Cowabunga down under, the green carpet was rolled out for turtle power at its finest. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows held an Australian fan event in Sydney with high rolling Hollywood producer Brad Fuller with stars Stephen Amell and Will Arnett in attendance.
Pleased to meet you, Stephen. Before talking Turtles, I want to mention remembering you in Tracey Fragments, what do you remember being in that with Ellen Page?
Stephen Amell: Good to meet you too, but WOW, it was only one day and I don’t think my face ever ended up in the movie, just my voice. It was fun watching Ellen work; it’s not a surprise she became a star.
Crossing over from Arrow to iconic Casey Jones on the big screen, how hard was the audition process?
SA: I did a chemistry read with Megan after auditioning. It’s been great being welcomed into the turtles family; my ambition was just to be a great addition to the cast, adding things while not taking anything away from them. Hope people enjoy it.
Like Casey do you play a bit of hockey yourself?
SA: Yes, I’m Canadian, right. (laughs) So what is the national sport of Australia?
That’s hard; we play all sports here. As a surfer, I’ll say surfing.
SA: (laughs) Right, well it’s like asking most Aussie’s have you been to the ocean before. If you ask most Canadians if they play hockey, it’s positively going to be a yes. It’s what we do.
Are you signed on for any Turtle sequels?
SA: Yes a couple I think, nowadays because of Robert Downey Jr, if you sign onto any franchise in Hollywood and don’t have the kind of clout he does in movies, you’re signed up for like nine movies. (laughs) But it’s great; I would be more than happy to continue as Casey Jones.
Have you got any more motion pictures coming up or back to Arrow, a show Australia, like the world, has an affinity to?
The people of Australia have been really something, overwhelming. It’s lovely to part of. Back to Arrow season five after this trip, if Turtles opens well, there might be another of those. My cousin Robbie and I crowd-funded a feature, Code 8, which we are going to shoot in my next hiatus from Arrow.
Great to see you again, how does it feel to be a fully-fledged action star, Jonah Hex, two Turtles movies later?
Will Arnett: Three movies with Megan Fox, I am exhausted.
As a producer, writer and actor in so many great productions, did you contribute anything to your lines here?
WA: It is always a collaborative process; we are all on the same team, the producers especially know their stuff, all going the same direction, we want the films to work that audiences want to see. Anytime I have an idea they are down for it, a line or movement whatever it is they have confidence to just say go for it, and I know better than to pitch a joke before actually doing it when rolling.
What was the harder fitness regime Blades of Glory or Turtles 2?
WA: Blades of Glory was quite excessive training, months of skating. Of course as a Canadian, I know how to skate, but changing the routine took training on and off the ice. I look back and think “Wow I was so slim.” (laughs) I want back to that.
Hello Brad, it seems like yesterday we were talking about the first movie, was this movie fast-tracked into production?
Brad Fuller: Great to see you again, Shane. It doesn’t feel like it right now, but perhaps it was. On the first one, Paramount green-lit the sequel opening weekend making us very happy to hear that, takes the pressure off that waiting game.
This seemingly has ramped up more action and lighter in tone.
BF: You have to raise the bar; my partner is Michael Bay, so you cannot deliver a lesser action movie, it doesn’t happen. Response from the first one was families embraced the first one so we wanted to make one the whole clan can go together to enjoy, upping the humor while toning down the violence.
Are you expecting a third installment possibly fast-tracked also?
BF: Just depends on how box office goes, but I will be ready to go, if so.
Have you ever thought about bringing the Turtles down under?
BF: A good idea, something we have to consider.
Bringing in new characters like Casey Jones, Rocksteady and Bebop, was that a fan demand or to proceed with the story or both?
BF: Combination of both, we had originally had all three in the script of part 1, but it got complicated on how the turtles were going to look or move, so we pulled back which made it easier to slot them into a second one. We had character Baxter Stockman in the first one that nobody can find, so we wanted him back. The big question mark was Krank, but we went ahead.
How in the world did you get Laura Linney as part of the cast?
BF: The good thing is many of these amazing actors who may not normally want to be in a movie like this have kids who are fans of turtles. I think Laura’s son was a fan; she was familiar with the franchise, and we were shooting in New York where she lives, and Laura was looking for the experience to be in a big movie like this.
Laura actually looked at times she was holding back laughter, how much fun is it on set?
BF: These movies are constant fun. The four guys who play the turtles are hilarious, Tyler Perry and Will Arnett, don’t forget Will is full of great positive energy.
Working with Michael Bay regularly, has there ever been talk of a Turtles / Transformers crossover?
BF: No, I can’t see that happening. The Turtles live in their own world, also more comedic while those robots are mostly serious. So I don’t think it’s the right thing to merge. Who knows if Michael calls me tomorrow saying he wants to do it, I’ll go “Yes, when do I report to work?”
Many iconic New York landmarks were used in the film, how hard is it to get permission?
BF: It was harder on the first movie because few knew what a Turtle movie was or people thought if the movie is not good, we don’t want to landmarks seen. It was not hard at all for this one; New York kind of embraces the Turtles. The Madison Square Garden scene was shot two different times, but when Will Arnett stands up court side, it is in the middle of an actual game. We had a number of time-outs when we could go quickly shoot whatever was needed, but the rest of the game in the film is not an actual game.
Was producing something you fell into or always wanted to do? Will you transition to directing?
BF: I will never direct, ever. (laughs) Producing is all I ever wanted to do after I saw the 1972 film Poseidon Adventure; it stuck with me for so long. I couldn’t comprehend you could build a bathroom upside down, when they walk into it in that scene I didn’t understand what that was. Instantly I thought that would be a cool thing to do, create a world that may or may not exist. Everything I did after that was putting a foot forward to be producer.
How close are we to a new Friday the 13th?
BF: Extremely close to go, we got notes from the studio last week, script is coming in the end of next week and having read an earlier draft, I hope the script is that good we can get going quickly. We are all eager to bring Jason Vorhees back to the big screen.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is now playing in theaters.