We’ve been going gaga over La La Land since we saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival a few months ago, captivated by the sense of magic old-school musicals used to convey (something modern musicals tend not to achieve much anymore). Damien Chazelle, the writer and director of the film who previously helmed Whiplash, put it well at the beginning of a new behind the scenes featurette for the movie: “Every cast member was infected by this idea that you could re-imagine these great old movies.”
Part of making this happen was during the casting process itself, when Chazelle knew that stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone would be terrific as “a classic Hollywood screen couple,” since viewers are used to seeing the duo in action in films like Gangster Squad and Crazy, Stupid, Love.Stone and Gosling shared their thoughts about how even though La La Land is very much rooted in classic musical traditions, it works today because it tells a story that remains relatable today: “The idea of this really modern story of two struggling artists and dreamers became something really exciting very quickly,” Stone said, while Gosling added, “It was a secret wish of mine to make a film in the style of musicals from the 30s and 40s.”
Elsewhere, the featurette talks about finer points of the movie’s plot and gets input from its supporting cast, which includes J.K. Simmons, John Legend, and others. The video is an engaging watch about one of the year’s most charming films, so check it out above, and seeing La La Land when it gets a wide theatrical release on December 16 might not be a bad idea either.
Featured Image: Lionsgate