Battle of Britain
: Interview with Transformers: The Last Knight
's Mark Wahlberg
and Sir Anthony
HopkinsBattle of Britain: Interview with Transformers: The Last Knight
's Mark Wahlberg
and Sir Anthony
HopkinsMelissa Sheasgreen6/16/2017 11:19:00 AmMark Wahlberg
and Sir Anthony Hopkins
are backstage at Caesars Palace’s Colosseum theatre in Las Vegas to talk about Transformers: The Last Knight
Wahlberg (Boogie Nights, The Fighter
, Lone Survivor
) arrives first, very casual, to what’s essentially a converted dressing room, and Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs
, Thor, TV’s Westworld
) follows. The two joke around as they set up for the interview.
is new to the film franchise based on the Hasbro/Tomy toys that convert from cars to alien robots and back again. He plays Sir Edmund Burton, a historian with important information about the Transformers
’ time on Earth, while Wahlberg reprises his role of Cade Yeager, the mechanic who came to the aid of the Autobots (the good robots) in 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction
. Michael Bay
is once again at the helm.
This time, Yeager leaves his family to search for information that will save the relationship between humans and Autobots and, in turn, save the world.
Where do we pick up?
Wahlberg: “Well, for me, when you meet Cade at the beginning of this film I’ve had to make a big decision and, basically, in order to give my daughter an attempt at a normal life I have to go on the run. So I leave everything that I know as far as home and family, I’m kind of hiding out in the desert and I get summoned by this gentleman’s character [points at Hopkins] and I get thrust into this world of basically trying to pursue and find some information in order to save the world and our relationship with the Autobots. It’s really a great kind of a fish out of water, me, thrust into this world in England with sophisticated, fancy-talking folks that like to make fun of me; Cade’s from Texas. And Cade’s a little taken by them as well.”
No pressure, just saving the world, right?
Wahlberg: “Well, this is what we do.”
And what about your character, Anthony
Hopkins: “Well I play the kind of English lord, or knight, ancient family, that typical archetypal Englishman who sees Americans and is curious about them, never unfriendly.”
Wahlberg: “Kind of like a puppy.”
Hopkins: “Kind of like a puppy. Yes, these chaps, you know, very interesting these Americans. See, [in real life] I was raised with Americans as a kid during the war, because I’m that old, and so my dream was to come to America so I had an appreciation of that. So that’s part of my personality, and my character’s as well. I have the attention span of a gnat so I can’t describe the total scheme of the script to you because it’s so complicated to read.”
Wahlberg: “He’s really educating us on the origins of the Transformers
, when they’re coming to our world, as well as the mythology, so it’s amazing to see him rattling off these amounts of dialogue and monologues pretty much effortlessly, and then to say that he has the attention span of a gnat is just him being humble because it was impressive. I’m one who really prides myself on being prepared and to see him show up like that and make everyone’s job a lot easier was impressive.”
Yeah, but as actors you need to do this every day all the time, right?
Hopkins: “Yeah, but you see, he [pointing at Wahlberg] does great stuff with improvising and I love that.”
Wahlberg: “Well, we had so much opportunity to really play around and there are so many laughs, and his character, I think what he brought to it too is he was just so excited to be there and his energy was really infectious and everybody kind of fed off of that and the humour and to see him say some of the things that he says are really going to get big, big laughs.”
Hopkins: “Sincerely, this sounds like such bull, but for me to be involved in an American movie, as I’ve been involved in many of them, especially in that ethos of English society and aristocracy and working with Michael Bay
and Mark, it’s a great feeling because you get so bored watching serious movies and everything’s so boring and Michael Bay
comes on set with Mark Wahlberg
and you don’t have a chance to be bored, you just don’t have a chance, you have to keep up with it.”
Give me an example.
“There’s a wonderful moment when we’re at Stonehenge and Michael Bay
comes into my trailer, and we were at Stonehenge, 5,000 years ago it was established, and there’s another Stonehenge that the art department had built down the road so they could blow up bombs and all that. So Michael comes into my trailer and says, ‘So we’re at the real Stonehenge, yeah?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ And he said, ‘Ours is much better than theirs.’ [Laughs.] Only an American would say that…. That’s what I love about America and working with Americans. You don’t have time to be precious and holier than thou, too thoughtful, because it’s so boring, all that stuff [pretends to snore while Wahlberg laughs]. It’s true, I was watching PBS, classic movies, after four minutes, that’s it, bye.”
Does this mean you’re doing all your own stunts in this movie?
Hopkins: “Oh, I did all of my own stunts, didn’t I? [Turns to Wahlberg, joking.]”
Wahlberg: “Yeah. And even all that you’re saying is not deterring me from wanting to be English and be a knight.”
Hopkins: “He wants to be a knight. I’ll see what I can do with the queen.”
Wahlberg: “Thank you.”
What do you think will surprise audiences most about this movie?
Wahlberg: “That Mike was still able to create new and exciting and fresh elements to this story, and new characters, and making it more exciting and more interesting than the last.”Bigger
action and better stunts?
Wahlberg: “Yup. And new characters, the whole thing.”
Hopkins: “It’s a well-written script, isn’t it?”
Wahlberg: “Yeah, it’s hard and frustrating not to give away the good bits of the story because there are so many twists and turns and things that people are really going to be surprised about.”
Melissa Sheasgreen is a content producer for the Cineplex Pre-Show.
See Transformers: The Last Knight
when it hits theatres June 21st!