Margot Robbie and Diego Calva Reveal Tricks Used to Depict Drug Use in 'Babylon'



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Margot Robbie and Diego Calva Reveal Tricks Used to Depict Drug Use in 'Babylon'

As the entertainment industry transitioned from silent films to talkies, Hollywood was plagued with rampant decadence and depravity. The upcoming film "Babylon," directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Margot Robbie, Tobey Maguire, Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, and Jean Smart, delves into this dark period in the history of cinema.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Robbie and Calva, who play aspiring actress Nellie LaRoy and film assistant Manny Torres respectively, revealed the props they use to make their drug use scenes in the film believable.

The Art of Faking Drug Use

When it comes to depicting drug use in film, authenticity is key.

However, the reality of snorting or ingesting actual drugs on set is not only illegal but also dangerous. To achieve the desired effect without putting the actors at risk, filmmakers rely on a variety of props and tricks. According to Robbie, when viewers see "cocaine" on screen, it is often just vitamin B powder or baby laxative powder.

If the substance is not meant to be ingested, the film crew may use powdered sugar instead. The actress notes that even though the props are fake, snorting them can still be uncomfortable and "not pretty." Another common prop used in "Babylon" and many other productions are cigarettes.

Robbie, who does not smoke in real life, had to use fake cigarettes to achieve a raspy voice for her character. She described the experience as unpleasant, saying "On set, you have cigarettes that don't have nicotine. They're herbal cigarettes, but they're terrible and they taste awful." Calva, who plays a character that also smokes in the film, echoed Robbie's sentiment, saying "The cigarettes did smell weird." "Babylon" promises to be a gripping and eye-opening portrayal of the excesses and excesses of Hollywood's golden age and the sacrifices made by those who sought fame and success during this tumultuous time.

With a talented cast and a visionary director, the film is sure to leave a lasting impression on audiences.