Meet the Cast of Ant Man!
*I attended the press conference as a guest of Disney.*
This Friday we’ll see the release of the largely anticipated and hugely entertaining Ant-Man which is Marvel’s latest superhero adventure. Starring Paul Rudd as an ex-con who’s talked into participating in an epic heist on behalf of his scientist mentor (Michael Douglas). He is armed with a special super-suit; giving him shrinking powers and the ability to communicate with ants. Expectations are extremely high for Ant-Man, and there is the possibility of a sequel perhaps? But before we get ahead of ourselves though, lets meet the cast and see what they had to tell us about this up and coming film? 😉
Talent in attendance: Paul Rudd (“Scott Lang/Ant-Man”), Michael Douglas (“Hank Pym”), Evangeline Lilly (“Hope Van Dyne”), Corey Stoll (“Darren Cross/Yellowjacket”), Michael Pena (“Luis Pena”), T.I. (“Dave”), David Dastmalchian (“Kurt”), Peyton Reed (Director), Kevin Feige (Producer).
If you’re not into Marvel much, then you might be thinking – who is Ant-Man? Kevin Feige, the producer, told us simply that,“Ant-Man in the comics is a founding member of the Avengers. Ant-Man and Wasp were the two that had been the longest that we haven’t done anything with, so it was always clear that we were going to assemble all the Avengers eventually.”
Paul Rudd was then asked, what was it about the character of Ant Man that excited him to take on the role? Before Paul could answer, Evangeline Lilly chimed in: ME! When Paul had a chance to answer he told us, “It’s a Marvel movie, come on. The fact that it was different than anything that I’d ever done. I liked the challenge, I thought it would be an exciting adventure, and I enjoyed the fact that when I was cast people went, huh, really –and I think that Marvel likes to do that and I was thrilled to have the opportunity.”
A lot of the questions focused on how everyone prepared for their roles in the film. Paul told us that he enjoyed being able to do shoulder rolls and kind of could do flips for the first time. David Dastmalchian chimed in “‘Cause there’s one shot where Paul, like he thoroughly enjoyed being ripped.” Wherein Paul replied back, “I was very self-conscious during that day of shooting.” David replied back, “I remember what you had for lunch that day we shot your abs. You had one almond.” And Paul told us that one almond made him fell so bloated. Witty banters like this, filled the press conference, making it very entertaining and full of laughs!
Paul was then asked if his son thought he was cool playing the role of Ant-Man. Paul gave us a very heartfelt response about him and his son. “It’s the first thing I’ve ever done, ever, that he is like legitimately jazzed about. He can see it, his friends know about it, and we were at Disneyland two days ago and they have kind of a sneak preview, the Ant-Man event that’s there, and we went there and I was sitting next to him, and to see like as a parent the look on my kid’s face when he’s watching this – and I’ll never forget, it’s like as soon as it ended he just looked at me. He’s like, “That’s awesome!” And every time a commercial is on, he’s like, “Dad, Dad, Dad!” He’s so excited and I’ve never experienced that, it’s so cool to be able to share this with my own family, and especially my son.”
The next question was an important one for Evangeline Lilly, about the lack of female characters in superhero movies. Evangeline was more than happy to answer this one for us! “Amen and touché, sister. I think that there is a lot of excitement in the focus groups that we’ve seen already, with the female audiences, about this character in general, and about the fact that Marvel is really taking female characters very seriously and looking at their lineup you can see that they have great intentions. As a woman who came into a predominantly male film, I had a great time working with Peyton and with the producers, on this character, because I could see a hunger in them to really, really do right by Hope, and do right by their female fans and the female audience. When I pick a role, one of the things that I aspire to is that somebody’s parent will come up to me after the film and come out and say, “My daughter idealizes that character. You’re her hero.” And that’s what we aim for, especially in this brand, right? We’re in the business of making heroes.”
Michael Douglas takes on a new role in this film. Just like Paul Rudd, Douglas was not familiar with the character before starting to work on the film. Douglas shared with us, “My 14 year old’s reaction was like an agent. He said, “You know, Dad, this could be a whole new audience for you.” So I took that to heart and here I am. I was not familiar with Ant-Man before this movie and Kevin and Marvel were kind enough to send me about two years of comic books, that’s when I read the script, to kind of catch up on this history and background.”
The last topic of conversation that we have time for today, is about the element of humor in Ant-Man. The film is thoroughly enjoyable and really funny. Michael Pena had a lot to do with that. He is hilarious in the film; was that all scripted or did he come up with all of that? Again Evangeline chimes in “None of that was on the page. He wouldn’t shut up.” Michael goes on to tell us, “Yeah, I basically wouldn’t shut up. You know, Peyton and Paul, they were fantastic. Literally, the first day of shooting I was like scared out of my pants. I’d been reading Marvel comics, there’s a thing with Marvel. There’s a one stage, for my kid that was one years old, and then all of a sudden it gets more sophisticated as time goes on. My son is like, “Don’t mess this up there, Da.” So I was thoroughly really nervous ‘cause I want to be the cool dad, but it was really loose on set and I was a nervous wreck, and Paul says, “You know, just do what you want, man. Let’s do things. Let’s do things. Let’s explore and let’s have fun.” After the first week, it got to be a lot of fun so when it’s too much fun you don’t know what kind of movie it was. Thank god, you know, Peyton, you did all right.” Speaking of funny… one last super hilarious moment during the interview was when a member of the press’ phone went off on the table during the press conference (this is why you ALWAYS put your phone on airplane mode!) and Paul Rudd decided to answer it in true superhero fashion. He politely told them that we were busy in the middle of a press conference and to call back later. If only this person knew they were talking to Paul Rudd! Too funny.