Disclosure: This event and trip to LA was an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, experiences, opinions and character crushes are 100% my own!
Talking about ANT-MAN with Michael Douglas
Last month, I travelled to LA to attend a press junket with 24 other bloggers for the film ANT-MAN. This included a press screening of the film, and a sit down interview with cast members. A few days ago, I shared my interview with ANT-MAN stars Paul Rudd & Evangeline Lilly. Today, I am sharing my interview with Michael Douglas. (THE Michael Douglas!)
I had already seen ANT-MAN prior to the interview, so meeting Michael Douglas was so exciting, as I loved his character in this film. Michael plays Hank Pym, the founder of Pym Technologies. Hank has some great relationship story lines in this movie, and I really enjoyed watching them unfold. I especially enjoyed seeing a softer side to Michael Douglas, even though this is an action film, he played the role of a man who was sorting through emotions and working hard to cultivate, build and repair relationships.
What did you do to prepare yourself for this role?
Michael: Historically I’m not a comic book guy. I was not as a kid. When they sent me this script, they sent a lovely leather bound book with two of the Ant Man comics. Before I read the script, I opened that up and sort of familiarized myself with the different characters and a little of the back story.
Of course, ironically for these kind of super comic books, it was more character background than you get in most parts you ever play. So there was a whole bunch of stuff to actually play off of once you read it.
With the technology in this movie, how is it different than anything from past projects?
Michael: One of the exciting things for me about doing this picture is I have never done a special effects movie before. My entire career has been all contemporary story lines except for one movie out of I think 50. I was a World War 2 film. Everything else has been contemporary and there weren’t any kind of effects in them, just a green screen. So I was fascinated by that and would spend my time between shots watching. There were like four units shooting.
We were the first unit, then you had the second unit which was your stunt unit. Your third unit, which was your special effects and your green screen, and then your fourth unit was the macro unit that was shooting these ants — perspective ant shots. It was fascinating.
In the first unit, we were doing stunts and this and that, but to see how they put four units together using the story boards was inspirational. And it was a lot faster. I mean, how often too do you get to do a movie where you get to see yourself 30 years younger? It was wild.
The one scene and they had with the special effects where they made me younger. It’s been the wildest experience I’ve ever had.
“The one scene and they had with the special effects where they made me younger. It’s been the wildest experience I’ve ever had.” ~Michael Douglas
What was your favorite scene to shoot?
Michael: I know the ones I liked least. Those were the heavy exposition. You know, I had to carry a lot of the exposition of plot in terms of explaining how things worked and everything, and there’s no rhyme or reason for those. You just get a momentum going and try to articulate them. The fact that Peyton, besides being such a good director, was an actor earlier in his life and knew my lines better than I did, that was a little intimidating, you know, because if I stumbled or flubbed, he actually knew these technical names.
I enjoyed the Pym Technology scenes. I enjoyed seeing this huge picture of me up there on the wall. I was the founder of the company and just the beautiful work they did on creating that, the designs of that company and such.
Who did you most enjoy working with?
Michael: In this picture? Everybody. Everybody was solid. Kevin Feige and the great production team. I was really happy with Peyton Reed as a director. I think the biggest surprise was Corey. Corey was a great heavy. He was a great, great villain and he brought much more strength and dynamo than I ever had anticipated. He had this whole subplot of kind of me being his father figure and reaching out for my acceptance, which was like haunting.
Paul, I knew from the beginning and he’s just as easy and wonderful as could be. He’s lovely. And then Evangeline I did not know her range, and so you go wow. There are no weak spots here. Everybody’s solid.
I felt really optimistic about this whole project, right from the get-go, because I did not see a weak link anywhere.
Paul Rudd’s a funny guy. How was it working with him on set? Was it all laughs?
Michael: He’s just a sweetest, he’s a lovely guy. He’s very unassuming. Obviously, he did some rewriting on the script and was very helpful. Sometimes I would get frustrated where I’d have one of these five minute long monologues explaining everything, and of course, he would have a one-line punch line. Damn, you get a good laugh and all of that. I go sure. I’m working my ass off.
He worked hard; maintaining staying in shape, and then putting in the whole day. So my heart went out to him, but he was fabulous. Interesting casting on, again, on Marvel’s part. Every film is sort of interesting. I mean, Paul now looks to me like Robert did before the first Iron Man, you know, Robert Downey. Also an excellent actor. And I’m sure this is going to be great for Paul.
“They seem to know what they’re doing. And so that, that combined with the talent you’re actually seeing around you, makes you feel very secure and I’m happy to be part of the Marvel universe.” ~Michael Douglas
Did you realize you were joining the Marvel universe?
Michael: No, I was drinking the Kool Aid. I did and it was really interesting and fascinating to see the process of how it works. There’s a familiarity that brings a comfort factor and a relaxation that you know based on 12 out of 12, these guys got a hell of a track record. They seem to know what they’re doing. And so that, that combined with the talent you’re actually seeing around you, makes you feel very secure and I’m happy to be part of the Marvel universe.
ANT-MAN and hits theaters July 17th, 2015!!
Check out this exclusive ANT-MAN sneak peek:
Make sure to follow all of the ANT-MAN excitement in social media:
ANT-MAN Website and Mobile site
Like ANT-MAN on Facebook
Follow ANT-MAN on Twitter
AND … a very, very special thank you to the folks at Disney for this wonderful and once in a life time opportunity that I will NEVER forget!