Press Conference Interview With The Cast And Director Of Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
Earlier this week, the cast of Transformers: Dark Of The Moon showed up in Moscow, Russia for their global press junket. Unfortunately we weren’t able to attend because, well, it was in Russia and no one from our team was able to make the trip. But, our friends at Paramount were kind enough to share the transcript from the junket and we have posted it below for your viewing pleasures.
Opening on June 29th, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is the third and final film in the Transformers film series. Michael Bay returns behind the camera to direct a cast led by Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, are back in action, taking on the evil Decepticons, who are determined to avenge their defeat in 2009’s Transformers Revenge of the Fallen. In this new movie, the Autobots and Decepticons become involved in a perilous space race between the U.S. and Russia, and once again human Sam Witwicky has to come to the aid of his robot friends. There’s new characters too, including a new villain in the form of Shockwave, a longtime “Transformers” character who rules Cybertron while the Autobots and Decepticons battle it out on Earth.
Check out the interview below.
In attendance were Michael Bay, Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Shia LaBeouf, Patrick Dempsey, Tyrese Gibson and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
Question: Do new technologies make your work harder, or more difficult?
Michael Bay: New technologies make it harder, because you keep trying to push the boundaries. Jim Cameron called me up and he asked me, he said, “So making the third one, was it easier, or, or harder?” And I knew he was asking that because of Avatar II. And I said, “Jim, it’s definitely harder because you keep trying to push yourself farther.”
Question: Earlier, you said that 3D is not compatible to your aggressive shooting style. But in a few years your taking 3D cameras and you just shooting the thing, just like that. And it doesn’t slow you down. Why did you change your mind?
Michael Bay: Spielberg and Cameron kept saying I should shoot this movie in 3D. I was a skeptic, because it’s new technology; the systems are a lot bigger, heavier. There’s a lot of technical issues that would bore you.
But it’s hard taking it on to the real world and the streets, move it around and putting it on rigs. So we had to invent a lot of stuff, like strapping it on to the skydiver’s helmets, where they’re tracking behind guys flying through the air. But it – I slowed my style down a bit. I made longer, wide shots, moving through things; made the shots kind of unfold in a very cool, 3D way. But it was a – I loved, loved working with 3D. I think it really works well in this movie.
Question: For many fans of Transformers franchise, the fact that Megan Fox left it, it’s a terrible thing. And I would like to find out whether you were missing her, or could Rosie replace her properly?
Shia Labeouf: Well, Megan was a good friend when she was here. I enjoyed Megan when she was here. I was presented with a different script, and different role. These two people have completely different energies. Rosie’s an incredible actress. This is her first one out the gate, and she soared, you know.
And it takes a lot of strength to be in this position. And Rosie is very poised and great at her job, as well. I think they’re both very good at the job. I enjoyed Megan; I enjoyed Rosie. I think they’re both great actresses.
For the fans, I think – this, actually, it’s beneficial to have a new set of eyes. Because in the first movie, what you had is you had this discovery of these people, you know, seeing these robots for the first time. And that was one of the most magical parts of the movie, was that discovery. And you lose that in the second movie, because the two characters are vetted. And Mikaela and Sam almost became one character with no arc, in the second movie. So selfishly, it hindered my performance because I had less to chew on, and it hindered her performance, as well. And I think it hindered the movie.
Here, you have a fresh set of eyes, in Rosie. And what that does is it makes Sam more heroic, you know. When two people have vetted at the same status, they’ve been through the wars together, there’s nobody for Sam to be heroic to, or for. And so this makes, this just ups the heroism in Sam and therefore makes my character more interesting. So selfishly, I was very happy that Rosie was here.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteely: I remember when I found out who the cast was in this movie, I was intimidated to be joining the set, especially never having acted before. And for me, this being my first film, I feel extremely blessed to have gotten to work along, in my opinion, some of the most, if not the most talented people in the industry; and to have gotten to witness and soak up everybody’s individual talents and strengths and abilities. And so to get to learn that on my first film and my first chance at ever learning to act, I feel very excited and blessed.
Question: Shia, as your partners, you are offered the best women in the world. Do you think that you might become the object envy of the male half of the planet? And for Michael, you’ve been using this – collaboration with Linkin Park. Is that because you like Linkin Park as a band, their music, or is it something else?
Shia LaBeouf: Yeah, I would think – obviously, these women are very beautiful, clearly. So yeah, that’s enjoyable, on a purely 14-year-old male level. But also, I would hope that people would be envious that I’m in a, you know, seen with John Malkovich or Patrick or, you know, the whole cast is really strong. But yeah, I’d be lying if I said, you know, it’s not a pleasure to be around these women, you know, for everybody. And especially because there’s so much machismo in this set.
