Uber Drama: Kyle Chandler on Super Pumped, Bill Gurley and Big Tech

Kyle Chandler has played many notable characters. His latest is a little 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 he talks on the phone with, say, his water company or his energy supplier.

“Those people who sit behind the desks, they’re pretty monotonous, and they don’t have a great sense of humor at 11:30 in the morning when they want to go out for lunch. But if you use a bit of an accent and you say, ‘Ma’am, how are you, I’ve got a terrible problem here,'” he told news.com.au as his intonation shifts to those slightly southern features.

“Then they are very open and receptive. i’m still using [the trick] Today.”

Chandler sees those same gentle and humble traits in Texan Bill Gurley, the real-life venture capitalist he portrays in Super Pumped: The Battle for Ubera drama series that charts the tumultuous behind-the-scenes antics of Uber and its controversial founder Travis Kalanick.

“It’s also the fun Bill Gurley has with Travis,” Chandler explained. “There are more than a few scenes where I can pretend I don’t know what’s going on because Travis is so smart. He’s always the smartest in the room.

“That can be used to your advantage, so there’s always some 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 pumped‘s high-stakes drama, a series that could easily have been endless scenes of men in boardrooms.

Kalanick, as the super pumped writers presenting him may very well be a sociopath, while Chandler’s Gurley is the closest thing to a human heart in the insane world of the on-screen Uber. The series is at its best when it taps into that conflict between one man with flaws and another with the man with the worst flaws.

Chandler, best known for his roles in Friday night lightsbloodline and Zero Dark Thirtyhad only seen two scripts when he signed up to super pumpedthat was created by Billions Writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien.

He spent four days in quarantine in Canada, preparing for a movie he was about to shoot in Toronto when he pitched the series, which was based on a book by Mike Isaac. After reading the book, Chandler knew he wanted to get involved, confessing that he knew little about Uber’s tricks beforehand.

He had originally set in motion a meeting with the real Gurley, who is still a prominent Silicon Valley investor 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 any influences he presented to me, intentionally or unintentionally. I wanted that freedom of my interpretation because it’s not a documentary.”

Chandler met people who knew the real Gurley, listened to his speeches, studied his business model and reputation.

“I knew where I could be safe in that world, so I wouldn’t despise the real person he is, but still take a fair chance to deal with the moral dilemmas he must have gone through because no one is an angel and the man is there to make money, to take care of its investors.

“My pleasure in the role was imagining where those lines were crossed, where those lines weren’t crossed.

“I have to say that I didn’t get too many opportunities that created the fear of breaking this imaginary relationship I have with the real person, but it was always there.

“It is a burden for you to know that there is a living person who will see himself portrayed and he has no say in what is really going on, and I must put my trust that these words and this situation fall within the domain. from the reality enough that I am not duped into smearing anyone.”

Chandler clearly appreciates Gurley.

“When I see him speak he has that relaxed quality, the kind of quality that a very intelligent man has successfully under him. He knows what he’s talking about and that’s why he’s wearing jeans with boots and maybe there’s a hole in the sole, but he says things that have wisdom and reason.

“I liked him, I really liked that character and I protected him as best I could.”

What he has less appreciation for is Big Tech. He confessed that he knew nothing about Uber’s antics over the years — it’s not a service he uses — but now Chandler is paying a lot more attention.

Companies, including Facebook, are being dragged before Congress as the US government becomes aggressive over legislation to curb technology dominance. And for good reason after multiple revelations of what a reasonable, non-Kool-Aid drinking person would consider a crime.

Series like super pumpedas well as recent shows the outagewho watched the Theranos scandal and WeCrashedcharting the collapse of WeWork are part of the waning pull of billions of technology, exposing Silicon Valley to its greed, pride and contempt for people.

“Look at what’s going on and I don’t think there’s anyone out there who doesn’t remember what’s going on,” he said. “Everyone now sees everything through a different prism, there is no doubt about that.

“A story like this comes out because a journalist goes in and digs. It does make you doubt, what are the stories we don’t know now and how will that affect us later?

“If we don’t pay attention, if our curiosity isn’t enough to demand that we know more about these people who change our lives and what they do, do we have the right to later complain and accuse? †

“Aren’t we equally responsible to ourselves, to demand that questions be asked instead of just running around with their services.”

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber premieres Friday, May 13 on Paramount+

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