I recently attended a press conference with the cast of Ant Man. Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Ant-Man has the ability to shrink and increase at a drop of a dime and uses his powers to protect the world from threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. Ant-Man will be released in theaters on July 17.
Marvel’s “Ant-Man” stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne, Corey Stoll as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Michael Peña as Luis, Tip “T.I.” Harris as Dave, Wood Harris as Gale, Judy Greer as Maggie, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym. Directed by Peyton Reed and produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., Marvel’s “Ant-Man” delivers a high-stakes, tension-filled adventure on July 17, 2015.
Ant-Man Cast Interviews Q &A
Question: What was it about the character of Ant-Man that you thought he would be an excellent addition to the MCU?
KEVIN FEIGE: Ant-Man in the comics is a founding member of the Avengers. I’ve said that we have a big, giant poster of Avengers #1 that has been in all of the various offices we’ve had over the years, and I love looking at that and checking off, yeah, that person’s been in a movie now, we’ve made a movie about that person, made a movie about that person.
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. It also was interesting to do a movie, now that you’ve seen it, and I think most of you in this room have seen it, that plays with scale and that plays with action in a very different way than we’ve ever done before, and as I’m sure you all have heard me say many, many times, I like it when all of our films are unique and all of them are different, and all of them can surprise people. Now, this is our 12th film in the Marvel cinematic universe, so it felt time to do something even more unique and even more different, which I think these people have.
Question: How did you prepare the role? Did you go back to the source material? Was it all in the script? Were you a fan of the character before?
PAUL RUDD: Growing up, I really didn’t know the character, and I did – before we ever started shooting, read the comics, tried to do a little bit of research, and then just get into the mindset as much as possible. There was also all of the physical stuff that I wanted to kind of throw myself into, to feel as if I could play the part and not only be convincing but just help me feel the part more.
DAVID DASTMALCHIAN: Did you enjoy being ripped?
PAUL RUDD: I enjoyed being able to do shoulder rolls and kind of flips for the first time.
Question: Funny thing that your 9 year old thought that you weren’t that cool when you said that you’re going to play Ant-Man. Has he seen it yet and has that been redeemed?
PAUL RUDD: There was nothing to redeem. The one thing I was – ‘cause I have been asked about this, my kid more than anything likes to make me laugh, so when I told him that, even at 9 years old, he has such a funny sense of humor, that’s what he said, but this is the first time, 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 like 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!” And he’s so excited and like I’ve never experienced that, and so it’s so cool to be able to share this with my own family, and especially my son.
Question: When you say it’s about damn time, I wonder if you feel you’re speaking for all womankind getting their super moment.
EVANGELINE LILLY: 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 are really, really taking female characters very seriously and looking at their lineup you can see that they have great intentions. And 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. And you know, 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 has 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.
Question: Mr. Douglas, I wanted to ask you, Paul talked a little bit – way over here on this side. Paul talked about being a hero for his kids, now being Ant-Man. And I was just wondering for you, did this kind of boost your stature with your own kids?
MICHAEL DOUGLAS: 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.
Question: The film is thoroughly enjoyable and really funny. Michael Pena, you had a lot to do with it, you were hillarious – was all that on the page or did you bring some of the –
MICHAEL PENA: Yeah, I basically wouldn’t shut up. You know, Peyton and Paul, they were fantastic. No, literally, the first day of shooting I was like scared out of my pants, ‘cause I’m like, you know, I’d been reading Marvel comics, like, you know, like there’s a thing with Marvel like where they do, like, you know, for like there’s a one stage, you know, for my kid that was one years old, and then all of a sudden like it gets more sophisticated as time goes on. And so my son is like, “Don’t mess this up there, Da.” And so I was like thoroughly really nervous ‘cause like I want to be the cool dad, but like it was really loose on set and it was actually like, you know, ‘cause I was a nervous wreck, and Paul, he’s like, “You know, just do what you want, man. Let’s do things. Let’s do things. Let’s explore and let’s have fun.” And like, and after the first week, it got to be a lot of fun so like 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.
Question: The movie features some incredible unique action sequences that are definitely different than most films, especially all the Marvel film, because you’re dealing with ant-sized environment. Besides the ants being definitely a big challenge, what was the other challenge with dealing with the smaller environment, and then real quick, also for Paul, is Kansas City going to win the World Series?
PEYTON REED: In terms of the shrinking, you know, I went back and watched all the shrinking movies. There’s a long cinematic history of shrinking: Incredible Shrinking Man, Incredible Shrinking Woman, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, of course, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience Preshow at Disney. No one? Innerspace. All of them. But you know, we were making sort of what would be the definitive shrinking movie of 2015 and the sort of drum I kept banging was it’s got to look photorealistic. We can’t have a movie where, you know, when you’re in the normal world, it’s realistic and when you go down it feels like an animated movie. It had to look photorealistic. And [PH] Jake Morrison who is our visual effects supervisor we spent a lot of time together and talked about how we were going to achieve it and how we were going to shoot it, and you know, what lenses we used, what does the world look and sound like when you’re down there? You know, when you see dust particles floating around, how does the light play? And I’m really, really happy with where we ended up because, you know, in a movie like Ant-Man it’s got to look real. And that applied to the ants, too. I mean, that was really one of the challenges is creating ants that looked photoreal, but also giving them some real character and particularly in the case of Antony. Pena, I know you’re happy with that shout out.
EVANGELINE LILLY: Can I add to that question? I’m wondering – you said photorealism – what about sound realism? How do you know what ants sound like?
PEYTON REED: Well, this is great. You know, we did a Dolby Atmos mix because we really wanted, like when we shrink down [OVERLAPPING] – when we shrink down, you know, you want to really immerse the audience in this, and you know, sound becomes even more immersive and it surrounds you when you’re small. I know, I’ve been there. But you know, we also really had to sort of create kind of a ant language and it was important particularly in that bond with Antony and with Scott Lang, to have a sound, and so, you know, [INDISCERNIBLE] the geniuses at Skywalker Sound, you know, we started auditioning and combining these sounds and they kind of came up with a language. I don’t know if there’s an actual specific language that you can decode but please, try.
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