Drug-induced decadence is nothing new in Los Angeles, but director Damien Chazelle sought to capture it in its extreme in Babylon, his exploration of 1920s Hollywood during the advent of the “talkies era.”
The film features a glittering cast including Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Olivia Wilde and Samara Weaving, but one new face is Calva, who plays rising film producer Manny Torres. Calva is an established actor in Mexico, but Babylon represents his first American film.
He recalled his unique introduction to one of his co-stars when Chazelle asked him to come to California and pretend to be a PA on a commercial he was filming with Pitt.
“So, I came to California and then Damian told me ‘Actually, you’re gonna pretend you’re a PA on this commercial. I want you to work in this commercial as my assistant.’ So I was at work for two days in the commercial. I have like my backpack full of Coca-Cola … and I met Brad that way, as a PA, and he was great. And then Mary [Zophres] said the secret like, ‘Brad, have you met Diego? He’s acting in Babylon.’ And Brad turned to me and Damon and said, ‘I think somebody has something to explain to me.’ “