to be as photogenic as possible when shooting them.
Damien Chazelle Reveals That Diego Calva's Casting Was Life Imitating Art
In a behind-the-scenes clip, Chazelle talks about the casting process for Babylon And mentioned that he knew from Calva's headshot that he was perfect for the role of Manny. To test the actor's chemistry with fellow actor Robbie, Chazelle took the two of them into his backyard and had them speak a few lines while filming. You can also notice that at that point in production, each character's accent wasn't a rehearsal focus, and Calva added that what they were looking for at the time was for the duo to communicate the toxicity of the relationship.
Babylon, Cinema, and An Orgy of Excess
Babylon is the kind of movie that celebrates cinema itself. Set in the transition period between the era of silent films and the era of "movies with sound," Hollywood stars had to grapple with a new era of entertainment that would change their careers forever. In his review, Collider's Ross Bonaime called Babylon an "excessive carnival," stressing that this is what makes the three-hour film so successful. He supports Chazelle's direction from the first act of the film, and the long rides don't forget the fun.
In addition to Robbie and Calva, Babylon also stars Brad Pitt, Tobey Maguire, Katherine Waterston, Diego Calva, Max Minghella and Jean Smart. The film is nominated in three categories at the 2023 Academy Awards: Best Production Design Achievement, Original Score and Costume Design.
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Margot Robbie and Diego Calva rehearse scenes from @babylonmovie in an exclusive featurette, which includes iPhone footage from Damien Chazelle. pic.twitter.com/FQb076lJSa— Collider (@Collider) February 1, 2023