Back to IndieWire

Brad Pitt Praises Damien Chazelle for ‘Babylon’ Opulence: ‘That’s Not CG’

Pitt thinks Chazelle has gone "four for four" as a feature film director.

Brad Pitt plays Jack Conrad in Babylon from Paramount Pictures.


Paramount Pictures

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.”

Chazelle previously spoke about the film’s epic scale while appearing at the Toronto International Film Festival, emphasizing that he had to blend historical accuracy with his own fictional storytelling instincts during the casting process.

“‘Babylon’ was the biggest cast, the biggest number of roles I’ve ever juggled by far,” he said. “The casting process took a long, long time. It’s a mostly fictional film where the characters are fictional, but inspired by composites of real-life people. Writing them I was getting inspiration from a lot of those real-life sources, but pretty quickly you move to the casting phase and you’re just looking for people to surprise you. That was the guiding principle, to demolish all preconceived notions of that era, those people, and find actors who would convey that spirit.”

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox