Transformers Set Visit: Tyrese Gibson


Model/Rapper/Actor Tyrese Gibson is showing off his dramatic side again, this time co-starring along side Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox and Josh Duhamel in Paramount Pictures’ Transformers as a military soldier who is in command of all the air operations. Hype! caught up with the multitalented star in downtown Los Angeles where he was shooting and he talked to us about what it’s like starring in the big screen adaptation.

CS/SHH!: You were a soldier in “Annapolis” and now again?
Tyrese: Oh my God, this is much more of a soldier than the “Annapolis” movie.

CS/SHH!: Were you a fan of the toys?
Tyrese: Loved it. I was just talking to my mom the other day and she said, “Well, I guess it wasn’t bad that you missed homework all that many times after all.” Now I know all about the movie. All they can do is give me my lines. I know everything about Transformers, Decepticons everything.

CS/SHH!: What are they doing right and wrong to adapt this?
Tyrese: I think the only thing people are going to be disappointed in, it’s all over the internet already, but Bumblebee is not a bumblebee. It’s a Camaro. But other than that, I think Michael Bay and Spielberg, when you think of the idea of them putting their heads together for one film, they both are doing incredibly well by themselves. So I don’t really think between the opinion of Spielberg and Bay you could ever go wrong. The beautiful thing for me is sometimes you can get a huge director to do the first one but blows up and he decides for whatever reason not to do the second oneĀ… the beautiful thing is even though I know both of them will still be a part of the sequel, if Michael Bay decides I’d rather go do something else, we’ve still got Spielberg. Nothing like having an incredible cushion.

CS/SHH!: How much fun dressing as a soldier and fighting robots?
Tyrese: You talking about running up the street from things that ain’t there? I love it, man. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done ever, as far as an actor. It’s a dream come true to work with Michael Bay. When I was doing “2 Fast 2 Furious,” they were filming “Bad Boys II” in Miami. I remember I went to the set to visit Martin and Will and they were just schooling me on the $20 million club. I went to the set and it was big for me, like damn, that’s Michael Bay. Now I’m on the set working with Michael Bay. That’s the real deal.

CS/SHH!: Are you making $20 million?
Tyrese: No, no, not 20 million.

CS/SHH!: What’s harder, singing or acting?
Tyrese: Singing is much harder. You can take like three days to do one song.

CS/SHH!: Seen any completed footage?
Tyrese: Oh yeah. Ooh. Ooh. This movie is something. This movie is going to be something.

CS/SHH!: What’s the craziest thing you’ve gotten to do?
Tyrese: You know what? As soon as I think I’ve topped it all, we show up and wow. All I can say is everything is much bigger and much greater and much grander than you could ever imagine every single day. This is actually medium compared to what we’re used to seeing when we show up to the set. Big huge like whoah. Just crazy. This is the biggest thing ever, man. It’s almost like there’s no limit to the things they can go by and do with this film.

CS/SHH!: Talk about working with real SEALS and real Rangers?
Tyrese: Oh, it’s crazy. Crazy thing is we had actors in the film that were dressed up just like us and they’ve already died and they actually got the SEAL guys still alive. So the SEAL guys made it and the actors that were playing SEALs died. They’re gone. I guess they were able to put on a believable death before they had to go.

CS/SHH!: Who is your character?
Tyrese: Josh is our captain. I’m a combat controller so we’re like the ying and yang. He’s telling everybody that’s on the floor around us what to do, and I’m telling everybody in the air what to do. All the B2 bombers, B2 stealth bombers and all of the helicopters and Black Hawks and Medivacs and whatever else, they’re all going under my command. I’m the CCT, combat controller.

CS/SHH!: Any internal conflict there?
Tyrese: Oh no, we don’t have any internal conflicts at all. There’s not one moment in this film where he’s going to decide to do something and I’d say, “Why would you ever do something!” We’re not at odds. We’re having a good time.

CS/SHH!: Favorite Transformer?
Tyrese: Yeah, Michael Bay. The greatest Transformer of all time.

