Ayer talks to Zane Lowe on his Apple Beats 1 show about "Suicide Squad", Jared Leto, the film’s soundtrack and his use of music in film.
"Suicide Squad" is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics super villain team of the same name, which features the worst heroes ever. The film stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as The Joker and Will Smith as Deadshot.
Lowe also played the film’s soundtrack ‘Gangsta’ by American R&B singer Kehlani on his show. Ayer talks to the DJ about "Suicide Squad", Jared Leto, the film’s soundtrack and his use of music in film.
Here are some excerpts from his interview:
On having a movie this big:
I've never touched anything this big before but it goes beyond the numbers of budget or the shoot days, something is happening people are connecting to these characters and people are connecting to the visuals. People already in their hearts kinda know who they are and what this is and they haven't seen the movie. I can’t wait to introduce them to this movie.
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On Jared Leto:
I don’t know if he knows how much of a solid he did me on the film because it’s not just playing the role and doing the work on set in front of camera he did. The way he treated it and how serious he was about it that sort of rubbed off on the crew and all of the other actors. I think everybody got a little intimidated by him and how seriously he was taking the film. He really made the movie and the photography of the film much more of an event beyond just his work of an actor.
I don’t want to give too much away about his process but the way he put it was I would be his Batman, I would be the guy that he could talk to. I was really the only person he could talk to and be open with and at the same time sometimes I’d see a little bit of Jared and sometimes Jared ain't there. Jared is not there.
On how you know when a movie is finished:
There’s a saying in Hollywood, you never finish a movie you just abandon it and they literally walk in, it’s like the SAT test they walk in and they just say pencils down, walk away dude.
On when music became a priority in his films:
I grew up in inner city. I grew up in South LA and that world is all about music because music was the first thing that ever gave a voice to those neighborhoods because it wasn’t in movies and it wasn’t on TV, you know these sort of alternate, diverse voices. The only place you could get that was music. So it was always something I connected with personally. And then as a filmmaker there’s nothing more magical then when a song and the image on the screen sorta gel together. It’s more powerful than just the image and it’s more powerful than just the music.
On ‘Gangsta’ by Kehlani:
It’s funny as a director because it’s like hey we’re gonna try and put this music in the movie and you don't know what it is yet. They put all their big guns on everything and then just kept sending me things. And I heard this and you know.. I was like a few bars in and I was like this is a beast. This is gonna smash, this is it. But the other thing is there was this emotional quality to it, that sort of raw, broken yet strong, haunting quality to it. I think I threw it on a flash drive and ran in to the editor and I’m like dude you gotta throw this on picture I need to see this right now and it just instantly worked.
On how the song was used extensively in the film:
Steven Price did the score on this and he’s incredibly gifted, I mean he got the Oscar for Gravity. You know he heard it and he felt he could do more with it and really orchestrate it and it just blends into the fabric of the film. It speaks a lot to relationships and making a choice and how the same time there’s also power in surrendering to somebody.
On the artists who contributed to the soundtrack:
It’s kinda nuts because they connected with the film, we showed them the movie very early on and we're still working on it and it seemed like people in the music world, guys like Skrillex and Rick Ross, they got it first bounce. They understood what I was saying with the film and they understood this thing is a little different that your typical comic book movie. That it’s really about something and there's a real heart. They were able to connect with the emotion and the tone and the heart of it. We’re not just spamming songs onto the movie it’s like everything there reflects the heart of the movie.