What, you popped a shoulder? Oh, yeah bro. You see you never told me that… You want to sue me?
Classy Michael Bay. Last Friday they held a press conference for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with Director Michael Bay fresh off a plane from Moscow and cast members Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Kevin Dunn, and Ramon Rodriguez.
There was some definite tension in the air between the actors and Bay. Megan Fox certainly didn’t have any issues with negating her Director, even though she was trying to be a good, supportive actress and promote the film and her co-star Shia LaBeouf who wasn’t able to attend. She and some of the other cast members did reveal that for the most part, they were treating this film like a summer action film, with tequila shots at Chili’s after the 16 hour (or 12 hours if you listen to Bay) days to let off steam.
Check out what they had to bicker about below…
Megan, it’s been great to see your rise to stardom from the first movie. From your perspective what’s changed for you since the first Transformers?
Megan Fox: I mean, I think the movie, it’s success and how well it was received opened a lot of doors for me—career wise—and I’ve been able to be a part of some films that I don’t really feel that I deserve to have been a part of and that’s due greatly and in part solely to the success of Transformers. Like I just did Jonah Hex with Josh Brolin and Michael Fassbender and John Malkovich. Actors don’tjust get this kind of opportunities and for me to have that is a huge blessing and that’s because of the success of this movie.
Anything in your daily life?
Fox: Sure, I mean, you know, getting photographed at Whole Foods or like, coming out of Rite Aid with your shampoo bottles and stuff, that’s new for me, but that’s not that crazy, you acclimate to that pretty quickly.
What did you think about how much skin they wanted you to show? Did you ever have any issues with the outfits?
Fox: Yeah, I have those moments one a daily basis, but I don’t have much of a say in the process of picking those outfits like. I remember Mike was like auditioning Ramon and some of the other characters and there’s just a room full of men upstairs in his office and I was—
Michael Bay: Two guys.
Megan Fox: —no, it was Shia, Ramon, and two other actors and you, and I had to like come up and down and knock on the door and try on all my wardrobe and I had like 18 different outfits and it was like white jean shorts, and pink belly shirt, and like motorcycle boots, and we went through like a whole thing and Mike was selecting them in the process of auditioning him—
Bay: It’s called multitasking
Fox: —right, well but I had no say, but he, clearly he has an eye for what should and should not be in the movie so I just trust him.
Bay: It’s called summer fun—it’s a robot movie.
Kevin, Do you feel like your character shares the father roles over san with Optimus?
Kevin Dunn: Well as far as I know he was conceived by myself, I don’t think Optimus got in there, but—laughs—I mean, I guess there’s a parallel in the script, but he needs the guidance of Optimus but he doesn’t always listen to his dad, he’s your average teen, but yeah there’s a paternal aspect to both characters, sure.
Michael I want you to tell me how, what was in here especially for the ladies when it comes to your movie?
Bay: Well I think the first one—what was interesting about the first one it’s got relationships between the parents and the kids and Kevin is actually playing my father, and that’s very much how my parents were growing up and making the movie accessible to everyone was the humor in it, and I think that’s how you make it accessible to everyone it’s not just a fan boy movie. Most women cone in on the humor—they’re a lot of young women that say, “I just want to see robots kicking ass,” I’ve heard that before. And I think the relationship between Shia and Megan.
Josh Duhamel: Tyrese offered to introduce himself in the second movie by doing a shirtless carwash scene on Optimus, but—laughs—Michael didn’t go for it.
Bay: I didn’t, yeah.
Tyrese: Thanks, Josh.
The IMAX version of the film is 2 hours and 20 minutes, does it have more than the non-Imax? Are there additional IMAX scenes?
Bay: It has, I think probably about a minute more of footage, it’s got some more fighting footage, it took place in the forest, expeditional stuff with the devastator. I have not seen it in Imax, how did it look?
What was the most favorite or memorable experience working with members of the military?
Fox: I think just in general I was really pleasantly surprised with them. They’re all extremely chivalrous and very respectful, clearly because they’re disciplined and their so much better behaved than the rest of the cast is—laughs—including myself though. They listen and take direction really well and we’re all just fucking off. It adds authenticity to the movie, you know, Michael, you consult with the military on everything to make it authentic and to make it real and it’s also—I enjoyed being able to walk unto set and there was 100 real soldiers as opposing to walking on its 100 actors from Orange County or L.A. in fatigues, it was just overall a very pleasant experience for me and I have an immense amount of respect for the soldiers and for our troops.
If you could talk a little bit of the preparation in terms of military training, for this film and the first film.
