TheThings had the recent opportunity to speak with Gotham star David (pronounced Dah-veed) Mazouz for an exclusive interview to discuss his involvement with the Brake It Down campaign, sponsored by DoSomething.org and Chevrolet who partnered up in order to raise awareness for distracted driving and to promote road safety.
Mazouz starred in the video as four different types of drivers and four types of passengers whose behavior could lead to distracted driving. In all four situations, either the driver or the passenger is causing distractions while the other character (all played by Mazouz) tries to de-escalate the unsafe behavior. The video is very funny and during our interview, we had to ask Mazouz about how the idea came up to portray himself as four pairs of drivers and passengers on side-by-side screens.
"They reached out to me and my mom," Mazouz told us. "DoSomething and Chevy partnered up on it and they gave me three options of what I wanted to do in the campaign. One of them would have been me riding around in this Batmobile around my room pretending that I was Batman and you’d really think I’m Batman the way it would have been shot would have looked cool and then you’d hear my mom in the background screaming, “David, you’re late for school!” something like that and then it’s kind of like flash to reality and it’s me riding around in a mini-car in my room."
The Gotham star went on to tell us that another option would have been a video of him responding to a rapid-fire quiz about his best friend because the Brake It Down campaign involves a quiz for the user to find safety tips about their friends' driving habits.
"But I thought that the one that I picked would have been the most entertaining, the most fun to do, funny and I thought it would also illustrate the kinds of bad drivers on the road and that’s the first step in preventing bad driving," Mazouz told us.
We also spoke in more detail about the quirky characters that he hilariously plays in the promo video as the “four people you’re likely to encounter on the road” which include The Late Date and The Daredevil who are drivers and The Chatty Cathy and The Karaoke Champ who are passengers. When we asked the 17-year-old actor if he had made up the characters or if any of them were based on personal experience, he said that while he didn't make up the characters, he feels as though he has a little piece of all four of them in him.
"The Karaoke Champ, absolutely," Mazouz said. "You see on the video, I have an awful voice but I love to sing especially when it’s my song, the song I love so I definitely do that and it definitely can distract me from the road especially when I’m driving. I feel like there’s a little Daredevil in all of us. If it’s late at night and there’s nobody around, what’s the harm in going 10 miles over the speed limit just for the thrill? There’s the Late Date, that’s probably the most relatable. Everybody’s late for something always..."
Mazouz elaborated on The Late Date, telling us that he believes a high amount of traffic accidents are caused by drivers who are running late and not paying close attention to the road.
It turns out that all of the characters were scripted except for one: The Chatty Cathy. When Mazouz got to the set, he was told to "talk about whatever you want." For an idea as to what to talk about, he quickly researched a topic on Wikipedia to have random thoughts to chat about on camera.
"I would say that one is probably the least relatable because not everyone has that kind of personality," Mazouz said about The Chatty Cathy personality. "I’m that way if I’m in the mood to be that way. But like I said, I think there is a little bit of them in everybody and that’s kind of why they chose those four personalities."