Both a love letter to film and a raucous, unflinching look at the hard-living culture of the Hollywood of the time, Damien Chazelle’s Babylon features a sprawling ensemble cast and an epic run time as it follows a number of characters through a crucial period of change: 1930s Los Angeles. And Chazelle certainly doesn’t hold back when it comes to portraying the wild abandon of the parties of the era.
Largely fictionalized – albeit with real-life references and inspirations – Babylon stars Margot Robbie as rising star Nellie LaRoy and Brad Pitt as silent era icon Jack Conrad (loosely inspired by John Gilbert and Douglas Fairbanks). Speaking to Total Film(opens in new tab) in the new issue of the magazine, featuring Oppenheimer on the cover Pitt discusses the scale of the movie: “There’s such an energy to this thing. I’m amazed by how much [Chazelle] was able to slot in – and not jam in, but slot in gracefully. This opening party scene is staggering, of epic proportions.”
Despite the ambition and scope of the party scene, Chazelle didn’t follow the rules with his approach. “The approach of it all was not doing the coverage – you know, like a single on this actor, a single on that actor,” explains Pitt. “The constant takes can actually wear down and confuse the energy of the scene. He’s doing everything in camera, old style, explosions, 700 extras, actors coming in the scene, actors coming out – in one camera shot, in one camera move, and the camera’s gliding around. It’s one of those things where you’re waiting for the magic to happen, where everything falls into place. That kind of thing is really exciting. You get close, and then something doesn’t quite work out. And you keep going until you get it. I think that energy shows in the scene.”
For Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon,” the extravagant new epic set in silent-era Hollywood, a staggering 120 locations were used. They included a dusty, undeveloped Wilshire Blvd.; mansions and castles with all-night parties inside; gorgeous theaters, film stages, and studio back lots; and a war-movie battlefield. Many of these can be glimpsed in the exclusive video featurette (above), which highlights the massive ambition and scope of production designer Florencia Martin (“Licorice Pizza,” “Blonde”).
She recalls the experience, as echoed by “Babylon” star Diego Cala, as being akin to building a sandbox for the film’s actors – including Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt – to play in.
• x015 Production Design (screencaps).
PS. The video can also be found at BP Media.
Marc Platt, producer of the new film, ‘Babylon’ talks about how Brad Pitt was the perfect fit for the role of Jack Conrad in the film.
Plan B’s New Owner, Mediawan’s Pierre-Antoine Capton, on the Future of Brad Pitt’s Oscar-Winning Company
Brad Pitt’s Plan B may have a new owner in Mediawan. But Pierre-Antoine Capton, the head of the conglomerate behind “Call My Agent!,” says he plans to take a hands-off approach to overseeing the Oscar-winning company he just bought.
“Plan B will continue to operate independently with the same leadership,” Capton told Variety shortly after the deal closed.
That doesn’t mean Capton isn’t looking to change some things. He says Plan B’s new chapter will include more TV and collaborations with Europe. Capton, a well-connected TV producer who launched Mediawan in 2015 with telco billionaire Xavier Niel and financier Matthieu Pigasse, began talks with Plan B a year ago and engineered the deal which is expected to formally close in January. Under the pact, Plan B was paid half in shares of Mediawan and half in cash. The deal values Plan B at about $300 million.
Best picture, musical or comedy: “Babylon”
Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt, “Babylon”
Best actress, musical or comedy: Margot Robbie, “Babylon”
Best actor, musical or comedy: Diego Calva, “Babylon”
Original score: Justin Hurwitz, “Babylon”
Check out the entire list right here. So excited for Brad and this movie! Some of Plan B’s productions are also nominated!
The actor writes a tribute to his Bullet Train costar, who is not only “funny as f—,” but is getting Oscar buzz for his performance in Causeway.
