Aaron Paul, Scott Waugh promote ‘Need for Speed’

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Actor Aaron Paul and Director Scott Waugh promote ‘Need for Speed’ at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. (Courtesy of Michelle Hammond)

Aaron Paul and director Scott Waugh visited Dallas for a free screening of their upcoming action movie “Need for Speed.” The suite at The Ritz-Carlton Dallas is impeccable. The large window fills the room with light, and the small tables holding bottles of Dr Pepper, water, Sprite, coffee and tea stand against the yellow and white striped walls of the room, ready to welcome their guests.

“It is cold in Texas,” Paul said rubbing his hands together. He is still wearing his black coat and beanie. “It is freezing here.”

Paul paid Dallas a visit Wednesday and Thursday with Waugh, the director of his upcoming film, “Need For Speed,” for a free screening followed by a Q&A.;

For video game lovers and car fanatics, “Need for Speed” might be one of the most important and exciting events of the year. The movie is based off of the racing video game which goes by the same name. Since its debut in 1994, “Need For Speed” has been one of the most successful video game franchises around.

Waugh talked about his partnership with Electronic Arts, the owners of the intellectual property, and how there was a lot of room for creativity when creating the script for the film.

“It’s a great world that we could put an incredible human component of our own into, and I think that’s why it’s made a really fun film because we’re not having to stick to a plot that sometimes works great for a video game but doesn’t translate into film,” Waugh said.

In Waugh’s adaptation, the story revolves around a rivalry between Tobey Marshall, a blue-collar mechanic played by Paul, and Dino Brewster, an egotistic ex-NASCAR driver played by Dominic Cooper. It’s a story of friendship, redemption and revenge, with an exciting, action-packed race that ties it all together.

“You just don’t expect it,” he said. “It’s a great story but with a lot of high action, crazy stunts and driving.”

Interestingly, Paul was originally considered to play the villain in the film.

“They were like ‘We should look at Aaron Paul’ and I had never seen ‘Breaking Bad’ before so I was like ‘Who’s Aaron Paul?’” Waugh said of the first time Paul’s name came up. After being talked out of casting Paul as the lead, Steven Spielberg, who helped oversee the adaptation with Dreamworks, took a look at Paul’s tapes and told Waugh he was the one.

“I wanted to go from ‘Breaking Bad’ into something that was just completely different and just mix it up because that’s what I like doing,” Paul said of accepting the role of the main character.

Unlike many other movies in its genre, there is absolutely no use of computer generated images (CGI) in “Need for Speed.” Instead, Waugh and his teams built multiple cars to do be able to do all of the stunts. Waugh also prides himself on the fact that for an action movie, there is no cussing, drugs, or really any sexuality in the film.

“I’m a father and I want to make movies that my whole family can see,” he said. “Need for Speed” is in theaters across the country March 14.

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