Kyle Chandler has played many notable characters. His latest is a bit different.
When Kyle Chandler needs people to help him, he puts on the Southern accent he picked up when he moved to Georgia as a kid.
It’s something he now arms when talking on the phone, for example, with his water company or his energy supplier.
“These people who are behind the counters, they are quite monotonous, and they don’t have a great sense of humor at 11:30 in the morning when they want to go to lunch. But if you use a bit of an accent and say, ‘Madam, how are you today, I have a terrible problem here,'” he told news.com.au as his intonation shifts to this slight south. dragging.
“Then they are very open and receptive. I still use [the trick] today.”
Chandler sees these same gentle, unassuming characteristics in Texan Bill Gurley, the real-life venture capitalist he portrays in Super Pumped: The Battle for Ubera drama series that chronicles the tumultuous behind-the-scenes antics of Uber and its controversial founder Travis Kalanick.
“It’s also the fun that Bill Gurley has with Travis,” Chandler explained. “There are more than a few scenes where I can pretend not to know what’s going on because Travis is so smart. He’s the smartest guy in the room the whole time.
“That can be used to your advantage, so there’s always that play between the two characters and that made it a lot of fun.”
The dynamic between Chandler and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays Kalanick, drives super pumpedhigh-stakes drama, a series that could easily have been endless scenes of men in boardrooms.
Kalanick, like the super pumped the writers present him, may very well be a sociopath while Chandler’s Gurley is the closest thing to a human heart in the frenetic world of on-screen Uber. The series is at its best when it plays into this conflict between a flawed man and another very flawed man.
Chandler, best known for his roles in Friday night lights, Line and zero dark thirtyhad only seen two scripts when he signed up for super pumpedcreated by Billions writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien.
He was four days in quarantine in Canada, preparing for a movie he was about to shoot in Toronto when he launched the series, which was based on a book by Mike Isaac. After reading the book, Chandler knew he wanted to be involved, admitting he knew little about Uber’s shenanigans beforehand.
He had originally arranged a meeting with real-life Gurley, who is still a top investor in Silicon Valley and had put money into GrubHub, OpenTable and Zillow.
“After a few days, I changed my mind because I didn’t want to be responsible for the influences that, intentionally or not, he presented to me. I wanted this freedom of interpretation because it is not a documentary.
Chandler met people who knew the real Gurley, listened to his speeches, immersed himself in his business model and his reputation.
“I knew where I was safe in this world, so I wouldn’t disrespect the real person he is, but I would still take reasonable risks to deal with the moral dilemmas he had to go through because that no one is an angel and the guy is there to make money, to take care of his investors.
“My fun in the role was imagining where those lines were crossed, where those lines weren’t crossed.
“I have to say I haven’t had too many scary opportunities to sever this imaginary relationship I have with the real person but she’s always been there.
“There’s a burden on you to know that there’s a living person out there who’s going to watch himself being portrayed and he has no say in what’s really going on, and I have to believe that those words and this situation are in the realm enough of reality not to be fooled into smearing someone.
Chandler clearly has a high regard for Gurley.
“When I see him talking he has this relaxed quality, the kind of quality that a very smart, successful man below him has. He knows what he’s talking about and so he wears jeans with boots and maybe- to be that there is a hole in the sole but he says things that have wisdom and reason.
“I liked him, I liked this character a lot and I protected him as best I could.”
What he has less regard for is Big Tech. He confessed he hadn’t been aware of Uber’s antics over the years — it’s not a service he uses — but now Chandler is paying a lot more attention to it.
Companies including Facebook are being dragged before the US Congress as the US government gets aggressive over legislation to curb tech’s dominance. And for good reason after multiple revelations about what any reasonable person not drinking Kool-Aid would consider wrongdoing.
series such as super pumpedas well as recent shows The stallwho looked into the Theranos scandal and We crashedwhich plotted the collapse of WeWork, are part of the waning appeal of billions of technologies, exposing Silicon Valley for its greed, hubris and disregard for people.
“Look what’s going on and I don’t think there’s a person who isn’t more aware of what’s going on,” he said. “Everyone sees everything through a different lens now, there’s no doubt about that.
“A story like this gets out because a reporter comes in and digs. It makes you wonder what stories are happening that we don’t know about right now and how will it affect us down the road?
“If we are not paying attention, if our curiosity is not enough to demand that we know more about these people who are changing our lives and what they are doing, then do we have the right to complain and accuse later?
“Aren’t we just as responsible to ourselves, to demand that questions be asked instead of just running around using their services.”
Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber is on Paramount+ starting Friday, May 13
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