Tyrese: I would say that the first go around was so much more intense than the second because we kind of went into it not knowing too much of nothing about the Air Force, the military, Navy Seals, and for me, I didn’t know the difference between goals and responsibilities each one of the soldiers and the categories of soldiers. I worked closely with someone called a CCT, which is a Combat Controller because I have to have dialogue to communicate with all of the aircraft and so that dialogue is very difficult and with Michael’s overseeing the dialogue we got to make sure that we cater to the real authentic dialogue of the air force, but yet create a balance of making sure the common folks who don’t understand that language could understand it too, so it was a bit of a challenge especially with all of these explosions and stuff going on around—a little challenge.
Josh: Yeah, the first one we had a few days or preparation and the second time we just sort of jumped into it. I was in New York and just sort of had a bit of a refresher course, but their military advisors—Harry Humphries is out there, there’s a number of people from all facets of the military and I think that we both took a lot of pride in trying to make—trying to represent the military’s as closely as we could. I’ve got a lot of friends in the military, and aunt over in Iraq so that was my main focus was to try and represent them well and make them proud. And if we didn’t, they would let us know, believe me.
Tyrese and Josh, what were some of your favorite memories in making the movie?
Tyrese: I would say compared to even the first one, I think our roles were so much more serious this time than the first round because there is so many moments comedic wise throughout the film and I guess the outcome was Michael wanted us to kind of a play little more serious to kind of raise the stakes and the pressure of what’s really going on, which was fun. I enjoy doing the funny stuff to try to create a balance, but I just overall had fun with the experience and we all vibe and were laughing and having big parties and good energy on the set, you know because there’s so much pressure on the set and you know Michael runs a real tight shift, keeps everybody on edge, everybody’s full-throttle like “Look man, if I don’t do a party I’m going to go crazy right now,” you feel me? I tried to keep everybody, everybody, the crew, the cast, everybody having fun while we were working.
Josh: Yeah, he took the night shift—laughs—I guess the most fun I had was the scene getting to the—you know in the last answer I said I would try to be as accurate, if I could, and my favorite scene in the movie was throwing the national security advisor off the train, but that’s the most fun I had, it was a fun scene to do and there was a nice full stunt involved, yeah that was probably my most memorable, that or the giant bomb that went off.
Megan: One thousand gallons
Tyrese: One Thousand; we Made history. The biggest explosion—practical explosion in the history of filmmaking—
Fox: But Michael holds the other record; you hold both records don’t you? Ok, let’s not talk about that, sorry.
Bay: Let’s not talk about that. (Pause) That’s the world record—the history of world records.
Michael I’m curious of the characters of the twins; they said you had a lot of input in deciding to add them, is that true?
Bay: Well I wanted two kind-of younger transformers, but with those two guys we used the guy that plays sponge bob and another actor, and what’s interesting when you work with voice actors is—especially with the twins—they did a lot of improv for their parts. We liked their improv and from there we would animate to their stuff and when you do character animation it’s—when you’re building a character—it’s not like an actor where you shoot the scene and you’ve got it and you move on—with character animation shoot, edit the dialogue, you work with the animators, and then a little bit more of the dialogue and keep going back and forth. I just wanted something that would appeal to younger kids and I seemed to really gravitate to those two characters. It’s like The Little Engine That Could with the devastator scene.
Megan, how do you react when you see your image in the big IMAX screen and how do you like your character to be the sex symbol in the movie?
Fox: I haven’t seen the movie in IMAX and I just first saw it a few days ago when we were in London, and I usually don’t watch myself like I don’t watch playback, I don’t look at still photos, I have a phobia of it, but I forced myself to—I basically shot an entire glass of champagne through the sitting of it and I was really pleasantly surprised and I—like half way through was sort of overcome genuine emotion and I wanted to hug Michael because I had gratitude for him for making this movie, like its so far surpassed my expectations and I think—you know the character is sexy, but women in general, in movies are sexy and especially in Michael’s movies. He knows how to make movies that get people in the theater, if that’s part of it, if that’s part of the formula then—
Bay: But if you look at the movie we’ve got that first shot right out of the way, just to get it out for the young boys and move on, okay?
Josh: That’s why you should consider that scene with Tyrese washing Optimus.
Bay: Yeah, I know. The rest of the movie with her is not about sexy, you know.
Of all the actors—there’s a lot of physical acting, there’s got to be injuries…
Kevin: Michael wanted to get this long shot of FDM coming around and then seeing Sam and running and then getting a big beefalo guy special agent guy tackling me and throwing me on the ground. So he talked me into it and the whole secret was that I had to get my feet to land and we did it quite a few times.
