On a brisk but sunny Sunday afternoon at Fox Studios Australia, the massive green carpet rolled out to host the premiere of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Four cinemas filled quickly with free pizza to enjoy while the two stars of the film, Will Arnett and Megan Fox, joined producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller to celebrate their new version of the heroes of a half shell.
Hello Will. You were part of a great major action scene in this movie; did it give you a taste of doing more action films as opposed to comedy?
Will Arnett – Yes, I really liked it, definitely a departure for me. Megan is really good at it; she knows what she’s doing in those scenarios. For me, it was new and I kind of learned from Megan.
And you were the unlikely romantic lead.
W.A. – That’s right. I was the dude; I think I handled that OK.
This is a change in your usual roles.
W.A. – I wanted to do something a little bit different. I’ve played many characters that were kind of damaged or a guy who walks into a room and says a funny line. I wanted to actually do something, and an action film seemed to fit.
Did you seek out the role with producers or how did it come your way?
W.A. – We sniffed each others’ butts, like dogs. (laughs) It paid off after the audition process.
Do you have any Ninja-like qualities?
W.A. – Yes, I can be pretty quiet and nimble. Lots of people actually say that I move like a dancer. Then they ask how much dancing have you done; “very little” is my response.
You worked with Robin Williams on RV; great movie. What are your memories of that shoot with him?
W.A. – You know, Robin was such a warm, lovely guy. I remember when we found out during the Conan O’Brien show, devastated. We sat out afterwards just talking about him; I was trying to tell people that as funny as he was, we all felt like we knew Robin. He was even better personally than you think he would be, sweet, nice, kind. One of his best ever qualities he had and not a lot of comedians have it, he wants to laugh and he liked other people to make him laugh. He was very generous to all.
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Hello Megan, pleased to meet you. Now I noticed your nail polish was green throughout most of the movie – was that planned or a coincidence?
Megan Fox – I wanted an interesting color; we went with green because it was a nod to the Turtles, foreboding for the iconic characters.
I believe you were a fan of the original show and earlier movies. Did you feel under pressure at all to successfully continue the Turtles legacy?
M.F. – In a way, but I think the producers were under more pressure to make something the fans love. I trusted them and felt like they were reaching into the Turtles personalities, which is most interesting to me. I took the movie out of trust. It could have gone wrong, but I hoped for the best and I think they did a good job.
Your character April O’Neil is known for a yellow jumpsuit in the original show.
M.F. – I know. We made a design up to especially fit, and we were going to put it in. However, in 2014, it’s hard to work a yellow jumpsuit into the modern world. For the most part April is in a yellow jacket, but the jumpsuit exists and I know the producers want to find a way to incorporate it into the sequel.
M.F. – Yeah, sure do, Mikey (Michelangelo), because he is funny and doesn’t take himself too seriously. No one wants to be Raphael, especially being so grouchy and no fun, don’t you think?
You have two little boys. Is this a movie you could share with them at a certain point?
M.F. – Eventually, as the oldest one is not even 2. One day I want them to see it because I want them to think I’m amazing. (laughs)
Do your children change the way you choose the roles you want to take now?
M.F. – It does; it makes me want to be able to do things that they will be able to watch. It will be a very long time before I can show them something like Jennifer’s Body. It would be traumatizing for them. In fact, there is no appropriate time for them to watch that; so it is in the back of my mind.
Again you show how excellent you are in action sequences during this film. However, your comic timing is apparent too. Would you like to do a full on comedy one day other than extended cameos (This is 40, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People)?
M.F. – It was great to be part of This is 40; the part was small, but it was a full blown comedy. I think so as I definitely love the levity on set. It is just nice to go to work and have fun with your cast-mates on a comedy, a unique experience.
Passion Play is one of your best performances ever. How was Mickey Rourke to work with as a romantic lead?
M.F. – Thank you, and he was wonderful. I loved Mickey so much; he was like a big teddy bear.
As Megan walked over for some final photos, she shook my hand and thanked me for the chat.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is now playing in theaters.
All photos taken by Shane A. Bassett