Blake Lively Says She Was ‘Terrified’ By ‘The Rhythm Section’ Car Chase and Explosion

Blake Lively got to be an action heroine in The Rhythm Section. She plays Stephanie Patrick, a woman who gets a chance to defeat the terrorists whose bomb killed her family. She’s new to the spy game though, so when she’s in a car chase or an exploding bus, she’s not as cool under pressure as James Bond.

Rhythm Section: Blake Lively
Blake Lively | Paramount Pictures

Lively said she was actually terrified filming those scenes. The Rhythm Section is now available on digital platforms and will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD April 28. Showbiz Cheat Sheet got an early copy of the Blu-ray, and in the bonus features Lively described just how scared she really was. 

Blake Lively had to turn the wheel over to professionals in ‘The Rhythm Section’

In The Rhythm Section Lively is behind the wheel. However, movie magic allowed someone else to drive. Since director Reed Morano and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt filmed the car chase from inside the vehicle, they were able to mount a driver on top of the car so Lively could just act.

Blake Lively car chase
Blake Lively | Paramount Pictures

“I’m in a car but they’ve rigged it like a pod so there’s a drive on top of the car and he is actually controlling my wheel which is terrifying to get into a car that’s driving at top speed towards other cars, people, trucks and crashing into them,” Lively said. “I’m screaming. I look terrified. That’s all real. After each take we’d all look at each other and be like [exhales].”

Even a fake car chase is really scary

The bonus features show how Morano and her stunt crew choreographed the chase, going so far as to put the car on a hidden track to control its spinout. From the inside, Lively still had plenty to fear.

The Rhythm Section on Blu-ray | Paramount Pictures

“The timing, no matter how much you choreograph it, it’s still you’ve got explosions, you’ve got gunshots, you’ve got cars, you’ve got stunt people,” Lively said. “You’ve got so many things that you’re trying to capture and then avoid and then find the moments where you can stitch it together. That one actually couldn’t be one shot because we’re in so many different locations.”

Blake Lively is the everywoman in action

Morano says that she wanted to put the audience in Stephanie’s point of view. Since Stephanie is on her first mission, she should be as scared as Lively really was.

“That’s what I connected with so much about this film,” Lively said. “If I were in a car chase for my life, I would not be doing really impressive tricks but I would drive like my life depended on it. She doesn’t have the confidence of knowing that  she’ll make it out alive each time because she doesn’t have the skills to do it. She barely survives each time.”

Blake Lively as Stephanie Patrick
Blake Lively | Paramount Pictures

Keeping the camera in the car during the car chase was one technique to emphasize how out of her depth Stephanie was. 

“The audience is trapped with Stephanie,” Lively said. “You feel like you are the character. You’re uncomfortable for most of the movie because it’s like if you were thrown into this, how would you feel? So you are so with the character, you’re living with her, as her.”

Blake Lively ran from a real explosion

Another sequence in The Rhythm Section has Stephanie discover a bus rigged with explosives. Lively gets the cool “running from an explosion” shot, but it wasn’t so cool when she was really within the blast radius!

“I remember being on the bus and them screaming, ‘Everybody, you have to be at least 50 feet away from the bus. This is not safe. Go away. 50 feet from the bus,’” Lively said. “I look and I’m like, ‘I’m on the bus everybody needs to be 50 feet away from. I don’t think this is a good idea.’ I’m standing on it and they go ‘3, 2, 1, run.’ I just run off the bus.”

To get the shot, Bobbitt had to run with Lively. Keep in mind, he’s pointing the camera at her and setting the pace in front of her.

Blake Lively in The Rhythm Section
Blake Lively | Paramount Pictures

“Sean had to run backwards at top speed,” Lively said. “He’s on the bus [pointing the camera] at me. If he would’ve run too slowly, I would’ve been too close to the bus. There’s no way to time it. Once they call action, the bus takes a certain amount of time to explode. We only got one chance at the explosion.”