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Ansel Elgort Studied Hard to Do Sign Language Justice in Baby Driver
Jun 22, 2017 by: WENN
Ansel Elgort was determined to portray sign language properly in Baby Driver so he could "really do it justice."
In Edgar Wright's new action movie, The Fault in Our Stars actor stars as getaway driver Baby, who communicates with his deaf foster parent using American Sign Language (ASL).
He underwent lessons with a teacher to learn the language, while his deaf co-star CJ Jones also gave him a hand.
"I loved it. It was really great. CJ Jones was incredibly helpful, I really wanted to do it justice," he told WENN at the film's European Premiere on Wednesday. "I hate movies when Hollywood steps on things that people take very seriously. It's a language. It was really cool. It was my first time ever acting a scene in a different language."
When asked if he found it challenging, he added, "It wasn't easy but it wasn't like, 'Oh, I can't do this,'" and credited CJ and his teacher for all of their guidance.
CJ also made an appearance on the red carpet and used an interpreter to explain how he gave the 23-year-old tips during the shoot so the young actor could "put it in his soul."
"He had an ASL master teach him sign language and I would jump in and try to tweak it a little bit to try and make it more authentic so he can feel comfortable signing with his own character without trying to memorize word for word," he explained.
If nailing sign language wasn't tricky enough, every scene in the movie, which also features Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx, was choreographed and the actors would wear earpieces so they could hear the soundtrack to each sequence and time their movements accordingly.
In the opening scenes, Ansel's Baby, who constantly listens to music via headphones, goes on a coffee run and his choreographed walk, which almost looks like a dance, was shot in one long take which was filmed 28 times on his first day on set.
"That was a great way to start the movie off. We did a lot of prep, we did choreography rehearsal," he said. "Sometimes the choreography is more obvious and sometimes it's subtle but it's always sort of there."
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