While it’s always exciting to find deep and thought-provoking cinema, sometimes it’s equally as rewarding to watch a movie for nothing but big-budget entertainment value. Every once and a while it’s nice to just zone out on some pretty actors, flashy action pieces, and simplistic delivery, and the latest film to attempt this business model is Courtney Solomon’s Getaway. Depicting one man’s attempt to save his wife, Ethan Hawke’s character must drive around in a sexy Shelby Super Snake Mustang, completing tasks for a mysterious voice, while Selena Gomez’s character gets caught in the middle.
While attending the New York City press day for Getaway, I was able to sit down and partake in a press conference with stars Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, and director Courtney Solomon. Among the many topics, we specifically talked about the challenges of shooting a film that takes place mainly in a car, what drew everyone to this script, and what it was like shooting in Bulgaria. Enjoy!
First we asked the cast what it was like to shoot in Bulgaria:
Ethan Hawke: The problem is, it was the middle of the night, so it was cold.
Selena Gomez: We actually liked being in the car. I liked being in the car.
Ethan Hawke: It was warmer than anywhere else when you were in the car, in the lights.
Selena Gomez: What I think was good was that we actually ran it a lot before we got in the car, so we could actually physically walk around and do the scene over and over again, so it kind of seemed fresh – then we would get in the car. It got too much doing it over and over again sometimes.
We then asked how they managed to film while driving:
Selena Gomez: We weren’t driving that fast.
Ethan Hawke: With a whole movie of car chases, any way to do a car scene, we did it. We did it with the camera in the back, we did it, well – any way you could shoot a car scene, we did it.
Courtney Solomon: We had a really unique rig for them as well, so we actually filmed in a way most people don’t do. The car was actually on the ground and there was a stunt man driving them, and I was sitting facing them. They would go around those corners pretty fast, it was like thirty five, forty, and sometimes they got up to sixty, and that’s when we wanted Selena to go left or right in the car and grab on for dear life. We gave her a little method addition to the whole thing by actually rocking her around. But they could feel the potholes in the street and everything.
Ethan Hawke: They would have never let us shoot this movie in any city in America. There’s just no way with everything flying around. That aspect of it was a lot of fun.
What Selena was saying is true, too. It’s really rare in an action movie that we could do takes of ten pages of dialogue, and we’re always in the same place. The set never changed. We were always in this car. The background changed, and the speed changed, and other stuff, but it’s rare in an action movie that you can do that. That was fun.
Someone then asked Selena if she ever had a rebellious phase in her youth:
Selena Gomez: Am I still in my youth? [Laughs] I hope I am.
I think it was really fun for me to pretend to know about cars and technology, because I know nothing about that, so I did actually get to learn a lot.
As far as having one in my real life, I don’t know…
Ethan Hawke: It’s coming… [Laughs]
Selena Gomez: …I stole chapstick when I was seven out of a store?
Ethan Hawke: I don’t think that qualifies…
We asked Selena how it felt being the leading lady in Getaway, especially acting next to such an established actor in Ethan Hawke:
Ethan Hawke: Oh, she was so nervous… [Laughs]
Selena Gomez: I was actually nervous. What helped was that Courtney, Ethan, and myself actually got to rehearse a lot, and [Ethan] made me feel comfortable immediately. I actually have sheets of notes that they would say out loud and I would just write them all down, of what Courtney would say or Ethan would say, so I was really comfortable and they were really great to me.
Since Getaway is a unique film, we asked the cast what drew them to this script in the first place:
Ethan Hawke: It’s very difficult to make any kind of action movie that might be unique or worth watching, and there’s something so simple about the idea of making a movie about one car chase. It had a simplicity to it that I thought made it unique and fun, and one that I’d be interested to see. That’s usually my barometer.
In a lot of action movies, it doesn’t matter who plays the part, insert 50 year old male, insert 27 year old female – it’s so much about the explosions and things like that. In this movie, I thought whoever the actors were would have an opportunity to make an impact on the film. It became more interesting to me because of that.
Selena Gomez: I’ve been wanting to do different things, starting with Spring Breakers, and I’m doing some other fun roles, and I’ve wanted to do an action movie. The opportunity to be a tomboy that knows about all this stuff I don’t know about, I got to dye my hair black, getting the opportunity to be someone else, and of course working with Ethan made this movie an honor to be in.