Marvel’s ANT-MAN is out in theatres on July 17th. The expressions and enthusiasm is priceless when Michael Peña, T.I., and David Dastmalchian (a.k.a the “Antourage”) walk into the interview room with 25 bloggers. They were shocked and genuinely grateful with the warm welcome they received, as proven by their expressions and actions. Michael Peña was so excited, he Instagrammed the event. Possibly one of the humorous interviews I’ve ever been a part of, these three were a genuine hoot for the 16 minutes they spent with us. We basically laughed through the entire interview. There were no somber moments. Even the moments you thought might be somber for a split second were followed by something that made you laugh out loud. I probably had tears rolling down my face.
MICHAEL: Can you tell my wife to do that? You’re amazing.
T.I.: I wish I had a camera of ya’ll.
DAVID: Wait, wait, wait, wait.
MICHAEL: Who’s got, is somebody getting pictures of this? This is awesome.
Bloggers: Whoaaaa!!! [APPLAUSE as Michael take the photo to Instagram] That’s awesome. Tweet it now so we can see it.
On how long it took to do David’s hair
DAVID: Okay really quick, this is great. Yvette Stone you’re seeing right here, she actually did the hair every day. She helped create that look for Kurt. And weren’t you sitting here in the chair for half an hour, 45 minutes.
YVETTE: Yeah, we got it down.
DAVID: We got it down. It starts taking a long time, but by the end of the movie, like man we nailed it, and the tattoos and everything. It was amazing. Make-up Artist Greg Funk did the tattoos, but it’s a cool thing when you’re an actor and you get the physical world that’s created for you.
So like the wardrobe nailed exactly what I thought about Kurt, the hair. And I would come out of hair and make-up and put on my wardrobe and I walk out of my trailer and look in the mirror, and I’d be like, “This is good.”
On their favorite scene
MICHAEL: I’m still on Instagram mode. Look how awesome it is man.
T.I.: You kidding me. Get out of town. All of the scenes that we did together to me were funny. A lot of the van stuff. You don’t remember the first night we were in that van, the van in San Francisco?
MICHAEL: Instagram bro, Instagram. [EVERYONE LAUGHS]
T.I.: …in San Francisco. I think it was the scene when Scott was breaking into Hank Pym’s house for the first time. I mean, the stuff that didn’t make it on screen, now that’s the goal. That’s the action.
MICHAEL: I mean, that would be another kind of movie.
DAVID: You know what man, I have to ask you was that line, “I let you let me?”
T.I.: Yeah that was…
MICHAEL: Yeah that got a huge laugh, and there was only 10 of us in the…
DAVID: It was intimidating too. It’s scary. ‘Cause we’re big fans of these guys and everybody in the film and so the time we’re sitting here in the van. And they started to just go and rif, too. And they made me feel really welcome immediately, which was a great feeling. You feel more creatively free to do that, but like there were some jokes, obviously not all of ‘em can make it in the film, but….
MICHAEL:…of very poor taste.
T.I.: Oh man.
MICHAEL: And dancing, we had some fun dancing.
T.I.: Yeah. And you know every time he would make a joke because him and Luis and Scott were cellmates supposedly. So every time…
MICHAEL: No we were cell mates bro.
T.I.: Yeah. So every time they’d make mention of, “You know it’s just like when we were in the cell,” and we were like, “Oh really? Oh.” You know things like that.
MICHAEL: You get close bro.
DAVID: And then you don’t talk about cells.
T.I.: Yeah exactly.
MICHAEL: Yo the first thing about prison: you don’t talk about prison. Unless you wanna’ talk about prison.
On Michael’s story telling hilarity and how much of that is him in real life
MICHAEL: No. I was always a quiet kid, to be honest.
MICHAEL: Yeah. I remember I got messages on Facebook, “Out of all people to be an actor you’re the guy?” [EVERYONE LAUGHS]. My best friend’s from Chicago and he was like, “Yeah dude. You know he was the quiet kid.” I was Captain of the Wrestling team and Track Team, and you know I loved sports and stuff. So that’s the only way that I really made friends, but I was kind of a nerd, to be honest. It’s hard to believe.
T.I.: You know man, me too.
MICHAEL: Were you really?
T.I.: Hell no.
MICHAEL: You know what, but he’s a smart dude though. He knows. T.I. being a nerd. I’m like, “I would believe it.” He’s a smart dude. I mean, he doesn’t rap about like just dumb shit, you know.
