Stanley Tucci and Sophia Myles Talk TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
The faces of the corporate side of the conflict in Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction will be provided by Stanley Tucci and Sophia Myles. While the pair were tight-lipped about their characters, our lucky group of journalists did get a chance to talk to them about the film while on set in Detroit. They each revealed a bit about their characters’ part in the Transformers world, their experiences filming big action scenes, and joining the epic franchise. They also talked about working with Bay, and shared their favorite Bay movies.
We’re having fun talking about this in very vague terms… as much as you can tell us about your characters and how you play into the mix would be good?
Stanley Tucci: I play Joshua Gross who’s the head of this corporation that sort of makes all the Transformers. I don’t know what I can and can’t say. Here’s the thing, it’s a great role and that’s why I’m here, you know what I mean?
We wouldn’t expect you to be in something that wasn’t great.
Tucci: Well, you haven’t seen them all then.
Did you feel slightly typecast because everyone knows America loves Stanley Tucci in a supporting role?
Tucci: No because it’s a great role. I was more than happy to do it. To be typecast in great roles does kind of misuse the word I think but no I was very happy to, if it had been a role I’d done before then I maybe wouldn’t have been interested but it was something kind of new and really fun, you know what I mean? Sometimes making movies isn’t fun and to play a character like this in a movie like this is fun.
How does Michael Bay make that fun?
Tucci: He never stops screaming at you and that is really fun. No, he has so much energy he loves what he does and it’s infectious, it’s great.
Sounds like you must have a lot of interaction with the robots themselves….
Tucci: I haven’t had that yet, but I will later on, we’re not quite there yet.
Your character manufactures the robots?
Tucci: Yes. That’s the best I can do.
Sophia Myles: My character is called Darcy Tyril, she is English, she’s a geologist and in this movie she works within the mining division of Stanley’s character’s company and [turns to Tucci] Can I…
Myles: It’s not completely straight forward.
Tucci: She’s tough and smart and beautiful and funny and caustic.
Myles: Yeah she doesn’t take any B.S.
We’ve been hearing a lot about the stunts, do you guys get in on the action?
Myles: Yes, my finger is swollen, you can see the difference. It’s going to get bigger and bigger.
In addition to the character you get to play, what is fun about coming into a huge production like this?
Myles: As Stanley said, Michael is so enthusiastic and so passionate about what he does it’s just infectious. All the guys, everyone working here in every single division, everyone is so grateful to be here it’s just fun.
Tucci: And he has a great crew and they’re very accomplished, so you’re working with very accomplished people, from the camera operators to the special effects, I’ve never seen such efficiency and energy.
Myles: They’re the best in the business.
Do you have any good Michael Bay stories so far?
Tucci: If I did I couldn’t tell you them. Just that he’s very funny and he loves a good laugh and that’s kind of the great part of making the film.
Are you playing it more straight or is it a comedic role?
Tucci: It’s sort of both. Like all of Michael’s movies there is a seriousness to it and then suddenly it turns into funny stuff, that’s the great part as actors that we are able to do that.
What’s your favorite Michael Bay movie?
Tucci: Armageddon yeah, I like The Rock.
You’ve done a bunch of sci-fi and fantasy roles recently, is that a bi product of the roles becoming more interesting or available or what you’re going after?
Tucci: I think it’s the Zeitgeist of the times, it’s what is available and is there and if the role is good in that movie then that’s what you do. It’s important to try to mix things up and I’ve tried to do that over the years, where you go do an independent film then you go do a drama and then a comedy, science fiction so if you can mix it up that’s great but I do think there are a lot of these movies being made now, you go where the work is but they’re fun. The Hunger Games is like the greatest gift ever.
Do you have to do a lot of work to make it challenging for yourself or is it on the page already?
Tucci: For the most part it’s on the page, you know you always are inventing things and collaborating with the director but if it’s not on the page the stuff doesn’t make it far.
How do you describe what this one is compared to what’s come before it?
Myles: The fans are now older and I think bringing in a whole new string of characters…
Tucci: It adds a different energy
Do you feel like it’s grown or narrowed?
Myles: It’s grown.
Do you have more fun with the action or playing with your characters?
Tucci: It’s all fun. The action stuff is as anybody will attest, it takes a long time but when you’re there and you’re doing it and you go into that take and you run and everything is blowing up around you and you’re diving onto something it’s actually incredibly thrilling and you feel like a kid again. Like a kid who used to play and pretend all those things would happen and now they’re actually happening.
Myles: It means that you don’t have to act, it’s so spontaneous. Everything that you’ll see within these action sequences is us reacting not acting.
Tucci: Which is terrifying. But then doing scenes with each other and with Mark, that’s also fun.
How serious do you approach the role, whenever we talk to Michael Bay it’s like a kid playing with imaginary toys… is there a way you approach it in knowing that?
Tucci: Every role is approached in exactly the same way, you have to make it believable and that’s all. Acting is really serious, like, pretending really hard.
Do you have a preference of evil vs. good?
Tucci: Nope, just depends on the role. How well is it written is it, how well realized is it?
Are you a bad guy or a good guy in this?
Tucci: I can’t answer that.
You make robots…
Tucci: What can I say…
Who are you making robots for? Michael Bay?
Tucci: For you guys. For the world.
Will you get your own action figures?
Tucci: I don’t know, I don’t know about that. It would be fun though.
Myles: I would love one, it’s been a dream of mine to have an action figure, but I don’t think boys want to play with a girl.
Tucci: Well I did when I was a kid. I wanted to play with real girls but they wouldn’t let me. I don’t know about action figures.
How do you like working with Wahlberg?
Tucci: Oh Mark is great, a wonderful actor. I did a movie with him five years ago and he’s just lovely, I’m a big fan of his.
Presumably a different dynamic here than in Lovely Bones?
Tucci: Oh yes, yes. Very different. We have fun in this one. I won’t rape and kill his daughter.
Memorable moment so far?
Tucci: I think when all that stuff was blowing up.
Tucci: That one take when there were more explosions than anticipated, that was like, “Oh, we’re really making a Transformers movie” I ran like this [Demos weird run], like extreme Groucho Marx.
But now forever for your reels you’ll have the slo-mo Michael Bay action thing
Tucci: I know I’m so excited I can’t wait to see it.
You’ve got to do the gun dive…
Tucci: I don’t know if it’s in there but I’ve got to get that in there.