CS/SHH!: As a fan, did you care about having the original voices?
Tyrese: I didn’t really get that far into it. I’m a fan of the thing but I’m not going to go on the internet and have an argument with somebody about the possibility of there being a new Megatron voice or Decepticon voice. It’s all good. I told Michael Bay, I’ve got a nice voice. Let’s have me doing a little voiceover work. I won’t tell nobody.

CS/SHH!: Did he go for it?
Tyrese: He just went he he he.

CS/SHH!: You have two big gashes today?
Tyrese: That’s makeup.

CS/SHH!: So the humans are taking a hard time?
Tyrese: No, no, we’ve just been going through some things. Sometime when you’re running, you trip and fall, scrape your neck.

CS/SHH!: Do you ride in any Transformers?
Tyrese: No. I know, right? It’s messed up.

CS/SHH!: But the army vehicles are cool?
Tyrese: Oh yeah, I love it. We’ve been having a good time though. This will be the biggest film of 2007. Guaranteed. No questions asked. And I’m just honored, very honored all over again to be a part of it. There’s no one day that I show up to this set like all right, I’m used to it, I’m here, I’ve arrived. It’s a big deal.

CS/SHH!: Can you talk about Anthony Anderson’s scenes?
Tyrese: He has a little more than a cameo. He’s probably worked all of 15 days so far, what I know.

CS/SHH!: And what about Jon Voight?
Tyrese: Oh yeah. My honor. I call him pops. That’s my pops. Jon Voight is subtle. He’s very subtle. He’s one of them type of guys that if you do a scene really well, he’ll just look at you when nobody else is looking and do like this. Then when he turns away, you’re like Yaaaa!

CS/SHH!: Are they making an action figure of you?
Tyrese: Oh man, that would be nice. Maybe they can draw me some muscles I don’t have.

CS/SHH!: How did you survive the desert heat?
Tyrese: Ooh, barely did, man. Ooh, that was a problem. It’s a lot of work, man. A lot of work to be out there making all that stuff happen in that hot sun. One day it was 124 degrees and we were in the sand dunes, the white sand dunes. The sun was beaming off the ground and it was heavy on your eyes. It was a big challenge working out there but we was out there for four days and we at least shot probably 25% of the movie there because he works fast. He probably does 30-40 setups a day. He got camera angles everywhere you can think of. He’s not going to miss a beat. That’s why my appreciation for him as just a director went through the roof. You look around, everybody on this entire street is here because of this film and he knows what everybody on this entire street is supposed to be doing on this film. Including the camera people, including the lighting, including all of us as the actors. It’s hard. I know some directors who can’t even handle this amount of actors, let alone a cast and a crew and know everything. He don’t miss a beat. He can tell you what you did wrong through the smoke.

CS/SHH!: Favorite Transformer?
Tyrese: I can’t say. Don’t even try it. He thinks he’s slick.

CS/SHH!: Are you doing a superhero, Cage?
Tyrese: I don’t know. Why’d the microphones get so close? Right now, they’re doing a rewrite on the film and John Singleton got me at the top of his list. I’m not full on committed to the project but it’s something that I’m extremely interested in. Met up with Neal Moritz a few times about it, met up with Avi Arad a few times about it. We’ll see what happens. It’s not my movie, for the record, but it’s something they’re really interested in me being a part of. I’m interested in being a part of it and I think we’ll be able to determine if John Singleton, if me or whoever else is going to be on the project, we’re waiting on the product. We can’t do a movie without a good bible. What are we going to read?

CS/SHH!: Your stock will go up after Transformers?
Tyrese: Oh, I’m rich. I’m rich. Oh, I’m rich. No. Not yet. I can enjoy my modest years because it’s on the way. Ooh.

CS/SHH!: Your production company?
Tyrese: Right now we got about 12 different projects in development and about four of them are set up at studios. And it’s called HQ Pictures. It’s one of my more prouder accolades because you out here looking for projects, trying to figure out what you should attach yourself too and not too many people got the courage to go and try to do it themselves. So we’ve got a bunch of directors looking at various projects, bunch of actors reading and actresses reading. Right now it’s crazy. We’re having a little back and forth amongst a few agencies about representing my production company.

Transformers hits theaters on July 4.