DAVID: …right tho ‘cause we know, I know him. I know he’s done some comedy work before, but he’s so famous for these killer dramatic roles and stuff. And the first time we’re on set and he started making T.I. and I just bust out, I was like that’s not the dude that I was expecting.
DAVID: He’s so brilliant in this film, and I love it.
MICHAEL: I’m imitating this guy, I won’t say his name, but he’s in my neighborhood. And I had the blessing of going to prep school and living in the ghetto, you know what I mean? Is what happens or whatever. And so I’d travel like an hour in the morning just to get to that school, come back and then all of a sudden “Dave’s” like, “And how did it go man? You want a nickel bag?” And I’m like, “No man, I’m good man. I gotta’ study and stuff.” He said, “But if you don’t want a nickel bag it’s cool.” You know, what I mean? “I got your bank. A regular you know what I’m saying?”
And then you know he’s the kind of dude that you always see. He got a girl pregnant when he was 13. Yeah, which is amazing, but he’s a really great dad, when he’s not in jail. And he’s the kind of dude that was like, “Hey whatcha’ do this weekend?” And he’s like, “Uh, I went to jail, guy.” “What you go to jail for?” He’s like, “Just smokin’ weed.” And I was like, “Actually, like smokin’ weed is not illegal.” Like what, what, show me what happened.”
He’s like, “So literally I was like—,” and he uses big words. “You know, I like, I smokin’ and smokin’.” “Smokin’s bad.” He’s like, “Hey man put it out you know.” And he’s like, “No problem.” And he’s like, “Then took me to jail, guy.” And I’m like, “Yeah dude they’re gonna’ take you to jail every time man.”
So it was like I was waitin’ for a movie to put that character in there. It was odd because he’s the most optimistic criminal that I’ve ever met in my life. But, you know, everybody loves him, but at the same time, like, you gotta’ be kidding me. So, that’s Luis.
On getting involved with the project
DAVID: I auditioned in January of 2014 for Sarah Finn (the Cast Director for this film), and I auditioned for it and I got the sides and the role description, and it’s so different than anything I’ve gotten to do before. And my immediate goal was like, “Hey I’m a huge comic geek.”
And I’ve loved comics my whole life. And I want something that my mom can go to the cinema and watch and not be terrified, ‘cause I tend to play some creepy guys. So I went after it, and I created a voice and the character, and then she liked it so she for the Director at that time and I got to read for him, and he liked it.
And then I got to go to test. So it was a very long process for me. Two auditions and then a test, and then I got the part, and then everything started to change. I was like, “Oh my gosh, am I still gonna’ get to do a part in the film?” And then my Manager called me like 2 months after we were starting and goes, “Great news. You’re going to Atlanta to test. Uh to do tests.”
And I didn’t understand what that meant, and I had a newborn at home, and I was very frazzled, and I was very nervous. And I thought okay like I’m gonna’ go and do another audition. So I went to Atlanta, and Michael was there and everybody else. And I’m meeting everybody and I’m so nervous. And I realize what they meant by that kind of test. ‘Cause like hair and make-up test. It’s like I had the part. I was in.
There was this whole few moments where the guys were playing with the Ant-Man and Yellowjacket toys we had on the table during the interviews.
They’re playing with dolls.
T.I.: Sorry. I’m, I’m sorry.
DAVID: No, no, no. It’s my story.
T.I.: You know, I apologize.
DAVID: Where, where’s ours?
MICHAEL: I gotta’ take a picture for Instagram.
DAVID: Yeah exactly. That’s another Instagram picture. Ant-Man with coffee. Like get off my SSSSSSS——
DAVID: Sorry. No, no, no. You say su’um serious ‘cause it’s good, it’s good. Go, go. It’s your turn!
I was going to take a photo of them playing with the toys and the coffee cup because it was funny, but then it turned inappropriate, and frankly, that wasn’t a moment I could capture for posterity. I literally said, “Oh, I can’t take that photo,” set my camera back on the table, and said “I’m out.”
T.I.: For me, I think along when it was first mentioned that there would be uh an Ant-Man film someone mentioned me in association with it, and all over the blogs and everywhere. Like, “Yo T.I.’s gonna’ be in it.” And I was like, “I have no idea what you’re talkin’ about.”
And uh I don’t know who it was or what it was that you know that, that mentioned me, but I think over the years different people fell out and there were starts and stops and starts and stops. And so finally maybe 2 weeks or 3 weeks before they began shooting I got a call saying, “Are you in Atlanta?” “Yeah.” “Well can you go do an emergency reading for Ant-Man over at…?” “Yeah okay, I guess.” And so…
MICHAEL: It must be cool being a rapper. If I have to.