You know, Rosie would always come to the set with like, you know, levity, joy, a break in the monotonous, you know, which you needed. She was sort of like the mascot, like the cheerleader for all of us. So you know, that’s all very enjoyable.
Michael Bay: Rosie, when we were doing the scene at the end where they kiss, she goes, “Michael, would you like me to take off my heels? I’m so much taller than Shia.” And I said, “No, leave them on. They will stay on because you are going to give men hope around the world, short men.”
So, Linkin Park. Linkin Park, they have always been huge Transformer fans. What I like about their music is they do very kind of movie-esque kind of music. We’ve had a good run. They, the first two movies, they’ve both been number one hits. And they played me this song, which actually just fit in perfectly, so I’m really happy that they’re here.
Question: How many cars did you destroy when shooting the film?
Michael Bay: 532 cars were destroyed. But these are cars that are flood damaged. And they apparently – car companies give it to us because by law, they have to be crushed. So I am a perfect guy to do that.
Question: Shia, how was it to work with 3D technology? I understand that’s a new experience for you.
Shia LaBeouf: The digital for us is, you know, especially for scenes with John, or a lot of scenes with me and Rosie, where we’re trying to find humor, because it’s a huge balancing act in these movies, and this being the darkest of the three, Mike was very intent on making sure we kept the humor involved.
And the way that we find our humor here on Transformers is sometimes it’s written, but most of the time – I would say about 90% of the time – we’re riffing and ad-libbing and trying to find it on the day. And so the beauty of digital is, it’s conducive to that because you never have to cut; you never have to stop. You can stay in it constantly, to find good ideas. There’s no new takes. You never have to cut and then, you know, clean the gate, put more film in the mag.
It just alleviates all the stopping and the starting. The pacing, when you’re shooting on 3D with digital, is very conducive to us trying to find the humor in these movies.
Question: Patrick, as far as all we know, you don’t have much experience in making action movies. For you, what was the most exciting and the most memorable moment of the shoot?
Patrick Dempsey: That’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a movie. Really, it was so much fun. And – I had a great time. We laughed a lot. And you know, we worked hard. Michael works very quickly, which is exciting, so the days go by very fast. And it was fun to play a character that is unexpected, you know. And I was really very happy to have that opportunity, and very lucky to be a part of this movie and to be with this group.
And as an actor, you just want to constantly keep surprising people. And I think that answers the first question; it’s like, what are we doing to surprise the audience? And I think for me, to have this opportunity and to show a different side is what an actor really wants to do. And it’s a great cast. That’s very inspiring. Michael’s a wonderful director. And I truly fell in love with cinema again, doing this movie.
Question: Tyrese. You were in the fifth installment of Fast and Furious and now you’re here with Transformers 3. It’s quite clear that you like to work with cars.
Tyrese Gibson: I love adrenalin. I love cars; I’m a big fan of cars. I’ve tried my best to get as many cars as I could over my years, and make sure that they’re as fast as legally safe. Fast Five is a different type of movie, different kind of cast, different type of energy. You know, I think for me, I didn’t grow up watching Fast and the Furious – I grew up watching Transformers.
And so as far as the culture, the world, in itself with Transformers is more in my bloodstream. And when Michael approached me about it six years ago, I tried to keep my composure when he asked me. “Hey, Man, you know, I’m supposed to be doing this movie, “Transformers”. Would you be interested?” And I was like, “Yeah, Man. Hell, yeah.” But on the inside —
Michael Bay: Yeah, I talk like that, “Hey, yeah, hey Tyrese, I want, you wanna be in this movie?”
Tyrese Gibson: [LAUGHTER] On the inside, I was jumping up and down, going crazy. But I was trying to keep my cool, you know, then. But yeah, it’s been an incredible ride. And I mean, as far as I’m concerned, you can do movies with cars all day, but they won’t transform. So this is always gonna be the biggest and the best of them all. So thank you.
Question: Rosie, while Megan Fox was playing the lead female role in this movie, she was the sexiest woman alive in the world. And now you are playing the leading female role, and you are the sexiest girl in the world. Do you think it’s just a coincidence? And what does your boyfriend, Jason, think about your acting?
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Well, thank you very much for that compliment. [LAUGHTER] I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, you know. This movie reaches a lot of people, I suppose, and a lot of people are waiting with bated breath to see the movie. It’s a huge compliment. It’s a very fun title to have. I don’t take it too seriously. It’s a bit of pressure now, getting ready in the morning, to feel sexy every day.
And as for Jason, he’s extremely proud, and is extremely excited to see the movie. And I love his films. I love doing action. I had a blast making this movie, doing all the action things. And stunts, for me, was when I really got to feel most present as an actress and when I got to have the most fun on set. So that’s something that we definitely share in common.
That concludes the interview. Make sure to check out the film when it opens on June 29th.