With Bandit now playing in select theaters and available On Demand, I recently spoke with director Allan Ungar and Néstor Carbonell about telling the incredible true story of Canada’s infamous Flying Bandit. If you’re not familiar with the Flying Bandit, aka Gilbert Galvan Jr. or Robert Whiteman to those who knew him, he was notorious for escaping prison in Michigan, starting a new life in Canada, and proceeding to successfully rob 59 consecutive banks, setting the record for most robberies committed in a row in Canada. In the film, Josh Duhamel plays Robert Whiteman, and Elisha Cuthbert plays the caring social worker named Andrea who Whiteman falls in love with. Bandit also stars Mel Gibson.
During the interview, Ungar and Carbonell talk about incredible true story it’s based on, the challenge of trying to make the film in 21 days, and how Carbonell helped direct second unit and why he didn’t enjoy wearing the ‘80s clothing in the heat of summer in Georgia. In addition, Ungar gave an update on the Driver TV series, and Carbonell talked about filming the Shōgun FX series and how they spared no expense in trying to recreate feudal Japan in Vancouver.
COLLIDER: I’m going to start with an individual question for Néstor. If someone has never seen anything you’ve done before, what is the first thing you want them watching and why?
NESTOR CARBONELL: Oh wow, that’s interesting. I want to go with Bandit. I’m going to go with Bandit.
ALLAN UNGAR: Good answer, buddy.
CARBONELL: Listen, I’ve been very blessed, my whole life getting great opportunities. This was one of those, and I’m not saying that just because you’re here. This was a true gift. I was in Pensacola helping my wife promote her book, when I get the call three days before I’m supposed to shoot this. An offer to do this film and I’m going, “What? This is crazy.” And I read it right away. Immediately, of course, I say yes. I hop on a plane from there. Two days later, we’re shooting. It turned into one of the most incredible blessings, the entire project. This man did the impossible, shooting this film in 21 days with this incredible cast. But I think for me, to tell audiences if there’s something to watch, this one, because the experience was so free in the sense that there was no time to prepare.