‘Whiplash’ writer/director Damien Chazelle on making movie ‘that would play like a thriller’

“I wanted to make a movie about a jazz drummer that would play like a thriller,” explained “Whiplash” writer/director Damien Chazelle during his recent Q&A with Gold Derby editor Tom O’Neil.

Chazelle’s flick swept the top awards at the Sundance Film Festival and now is a hot contender in several top Oscar races, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons. (See Gold Derby’s official Oscar rankings and racetrack odds.)

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“There’s something about awards ceremonies that make you nervous. Yeah, you want to win. But you’re also just happy to be there,” Chazelle adds in the video chat below.

“So I think with this [Oscar] stuff, I’m just so thankful that the movie is getting this kind of attention at all. It was a movie that was hard to convince people that anyone in the world would want to see it. A movie about a jazz drummer? It seems like a really small, inaccessible world. I was happy to get into Sundance, let alone the stuff that’s followed.”


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