Bay: We did it three times.
Kevin: Yeah, and the last time I didn’t get my feet down and—
Bay: That’s the take we used.
Kevin: And you’ll see that mistake and it was his shoulder and my sciatic nerve in the sand.
Ramon: I popped a shoulder which was a lot of fun on the day of the save scene.
Bay: What you popped a shoulder?
Ramon Rodriguez: Oh, yeah bro.
Bay: You see you never told me that.
Rodriguez: I didn’t want to get you worried.
Bay: You want to sue me?
Rodriguez: No. So we where shooting the devastator scene where there sucking all the sand and I had to hold on to this pole and Michael Bay thought it would be really great to bring out two fans that blow 10 miles per hour each and put it right in front of my face so I had sand (one word?) blowing in my face and I had two guys behind me with wires attached to my ankles pulling me, not enough we need cars flipping over my head, so two cars I literally had attached to a hydraulic crane flip inches above my head and so the guys were yanking the cables on my ankles and yet on one of the takes my shoulder popped out and we continued rolling because—that was probably the shot you used and thank you.
Now that you’ve seen the Transformers, but it easier this time for you to interact with them or was it still a hard acting job?
Fox: No, it was definitely easier because we have seen them at this point, you know, we’ve seen Optimus and we’ve heard his voice and we know how he moves and it’s the same with all of the robots and once you’re able to visualize somethings presence it’s a lot easier to sort of fake—interact with it and I think those scenes are—I think their some of the easiest scenes to shoot, I enjoy them because you sort of—we’ve gotten good at being able to synchronize and pick an eye line and you basically scream your dialogue at it and you avoid the area where you know it is. I enjoy those scenes; we end up usually doing a ton of takes because you know because it needs to be specific, the light needs to be right and they need to be able to add it in and make it look the way that they do, but it wasn’t that difficult this time around.
Michael the shot from the aircraft, is that real footage that you shot?
Bay: In terms of stock footage, I don’t like using stock footage so all that stuff is shot by us, we had incredible access from the military, it was very rare, all those planes of shooting it, they flew 100 feet over out set at a times—there were 16 pilots doing a mission and we timed their mission when we wanted them to come over our set four times and were setting up live explosions down below .
Ramon, it’s great to see a Hispanic actor in the film, how much improvisation were you allowed to do in Spanish?
Rodriguez: You know luckily Michael was really into improv, you know, if you have cool ideas—I started realizing during the process that if he laughed at something it meant it was pretty good, I guess as an audience he’s really good at that. As a director, he’s kind of like the audience member, but yeah we improv’d a lot of scenes and he let me throw in some Spanish in there and say things like “Leonardo De Ponce.” I got to create this fun name, and yeah it was cool.
The film deals with technology, how up to date are you with everything? So any of you twitter?
Bay: Well, I don’t know what Twitter is.
Megan: Neither do I by the way, I don’t have a Twitter page so—
Tyrese: I love Twitter
Megan: He’s the only one that has a Twitter.
Tyrese: I took the fans on the world tour, to all 6, 7 countries we went to, took pictures of all the historical places and Roma and Amsterdam and I took all of them on tour with me. I told them pull out your passports, I’m taking you on tour with
Twitter, I love it—
What do you like about it? Is it the immediacy with the fans?
Tyrese: Oh, yeah it’s the instant gratification of posting a picture of us just hanging out somewhere just doing something on all of these different moments throughout these countries and the fans are like whoa! You know, they get to see these images and things that they wouldn’t be able to see unless you sent them on your twitter. So I love it.
Josh: Which is why people don’t hang with Tyrese because you don’t want to take embarrassing pictures—laughs—here’s me with tequila on my forehead.
It’s interesting that you note President Obama instead of having a fictional president you talk about—what lead you to that decision?
Bay: Remember it is summer fun by the way. Secondly, the Obama thing came about because I was walking in a Vegas airport and he was walking by himself carrying his bag and his hanging bag over his shoulder, this was after I’d just seen him at the beginning of his campaign and we were walking side by side and I said, “Hey I saw you and I liked what you had to say the other night, I really liked hearing your stuff,” and I introduced myself, and he said “What do you do,” and I said, “I’m a director,” and he says “of what movies,” and I said, “Ah, these movies,” and he said, “Oh you’re a big ass director,”—laughs—he said, “I’ve seen a bunch of your movies,” so that’s why I decided to put him in.
