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Film Facts: 5 Things to Know About ‘Babylon’ Starring Brad Pitt & Margot Robbie

Before seeing 'Babylon' on the big screen, here are a few fun facts about the movie that you might want to know.

This week, Babylon is coming to the big screen, telling a story of the decadence, depravity, and outrageous excesses of Hollywood at a time when silent movies are being taken over by the “talkies” or films with sound, following individuals who are affected by this huge shift in the entertainment landscape. Check out the trailer for Babylon below:

Before Babylon hits theaters this week, we’ve rounded up a few facts about the movie that you might want to know. Check them out below:

1. It stars Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Tobey Maguire, & more.

Babylon creates a picture of Hollywood through the rise and fall of several characters during its transition from the silent film era to the talkies. These characters include Brad Pitt’s Jack Conrad, an experienced silent film actor; Margot Robbie’s Nellie LaRoy, a self-proclaimed star; Diego Calva’s Mexican film assistant Manny; Tobey Maguire’s drug-addled James McKay; Jean Smart’s Elinor St. John, an established gossip columnist; Jovan Adepo’s jazz trumpet player Sydney, and Li Jun Li’s Lady Fay Zhu, a Chinese American title card writer and cabaret singer.

“I went back and studied [silent films],” Brad Pitt shared in a featurette for the film, talking about how he prepared for the role. “I watched a lot of Gilbert, Fairbanks, and Valentino. There’s a real charm in those performances,” says Pitt. “Silent films didn’t have dialogue to rely on, they only had the occasional title card, so the performances have a style to them that’s different than what we have now.”

2. It comes from the director of ‘La La Land’, Damien Chazelle.

Babylon comes from French-American filmmaker Damien Chazelle who directed the musical movie La La Land, which won multiple Academy Awards in 2017 including Best Director. While La La Land follows the people who are trying to make it big in Hollywood, Babylon depicts the opulence and debauchery of Hollywood and the madness that comes along with it.

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3. There are some pretty shocking scenes that might surprise you.

Babylon didn’t hold back in depicting an era of excesses in Hollywood with certain scenes that would shock moviegoers. One of these scenes include a party-turned-orgy, which Margot Robbie described as “mad” in an interview with The Independent.

“When I read the script, I was like, this is like La Dolce Vita and Wolf of Wall Street had a baby – and I love it. But I was like, are we allowed to show that? Are we allowed to show that? There were so many scenes where I was like, a) I have no idea how I’m going to do that, and b) are we going to get away with this?” Robbie explained.

Photo: Paramount Pictures International

4. Margot Robbie improvised a kiss in the film.

In an interview with E! News, Margot Robbie reveals that the scene where Nellie kisses Brad Pitt’s Jack Conrad was not in the script, and that she was the one who suggested it.

“”I said, ‘Damien, I think Nellie would just go up and kiss Jack,'” Robbie explained. “And Damien was like, ‘Well, she could—wait, hold on. You just wanna kiss Brad Pitt.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, so sue me. This opportunity might never come up again.’ And he was like, ‘It does work for the character,’ and I was like, ‘I think so.'”

Photo: Babylon trailer

5. The film’s characters were inspired by real-life people.

While the film is fictional, the characters were inspired by real people that also made their mark in Hollywood. Jack Conrad was inspired by John Gilbert, one of the silent movie era’s biggest actors whose career suffered after the talkies boomed; Nellie was originally inspired by Clara Bow, who was also starred a big name silent films and transitioned to the talkies; and Lady Fay Zhu pulls inspiration from the legendary Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong. Other characters are also inspired by real-life celebrities that the Hollywood history-savvy might recognize.

Photo: Babylon trailer

Babylon opens in cinemas nationwide this Wednesday, February 1 Book your seats in advance and buy your tickets here.

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Babylon
Comedy, Drama
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