It’s been 20 years since the release of Speed, Jan De Bont’s surprise summer blockbuster about a group of L.A. commuters trapped on a bus that couldn't slow down. To celebrate the milestone, Kristopher Tapley at Hitfix has put together a fascinating oral history of the film’s shooting, as told by the diverse group of extras, character actors, and production assistants cast as passengers on the ill-fated Bus #2525.
Reading through the history, strong personalities quickly emerge. There’s Carlos Carrasco, for instance, a veteran character actor still smarting over the way a movie that was originally pitched as an ensemble film was quickly chopped down into a momentum-focused thrill ride. Or Milton Quon, a former Disney animator who spent his downtime on the set sketching scenes from the movie.
There are no deep, shocking revelations to be found here—Keanu Reeves is nice but shy, Sandra Bullock does things like giving individualized gifts to everyone she works with—but there are a lot of fun anecdotes about what it’s like to film a movie day after day on a moving bus. And, if nothing else, it paints an interesting picture of what it’s like to be part of making a massive, star-making success in the moments just before anyone knows it’s going to be a hit.