Tyrese Gibson on the set of Transformers 3 in Chicago, Il

*Cars have definitely played an important role in Tyrese Gibson’s career. Whether it be “Transformers” or “Fast Five” and its precursor, they jump started his career and he continues get great mileage out of them.  It was just in April that The Film Strip talked to him for “Fast Five” and now he is back for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” Asked to compare the two, Gibson sees them as a great opportunity to get paid for something you enjoy.

“The thing is what you know already from interviewing so many people is that a lot of them take this stuff way too seriously,” he imparts. “And it’s like, ‘Yo, have some fun! You’re rich. You’re young. Relax! Stop over-thinking, over-analyzing. Get in there and have some damn fun. Who would think that we’re able to do this? And now that we’re here, just live it up!'”

“And that’s my whole approach. Of course, we’ve got to take things seriously and take care of business, but I think that’s the one thing my friends and new colleagues and associates appreciate about me is my energy. When it’s time to get serious, I get serious. I love adrenalin.  I love cars; I’m a big fan of cars.  I’ve tried my best to get as many cars as I could over my years, and make sure that they’re as fast as legally safe. I don’t know, ‘Fast Five’ is a different type of movie, different kind of cast, different type of energy.  You know, I think for me, I didn’t grow up watching ‘Fast and the Furious.’ I grew up watching ‘Transformers.’  And so as far as the culture, the world, ‘Transformers’ is more in my bloodstream.

“When Michael Bey approached me about ‘Transformers’ all of six years ago, I tried to keep my composure when he said to me, ‘Hey, Man, you know, I’m supposed to be doing this movie, ‘Transformers.’ Would you be interested?’  And I was like, ‘Yeah, Man,’ trying to keep my cool. But, on the inside I was jumping up and down, going crazy. It’s been an incredible ride.  And I mean, as far as I’m concerned, you can do movies with cars all day, but they won’t transform. So this is always gonna be the biggest and the best of them all. My character is Robert Epps, a Master Sergeant in command of all communications pertaining to all aircraft. I was retired and on a classified mission until Shia LaBeouf came looking for me. He asks me to come back and join him in a mission to defeat the Decepticons. I was a little reluctant but my desire to defeat the Decepticons overrode any hesitations I had.”

Known first to the public by his music, Gibson has not given that up for the big screen. “I just finished my new album called ‘Open Invitation,’ and I’m very proud of that,” he says. “It’s been a little over four years since I’ve been in the studio recording.  And as far as the next film projects, there are a few things on the plate, but it’s a little too early to speak on right now.  But I think for me right now, I’m looking to anchor myself in something very meaty-a real character piece, something kind of independent to really activate myself as an actor in a kind of different space.  So hopefully, I’ll end up doing something [really different].  But right now, it’s definitely a fun space to be in, traveling the world to promote something this big, that every man, woman and child around the world is anticipating.”

One of the phrases in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” spoken by John Malkovich is, “Surprise me,” which begs the question how has “Transformers” surprised audiences this time around? “Well, for me,” Malkovich says, “I would think that’s part of what you have to do. You  have to surprise people because that’s what compels them to watch.”  Director Michael Bay, also at the “Transformers” press conference jumped in with, “New technologies make it harder, because you keep trying to push the boundaries. Jim Cameron called me up and he said, ‘So making the third one, was it easier, or, or harder?’  And I knew he was asking that because of ‘Avatar II.’  And I said, ‘Jim, it’s definitely harder because you keep trying to push yourself farther.’ For people, you know, seeing these robots for the first time was one of the most magical parts of the movie, that discovery.”
Like Gibson, “Transformers” has been a boon for Shia LaBeouf also. “Had I never met Mike, none of this, you know, would exist for me. So I thank for Mike for that.” Responding to that complement, Bay laughs, “You should pay me.”  “Yeah, I should,” LaBeouf continues. “So it’s all because I’ve been involved in these ‘Transformers’ movies, and how large these things have become that I’m where I’m at now.  So it’s all Mike, really.  Thank you, Mike,” LaBeouf acknowledges.

Not quite like wearing scrubs on the television set of “Greys Anatomy,” or for that matter any film he has done, Patrick Dempsey experienced another form of pressure-but enjoyed it more.

“That’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a movie,” Dempsey declares. “I had a great time.  We laughed a lot. And you know, we worked hard.  Michael works very quickly, which is exciting, so the days go by very fast.  And it was fun to play a character that is unexpected, you know.  And I was really very happy to have that opportunity, and very lucky to be a part of this movie and to be with this group.  And as an actor, you just want to constantly keep surprising people.  I think that answers the ‘surprise’ question; it’s like, what are we doing to surprise the audience with? I think for me, to have this opportunity and to show a different side is what an actor really wants to do. It’s a great cast.  That’s very inspiring.  Michael’s a wonderful director. And I truly fell in love with cinema again, doing this movie.”