Aaron Paul on his new role in “Need for Speed”: “I like crime. It's dangerous. It's super-fun. With this film, it gives me the opportunity to drive really fast in really crazy cars. So why not?”
Indeed. From the set of the new action film in Detroit, the “Breaking Bad” actor said he isn’t going to shy away from dangerous genres in a “what wouldn’t Jesse Pinkman do” fashion. You’ll get a better picture of a similar mischievous bent in the new trailer for “Need for Speed,” which debuted this morning, as Paul performs in, around, over, under and with his co-stars: cars.
Ford introduces their new Mustang in the 2014 film. Two-hundred thousand dollar builds will be crushed, or flown into the air and sent over cliffs.
“There’s all this wish fulfillment where you get to experience driving a super car that goes 250 miles an hour, and it wasn’t until making this movie that I put my hands on a real Koenigsegg and Spano and cars that I had only seen in magazines,” said writer/producer John Gatins. “We’ve destroyed a lot of things, both intentionally and unintentionally.
“The carnage comes with us, because we’re honoring our partnerships to these [car] companies who shared their CAD files and all the blueprints and the architecture. And so we have them, and they used to be beautiful, and now they look like lunch boxes that have been run over by a school bus.”
Director Scott Waugh re-did car stunts for the film, like The Grasshopper, that stuntmen and action filmmakers including his dad Fred Waugh pulled off in action cinema decades ago – and captured it practically. Shooting in Mendocino, San Francisco, Atlanta, Macon, Detroit and Utah, Waugh and his team did as many practical stunts as possible, to truly put the audience into the driver’s seat during a cross-country race.
“My dad in the '80s developed the first helmet camera, and there were a lot of limitations we had with that, because it used to be almost 30 pounds on somebody’s head. In ‘Act of Valor’ -- [I was] able to put five pounds on somebody’s head and really put the audience in the seat,” Waugh said. So he sent his actors Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper and others off to driving training, strapped them into custom-built vehicles, and sent them (and their stunt drivers) flying. “I want the audience to have a more visceral ride, and when you drive a car, you will literally be driving it.”
That’s where the tie-in with the popular “Need for Speed” video game comes into play. The popular series doesn’t really have a plot, leaving the story canvas wide open for Waugh and his team to adapt. So all of the American landscapes and first-person driving thrills clash with the nostalgic thrills of films like “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Bullitt” plus the draw of absurdist, modern drama that has kept audiences coming back for more “Fast & Furious” films.
“Those films are super-entertaining. That's why they're so highly successful,” Paul said of the latter. “I read the script and I went, Oh, wow. This is really interesting.’ Then I heard the pitch from Scott Waugh and heard that he wanted to do a full throwback to the 60s and 70s classic car-culture films… it's such a testosterone-driven set.
“I do drive fast. I've probably gone maybe on camera 120 [mph]. And it's legal and I'm flying by cop cars. It's so great.”
"Need For Speed" is in theaters on March 14, 2014.