This past weekend I previewed the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie, and my review is embargoed until next week. In the meantime, I have some juicy interview information from the cast for you! And this coming Tuesday, I will have some pictures of me inside the newest Turtle mobile! I had the honor of visiting the set last year, my first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle post is here!
From left to right:
Gary Anthony Williams – Bebop
Stephen Farrelly – Rocksteady
Will Arnett – Vernon Fenwick
Stephen Amell – Casey Jones
Tyler Perry – Baxter Stockman
Brian Tee – Shredder
Will Arnett – Vernon Fenwick
The tone was immediately set by Gary Anthony Williams, who was cracking jokes throughout. He was hilarious and helped keep everyone at ease, and set a great tone for the interviews. As everyone knows from the comics, Bebop and Rocksteady are transformed into Rhino and Warthog type characters:
You could tell from the conversation and their interactions that the actors playing the mutants hit it off immediately and worked great with each other. And you do recognize Stephen Farrelly? He is the world famous Sheamus from the WWE! Sheamus still had a crazy busy schedule with the WWE and shared how he was going back and forth between the press junkets and wrestling, hence the hairdo. There was some smack talk of Sheamus and Stephen Amell hitting the ring at some point in the future, but I don’t think it is a good idea, look how big this guy is!
This was my second opportunity to interview Stephen Amell about the movie. One other blogger and I were lucky enough to visit the Turtle set last year, and the first question everyone asks, is how did you find time for the filming of this movie? Turns out the movie started filming five days after Arrow Season three wrapped, and ended four days before season four started filming.
The producers shared with us that they were thrilled the timing worked out because Stephen was their number one choice to play Casey Jones since the very beginning.
Stephen also thought the process of filming this movie would be rigid, when in fact it was more collaborative. Input from he and the others helped to shape some of the scenes. He also shared how he did most of his own stunts, and appreciated the bigger budget of a movie versus TV. He was glad when they were filming one particular scene with him, Bebop, and Rocksteady, they got to spend more time than originally scheduled to make it the best scene possible! Time and money were something that movies had more versus television filming.
And spoiler alert, Stephen said his mask was not a great fit. He said that Megan Fox basically told him to just get over it and stop complaining!
Tyler Perry. Most if us were a bit in awe. The highlight of the interviews was first listening to Tyler Perry talk about how the producers flew down to meet him in Atlanta, asked him to be in the movie, and had no major script information to share! He was interested and came on board, and then we found out in the next set of interviews that the producers were not ready with a script yet! Tyler thought it was a secret hush, hush project, when in reality it was just unfinished! Getting those two points of views was great. I was thrilled to get this picture with this movie giant!
Next up was Brian Tee who played Shredder. Just like in the movie, he did not talk much! As with everyone else, I was thrilled to get a picture with the villain!
Will Arnett was the other funny guy in the interviews. You have to see the movie to see the one scene were his character’s ego just ran away from himself, and started selling memorabilia. Hysterical.
One of the scenes in the movie was filmed at a Knicks game. There were several takes where Will was being interviewed as part of his characters role. Turns out his pal, Jason Sudelkis, was also at the game and texted him, he asked why Will was making believe that he was being interviewed over and over again! Jason did not know a movie was being filmed across the court, can you imagine how funny that must have been!
The last question asked of this group, and a great question it was, came from my friend Yolanda: What would your spirit animal be? This was significant because clearly, Bebop and Rocksteady were their spirit animals already! Stepehn Amell answered with giraffe, Tyler Perry said Lion, and Brian Tee said killer whale. But the best answer came from Will Arnett. His spirt animal was a black labrador, living in someone’s house, sleeping away the day, living in luxury. Makes a lot of sense to me!
And then three of the four ninja turtles showed up!
Noel Fisher – Michelangelo
Pete Ploszek – Leonardo
Jeremy Howard – Donatello
The second round of interviews also included the writers, directors, and producers. That’s how we found out that Stephen Amell was the only choice for Casey Jones, and when they were wooing Tyler Perry, they had no script to woo him with!
We had been told on set the year before that the actors playing the ninja turtles in this reboot were given bigger roles. The turtles have stronger personalities, it was not just these teenage turtles walking around eating pizza and shouting Cowabunga, we are starting to get to know them as individuals. This adds another great dimension to the movie.
That’s Noel Fisher on the top right. I was so excited to meet him, I have been a long time fan, since I first saw him on TV with Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard on “The Riches!” And I told him so! Stay tuned for more informative posts next week! And the movie next Friday, June 3rd!