In 2016, Brian Tyree Henry got everyone’s attention when he first appeared as the hilarious, perpetually exhausted Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles on Atlanta. Since then, he’s continued to build out an impressive résumé, and this year alone, he rounded out his run on the critically acclaimed FX comedy, stole the show as one-half of a heavily accented, quick-witted brotherhood in Bullet Train — Aaron Taylor-Johnson was the other half — and delivered a devastatingly subtle performance as a man in desperate need of a friend in Causeway, for which he’s (rightfully) receiving Oscar buzz.
To honor Henry as one of EW’s 2022 Entertainers of the Year, Babylon star Brad Pitt — who worked alongside Henry in Bullet Train — pays tribute to his costar.
I was a fan before I ever worked with Brian. I saw him in Atlanta, and I thought, “This guy is hard,” in a good way. He’s the real deal, he’s hard. And then he got cast in If Beale Street Could Talk, for basically what is one extended scene, and I was so moved. I thought, “This guy runs deep.” For me, as an actor, it’s rare that you see someone and get surprised. He’s in this one scene, and he talks about his stint in prison, and it just floored me. The degree of subtlety and difficulty, it’s so finessed. You believe it. You feel this immense pain that the character’s carrying. It’s extraordinary. And then you meet Brian in person, and he’s funny as f—. He’s the kindest, sweetest soul. He’s just infectious to be around.
Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon” is clearly the Oscar winning director’s most ambitious film to date. His sprawling tale of Old Hollywood debauchery boasts a three-hour run time, a seemingly endless list of characters, and an A-list cast featuring the likes of Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.
The project was a massive cinematic undertaking, but Chazelle’s cast thinks that he rose to the occasion. In a new interview with ScreenRant, Brad Pitt had nothing but praise for Chazelle and his visual skills as a filmmaker.
“First of all, it’s Damien Chazelle,” Pitt said when asked why he was interested in making the movie. “When he came on with ‘Whiplash,’ it was something new and fresh, and it had a kinetic energy that I hadn’t seen before. And, you know, he’s three for three. Now he’s four for four in my mind.”
Pitt went on to explain that the film’s over-the-top opulence was only possible due to Chazelle’s attention to detail and passion for Hollywood history.
“But this one was different in the sense that there’s always something new I’m finding with new directors, and everyone has their own language and style,” he said. “And what Damien gets so much… I mean, you look at this photo (a ‘Babylon’ poster) – that’s real. That’s not CG. This is all going on at once, and somehow he’s able to capture it all. And this thing moves at a pace that is, again, something I haven’t been a part of. It’s just like keeping up, really.”
Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment has closed a deal sell a majority stake to Mediawan, the pan-European media conglomerate.
The parties issued a press release confirming they had entered into a “definite agreement” for Mediawan to buy a “significant stake” in Plan B. Under the pact, which values the company over $300 million, Plan B is also taking a stake in Mediawan.
Plan B Entertainment, which is run by Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner, hired Moelis & Co. to shop for a buyer or potential investors in October. The banner was founded in 2001 by Pitt and Jennifer Aniston shortly after the pair married. Pitt eventually took over the banner after the two divorced in 2005. Its credits include “The Departed,” “Moonlight” and “12 Years a Slave,” all of which won the Oscar for best picture. The company recently produced “She Said,” a look at the journalists who broke the Harvey Weinstein story, as well as “Blonde,” an off-beat drama about Marilyn Monroe.
The actress reunites with her Once Upon a Time in Hollywood co-star Brad Pitt in the upcoming film Babylon, which premieres Dec. 23. Dubbed by E! News’ Francesca Amiker as “what will become an iconic kiss scene,” Margot exclusively revealed on the show’s Dec. 5 episode that her smooch with her co-star was actually improvised.
“That wasn’t in the script,” she shared, “but I thought, ‘When else am I gonna get the chance to kiss Brad Pitt? I’m just gonna go for it.'”
In the film, Margot stars as aspiring actress Nellie, who looks to make her dreams come true in 1920s Hollywood with help from fellow aspiring star Manny Torres (Diego Calva) and veteran actor Jack Conrad (Pitt).
Stating that the kiss scene “was just great,” Margot confessed she had to convince director Damien Chazelle in order to make it happen.