T.I.: I go and read and they give me a bunch of anonymous scenes to read and they called me back. And so then I have to find a way to re-arrange the rest of my schedule to actually take advantage of this great opportunity to do this film.
DAVID: And he’s got a crazy schedule. I swear to God. He’d fly in like that morning oh so many times.
MICHAEL: From around the world.
DAVID: Yeah. “Oh I was in Africa last night playing…”
MICHAEL: Yeah. You know we could never complain.
T.I.: I did go to Africa.
MICHAEL: On Friday and we were shootin’ on Monday. He’s like, “Wow.”
On philanthropic synergy of working with Marvel (T.I. works with the Boys and Girls Club and Marvel is philanthropic as well)
T.I.: I mean I think that’s just a positive coincidence. I never considered the philanthropic synergy that we had could have been created for this. I never really thought about it that way man. I mean of course, if there’s anything that we can do together to help the people in the underserved areas of society that’s always a consideration.
The #ANTourage is a highlight of the movie. Ant-Man is getting more in the MCU and fans will want more of the ANTourage.
DAVID: You like that? Alright let’s make it stick. Alright put it out there. Well I wrote a new script the other night.
MICHAEL: What’s MCU?
T.I.: Marvel Cinematic Universe.
DAVID: Trust me. I’ve got the whole thing, we show up with Dr. Strange, we’re gonna’ help all of his hair and his style. But, yes that’s a dream.
T.I.: Even cooler though is they should give us a comic book.
DAVID: Oh see, you put that out there.
T.I.: A comic book for us.
DAVID: The comic’s so great and fun for people ‘cause we don’t, not everybody has superpowers right? But these guys, we’re good at something.
What do you do with the thing that you’re good at? Are you gonna’ do something good in your life or are you gonna’ do you know what our past is or our characters? And I love that. I think that’s what makes these films great for audiences, too, and families. I can see myself, that’s us. We are the audience, in a sense. The three of us.
And, and it’s funny, too, because we’re with Paul who’s one of the funny guys on the planet, and yet all the great comedy in the film is—I mean there’s tons of big comedy from everybody, but it’s—
T.I.: Was it written to be comedic? I didn’t read it as funny.
DAVID: Slightly, slightly, slightly. ‘Cause Stan Lee in the comics, how he’s had comedy in them. You know they have humor. I think more humor than comedy in this movie, yeah.
T.I.: It seemed like you know when we just all saw that we were around a group of goofballs. Like, “Oh okay, we’re gonna’ goof off a little bit.” It just, it just happened to work.
On being a bigger comedian [than usual]
MICHAEL: The what? Bigger comedian. What you don’t like Paul Rudd? I’m like is that a compliment or is that…
You know, Paul had a lot to do. You can’t really go for the joke when you’re trying to propel the story. So I would do stuff that the Director would be like, “Yeah that’s too much.” I think it helped that I based it off somebody who, you know, that actually exists. So I had infinite ideas about what he could do. But it’s more of a compliment and then when I see Paul…
On T.I.’s conversation when he told his kids he were going to do Ant-Man
T.I.: You know my kids they’re jaded, you know. I mean, so when I tell ‘em I’m going to work and I’m about to do Ant-Man. They’re like, “Ant-Man? What’s that?”
“He’s a Marvel character like the Avengers.” “Oh you’re gonna’ be in the Avengers!?” “No.” “No I’m gonna’ be in the Avengers.” “Well I’m gonna’ be in Ant-Man.”
“Well I don’t know Ant-Man. Is Ant-Man in the Avengers?” “Well, technically in the comic, not the movie.” “Will he be in the movie?” “No, no.” “Okay, well you gonna’ wear a costume?” “No, I’m not wearing a costume. You know just forget about it. Don’t worry about it. I’ll be back.”
[There was a] conversation that was recorded, they actually came in my office when I was kind of preparing myself to go read for [Ant-Man]. And they were kind of just buggin’ me, and they made me make them superhero costumes. And that was my two youngest sons, and that was actually recorded for Family Hustle.
Marvel’s ANT-MAN, one of the original members of the Avengers, makes his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut this summer following the global, critical and box office success of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. ANT-MAN stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Douglas and is in theaters everywhere on July 17th!
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ANT-MAN opens in theaters everywhere on July 17th!
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