Transformer's new stars phone in
Who knew that Santa Monica College's running track also doubled as a training ground for aspiring Hollywood heart throbs preparing to battle machines from outer space?
That and more were a few of the revelations that emerged during a phone conference interview with Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor, the two latest additions to the ongoing "Transformers" franchise whose latest incarnation is "Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction."
They will be supporting characters to Mark Wahlberg, the new star of the popular blockbuster series. Once again that guru of massive explosions and collapsing metal, Michael Bay sits in the director's chair.
The film won't be released until June, but last week Peltz and Reynor were part of a phone conference hosted by Paramount Studios involving newspaper representatives from 20 colleges from around the country.
Each representative was allowed one question with the possibility of a second one if time allowed.
Like transmissions from space, the various colleges asked their questions ranging from how it felt to perform in a film filled with CGI characters to the relevance of "Transformers" in the world we live in today.
"It was a big challenge to step into a monumental franchise like this. You really have to rely on your imagination in that circumstance," said Reynor.
Bay, who is famous for big budget extravaganzas like "Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor," "Pain And Gain" and of course the "Transformers" movies, has a reputation for being a hard-edged perfectionist on set.
"Michael has such high energy and the set is moving so fast all the time. What he gets done in one day is insane. He's such a hands on director, he gives a hundred and ten percent and expects the same from you," said Peltz.
Bay's dedication and commitment to his projects were something both stars were highly impressed by.
"At the end of the day Michael Bay is responsible for films that are at around $250 million budgets," said Reynor. "And that's an awful lot of responsibility, it rests on your shoulders to bring in the box office and complete the job on time. But his energy and focus are something to be admired. It's a long shoot, it's five months and it's very exhilarating."
To train for those five months, the two actors revealed that they used SMC's very own running track for training.
"That's where we did our sprints preparing for this movie. Loved the campus, it was really great," said an enthusiastic Reynor.
For both actors, "Transformers 4" might seem like a big popcorn behemoth to enjoy over the summer, but when it comes to relevance the film might have in today's world, they revealed the deeper potential in the film's sci-fi storyline.
"I think it says at the end of the day family comes first, family matters. In this film I get separated from my dad and at the end we see it come together so beautifully," said Peltz. "Everyday we get distracted by technology and we get upset over the little things, but at the end of the day what matters is family."
In terms of the film's overall tone, movie-goers might expect something a little more deep.
"I think this Transformers is a little darker than the previous ones. I think you'll see the autobots in this movie reflect a little bit of the sense of anger and resentment that we see in contemporary society, particularly in the United States," said Reynor.
The characters in the movie can be seen as trying to find their place in society.
"These are people that are quite displaced, are trying to find where they can exist comfortably in the world. They're trying to reconcile who they are themselves," said Reynor. "That's something we find people coping with in society at the moment, so that will certainly be two themes audiences in this country can reflect upon."