Did he really say big-ass?
Bay: Yeah, he really did.
Tyrese: Josh is very involved in politics by the way, the whole time we were filming he did not miss one speech, the polls, anything, we had so many conversations in the car on the way to the set about the whole campaign, I learned a lot Josh, you’re the greatest.
Josh: That what I’m there for. I was just worried after throwing him off the plane I might get audited.
How do you stay in shape for your role?
Megan: I know in New Mexico, I think what all of us did after a hard day of work was go drink at Chili’s—
Bay: It’s the only restaurant there.
Megan: We drank a lot and to stay in shape, I didn’t find the time or I didn’t have the motivation to work out after we would shoot a 16 hour day so whatever happens to me at work—
Bay: We don’t shoot 16s, we shoot 12s—
Megan: Mike no, that’s not possible, everyday. Okay we shot 12-hour days. (Bay keeps saying, “We shoot 12, we shoot 12.”) Well after 12 hours I was too tired to work out so I didn’t really maintain much.
Josh: Days are physical!
Megan: How do you do it Josh Duhamel, you specimen of a human being? (Laughs)
Josh: Well Megan. Honestly you’re out there literally sweating all day long and you don’t have a lot of energy—
Tyrese: Running in the sand too—
Josh: Yes, running in the sand. Tyrese and I worked out a little bit—
Josh: More of a personal competition—yeah. He would spot me, and I would spot him, what’s the big deal?
Tyrese: That’s don’t sound too good. [Laughs]
Josh: Honestly, I remember before we started the first one Michael told me, you know, come ready, be in shape, I demand a lot of my male actors especially in these movies so I did, you know, just tried to be as strong, ready to go as I could.
Tyrese: We worked out twice a day though. We worked out before we went to the set and after we went to the set, we would come an get our five miles in.
Josh: I never ran 5 miles.
Josh: It doesn’t matter.
I think you did a great job incorporating Shia’s hand injury into filming. How was that effective?
Bay: Well I actually read it on CNN online and I’m like this can’t be true and I called my line producer Ian Bryce and he goes, “It’s true.” And I’m like, “Oh my god.” And he goes, “let’s shut down,” and I go, “we can’t shut down.” Because when you’ve got a train going, it’s so expensive to have a picture like this shut down. We had an action scene in the library that day, we were shooting on Monday and I said, “Let’s just go for it, just not stop, let’s use Flad the stunt man and try to cover as much stuff as we can,” and then on Tuesday we shut down, we had to mix and match everything that we—you know pulling from different scenes that we could shoot without him—we didn’t know how long he was going to be down and immediately I had them find the best people in the world to make a special caste that had never been made with Kevlar fingers, very thin, so you can photograph it. The problem was if he were to jam his fingers he could loose his fingers forever so we had some experts of the world kind of come up with this design and we were very lucky because we had shot a lot of the beginning of the movie so we were right in a turning point were we could kind of—
Megan: Everyone’s also very lucky for Shia’s level of commitment to this movie because he showed up with his injury and acted as though he didn’t have an injury and still went balls to the wall and completely committed and did things that were not safe for him to do, but he wanted this movie to be as real as possible so I think that helped out everyone a lot.
Bay: Yeah, we’d have arguments, he would take his cast off and I said, “No put your cast on,” and he goes, “No, I’m fine,” and I said, “Put your cast back on,” it was like—you were trying to protect the hand.
Josh: Remember when he cut his eye and he wanted to go back to work that day?
Bay: Oh yeah.
Do you think any of you would work with the department of defense if there was another opportunity?
Josh: I would, I mean, they were great to work with—I think that a great question, Michael has a great relationship with them.
Bay: I would only do it if I could control an aircraft carrier—laughs.
Kevin: Yeah, you get so much information and their so ready to tell you about everything that they’re doing. It’s just great—
Bay: They are a special breed, they’re very impressive. They really are.
Tyrese: The aircraft carrier stuff is one of a kind. Getting there was very unsafe, but yet safe and leaving—the same thing. But, I mean we did a big party on the boat, it was 5,600 people in the middle of the water on this boat—
Bay: What Tyrese is saying, it’s not unsafe, it’s just when they greet you, a flight attendant would say, “Okay here’s the door exists on your right blah blah blah,” They go, “Okay, if were going to have a water landing and I’m dead someone needs to pull this cord right here,” It’s one of those greetings. It’s down to the point, “And if you pull your cord you will die!”
Check out the film in theaters this Wednesday, June 24th.