(NEW YORK) — La La Land director Damien Chazelle, the youngest person ever to win the best director award at the Golden Globes, said the film’s elaborate opening scene almost wasn’t included in the final cut.
“We did it, we always wanted to do it, but then when we were editing the movie it seemed to not work for a long time,” Chazelle, 32, said on Thursday’s Good Morning America. “At first we thought the scene was the problem, so for about four months or so the movie just didn’t have that number in it.”
The alternative opening scene “started with a little bit between Ryan [Gosling] and Emma [Stone],” he explained.
Chazelle said it’s “tough to describe” why the theatrical dancing and singing number wasn’t working in the movie. “It’s part of the pain and the joy of making a movie,” he said. “A lot of it you can’t really explain. You just sit and watch and something feels right or it feels wrong.”
Being able to stop traffic on a freeway in Los Angeles for an entire weekend was also no easy feat. Chazelle credits his choreographer and crew: “They managed to convince the city to let us shoot on this freeway overpass ramp for two days on a Saturday and Sunday.”
“We went in at the dead of night, piled all the cars in there,” he added. “The crew got it all ready. We started rehearsing at dawn and as soon as the sun is high, you start shooting and then you just try to cram it out until the sun sets again.”
Chazelle is a favorite to win best director at the Oscars as well, with La La Land earning a whopping 14 nominations.
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