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One For The Road

Stuntman-turned-director Scott Waugh goes full throttle for an upcoming project.

Scott’s Hots: Motocross, Tejava tea, open spaces, sofas on wheels (aka comfortable sedans), warm climates

Scott’s Nots: Coffee, cities, silence, cold climates

Not many kids can say they rode a bicycle off a garage roof for Ron Howard’s directorial debut, but Scott Waugh wasn’t a normal kid from Agua Dulce. As the son of the original Spider-Man, Fred Waugh, a 12-year-old Scott was on speed dial for some of Hollywood’s top stunt coordinators. “I got paid to play, essentially,” he explains during a meeting on a Paramount Pictures lot to discuss everything from his first car (a Honda Civic) to the project he’s currently directing, Need for Speed. The latter, which hits theaters March 14, will have both action-movie enthusiasts and romantic-comedy lovers racing to the box office. Based on the popular video game series of the same name, Need for Speed isn’t just another computer-generated flick. Scott was inspired by vintage car racing films such as Bullitt, Vanishing Point and Smokey and the Bandit. “Need for Speed is truly a throwback to the ’60s and ’70s car movies, and those movies, in my opinion, are still the best,” Scott says. “Think about Steve McQueen in Bullitt—that still holds its weight in water. And what’s amazing is that Steve drove and you know it.” Scott prides himself on the fact that Need for Speed was filmed with real cars and no added special effects. And when it came to casting, the process was just as thorough—but once Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul signed on, “it really set the tone for the entire project,” notes Scott. And even though Paul wasn’t a trained racer, the director had faith: “During auditions, I would talk to Aaron about cars, not about driving. I could tell he had a deep fascination with cars. He had just bought a Ford Cobra, and by the way he talked about it, I saw he was a car nut.” Luckily, the 34-year-old was a natural. “Aaron would be a terrific stuntman if the acting career doesn’t work out!” jokes Scott. When asked which vehicle he wished to drive off the lot, he reveals, “In the movie, Aaron’s character drives a 1968 Gran Torino. And it’s funny because I always tell the studio, ‘Out of all the cars in this movie, I want that,’ and they think I’m crazy. I don’t need a supercar. You have to remember, we live in L.A.—how fast are we really going to go?”