The Stars of Summer Speak at CinemaCon – Part 2

Published On April 18, 2011 | By admin | Blog Post

Since Vin Diesel won the Action Star of the Year Award at CinemaCon, Filmmakers Notebook decided to begin with him in Part 2 and then move on to more actors who will be featured in what’s bound to be the adrenaline pumping studio films of the summer including Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, who are co-starring in “Green Lantern.” 

Addressing those of us in the press room as “you lovely congregation of humans” as he took the stage, Vin Diesel spoke mostly about “Fast Five”, which is set for release on April 29th and the next installment in the Riddick saga. Vin made a point of introducing us to Executive Jeffrey Kirschenbaum from Universal, crediting him for being a champion for both of these popular film franchises and stating that “Kirsh” was very hands on creating the new “Fast and the Furious” series.  “Nobody was more hands on about creating the new trilogy than Jeffrey Kirschenbaum.  It was Jeffrey that came, jumped over my fence and nearly got bit by my dog to talk about this new trilogy,” he said. 

When asked about how being an action star, Vin Diesel responded, “I’ve acted since I was a kid long before I had muscles.  I was acting when I was seven years old.  By the time I was 21, I was a bouncer and wasn’t getting a lot of work as an actor.  By the time I made it as an actor, I’d already started looking like a bouncer.”  That said he continued, “I approach each role the same though.  I t doesn’t matter if I’m doing a film like “Fast Five” or “Find Me Guilty” with Sidney Lumet.  I still approach each character with the same integrity.”

However, he is pleased with the soon to be released “Fast and the Furious” sequel.  “I have this really big film called “Fast Five” that is the tsunami of action films,” he joked telling us that he found it incredible working with Dwayne Johnson aka the Rock.  “We initially designed that role for Tommy Lee Jones and when Dwayne came in and campaigned for that role he took it to a whole other level.  He allowed for us to have the kink of fantasy action hero stand off that we all wanted when Schwarzenegger and Stallone were doing it” he continued.  They were hoping that they could pit the two action heroes against each other and from what the action star said it looks like they’re happy with the result.  “There’s such a powerful fight sequence in this film.  We couldn’t have picked anybody better in the world to deliver other than Dwayne Johnson.  He came every day prepared.  He’s the guy reaching to make the film the best it could be.  There was a brotherhood that was established on the film and when you see the latest cut you’ll see that he a very film place in this franchise,” he asserted.  

As for Riddick plans are in the works to bring him back for what Vin Diesel described as a cinematic event for the fans.  “The idea is to go back to the roots and I think that’s what we did with “The Fast and The Furious,” he told us.  Vin Diesel attributes the success of this character like the one he plays in the Riddick  franchise describing them as great anti-heroes or the good bad guy.  Another hold up with Riddick is that the studio prefers films with PG ratings, but Vin Diesel said that they plan to hold out and produce this movie for R rated audiences.  

Another highly anticipated action film this summer is “Green Lantern”, which is scheduled for release on June 17, and both Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively joined us to discuss their roles in the super hero saga.  Lively came in wearing a showstopping red dress and seemed delighted to join us.  She enjoyed being at CinemaCon and spoke about the disconnect between making a film and not thinking about how bad or good it is and then comparing that to sitting in a theatre having popcorn and milk duds and enjoying that experience and being part of the magic of the cinema.  

Blake is also pleased with her part in the movie.  “Carol Ferris is an incredible character in this sort of genre of film because she’s not the traditional damsel in distress that you find.  She’s a very strong woman.  She’s a fighter pilot.  She’s very capable.  She’s a business owner.  She inherits her father’s airline, aviation company.  She’s militant.  She’s this strong and powerful woman and you know her rival and also her lover happens to be Hal Jordan.  He comes to this power not because he’s an innate superhuman.  He is just a man and he has his weaknesses, so the fact that she’s there to save him often, is something that’s very unique,” Blake shared.

Ryan Reynolds was equally pleased with what he’d seen so far telling us that earlier that day was the first time he’d seen the particular footage that we’d been shown.  “I was actually blown away,” he admitted adding “It’s always different when you see it with other people than if you’re just seeming it alone, so it was great.”  He also enjoyed seeing the suit in motion.    

 Speaking about the famous green suit he joked, “It’s becoming my favorite color again.  It took awhile.  We feel out of love for a bit there.  I saw a lot of it for awhile on the green screen.”  It actually took six months of staring at a green screen to produce the desired effect. 

“I’ve never worked on a movie that was effects driven like this, so, you know to see what they showed today and compare that to standing on a soundstage eight months ago with just a giant green box is breathtaking.  It really is amazing,” he shared.  “That costume is actually CGI.  I mean the whole costume is CGI.  The character is wearing a suit that’s made out of energy.  That’s a tough thing to actually put on every day…just wearing a microwave to work, so I was wearing a motion capture suit which was gray.  You look kind of like a crash test dummy.  It’s itchy,” he admitted.    

He also spoke about an earlier independent film he was in that won lots of favorable reviews called “Buried.”  “I had a bit of scope shock when I did “Buried” because I went from this 1.4 million dollar movie to “Green Lantern” literally a week later.  It was totally bizarre.  My co-star was four wooden walls to, you know, well four gigantic green walls.  I think the garbage can budget on “Green Lantern” was more than the budget for “Buried”, so it was kind of a strange shock,” he related.  Currently Reynolds is at work in Capetown on a new film called “Safe House” and he admits to feeling very lucky that he’s able to work playing so many different characters in a variety of genres, which he intends to try to continue to do so long as the studios will let him.

In the final part of our coverage from the CinemaCon press room, Filmmakers Notebook will share a few words from a few of the newer action heroes such as Jason Momoa who will be playing Conan the Barbarian,  Chris Hemsworth, making his appearance soon as Thor and Rose Huntington-Whitley, the newest girl in Transformers.

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