If there is one person that I have been dying to meet and interview it would be Michael Douglas. This man is a legend, especially to all of us who grew up in the 80’s watching his movies. War of the Roses anyone?
Quick Facts About Michael Douglas
For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to grow up with Michael Douglas as the leading man in many Hollywood Blockbusters, I thought I’d give you some quick facts about him.
- Michael was born on September 25, 1944 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
- He is the son of the very famous actor Kirk Douglas.
- He starred in many Hollywood blockbusters including War of the Roses, Romancing the Stone, Fatal Attraction, Wall Street and Basic Instinct.
- Michael is married to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones with whom he shares a birthday with.
- In 2015 Michael was awarded the 2015 Genesis Prize and a $1 million prize.
- Ant-Man is his first Marvel film, and even his first comic-type film.
- In Ant-Man Michael plays Hank Pym.
Exclusive Interview with Michael Douglas
Did you do the research to prepare yourself to play this character?
Well, historically I’m not a comic book guy. I was not as a kid. There was one I kind of followed, but since it’s not in the Marvel world, I don’t think on it necessarily. But when they sent me this script, they sent me also a lovely leather bound book with about two of the Ant Man comics. So before I read the script, I opened that up and sort of familiarized myself with the different characters and a little of the back story.
And of course ironically for these kind of super comic books, it was more character background than you get in most parts you ever play. In terms of, you know, the loss of your wife, the relationship with your daughter. So there was a whole bunch of stuff to actually play once you read it.
With the technology in this movie, how is it different than anything you’ve ever done?
Well one of the exciting things for me about doing this picture is I have never done a special effects movie before. My entire career has actually all been contemporary. Contemporary story lines except for one movie out of I think 50. Everything else was contemporary and there weren’t any kind of effects in them, just a green screen. So I was fascinated by that. And I would spend my time between shots, if I had a break within the four units shooting.
We were the first unit, then you had the second unit which was your stunt unit. Your third unit, which was your special effects, your green screen, and then your fourth unit was that macro unit, was shooting the perspective ant shots. It was fascinating. I was just dealing with the first unit.
In the first unit, we were doing stunts and this and that, but to see how they put four units together using the story boards was inspirational. And it was a lot faster. I mean, how often do you get to do a movie where you get to see yourself 30 years younger. You know, I mean it was wild. It’s been the wildest experience I’ve ever had.
What was your favorite scene to shoot?
I know the ones I liked least. Those were the heavy exposition. You know, I had to carry a lot of the exposition of plot in terms of explaining how things worked and everything You just got to kind of get a momentum going and try to articulate them. And the fact that Peyton, besides being such a good director was an actor earlier in his life and knew my lines better than I did, was a little intimidating. You know, because if I stumbled or flubbed he actually knew these technical names where they got the ants names.
But I enjoyed the Pym Technology scenes. I enjoyed seeing this huge picture of me up there on the wall. I was the founder of the company and just the beautiful work they did on creating that, the designs of that company.
Who was the greatest joy to work with? Who did you have the most fun with?
In this picture? Well, everybody. Kevin Feige and the great production team and I was really happy with Peyton Reed as a director. I think the biggest surprise was Corey. Corey was a great heavy. He was a great, great villain and the scenes I had with him, he brought much more strength and dynamo than I ever had anticipated.
He was great, and he had this whole subplot of kind of me being his father figure and reaching out for my acceptance, which was like haunting. And he played this and it had a real depth to it. Paul, I knew from the beginning and he’s just as easy and wonderful as could be. He’s lovely. And then Evangeline I did not know her range, and so you go wow. There’s no weak spots here. Everybody’s solid.
So I felt, I felt really optimistic about this whole project, you know, right, right from the get-go, because I did not see a weak link anywhere.
Paul Rudd’s a funny guy. How was it working with him on set? Was it all laughs?
He’s just a sweetest, he’s a lovely guy. He’s very unassuming. Obviously, he did some rewriting on the script and was very helpful. Sometimes I would get frustrated where I’d have one of these five minute long monologues explaining everything, and of course, he would have a one-line punch line. Damn, you get a good laugh and all of that. I go sure. I’m working my ass off.
Yeah, you wrote the script, didn’t you? But he’s got an elfish grin and quality about him. He worked it out, maintaining, staying in shape, and then putting in the whole day. So my heart went out to him, but he was fabulous. I happened to see his work. Interesting casting on Marvel’s part. Every film is sort of interesting. I mean, Paul now looks to me like Robert did before the first Iron Man, you know, Robert Downey. Also an excellent actor. And I’m sure this is going to be great for Paul.
Not really having been much into comics and things, what really was your motivation for joining the Marvel universe?
It’s something different, you know, just basically never having been. Two of my best buddies are Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito, and each of them had a great time as the Joker and as the penguin. I remember them talking about it and all that. And just never having been offered anything in this realm before when this came up, I thought, this will be cool.
My 14-year-old son, I told him all about it, and he was like my agent. He said Dad, you know what? This is a whole new audience for you. I say, oh, thanks. You’re right, you know, you’re right. I always try to think of doing something different and I was really curious about effects movies and all of that. And so that really was the reason.
Did you realize you were joining the Marvel universe?
No, I was drinking the Kool Aid. (LAUGHS) It was really interesting and fascinating to see the process of how it works. Early on, when we first started, they were consumed with the Avengers coming out. As far as your crew members are concerned, we were in Georgia at Atlanta at a new studio, and they were tied up for just about a year. And just as we got out of there, the new Captain America was coming in, and those same crew members are going to go on to Captain America.
So there’s a familiarity that brings a comfort factor and a relaxation. 12 out of 12, these guys got a hell of a track record and they seem to know what they’re doing. And so that combined with the talent you’re actually seeing around you makes you feel very secure and I’m happy to be part of the Marvel universe. I didn’t realize I had to get tattooed.
You definitely do not want to miss Michael Douglas in Ant-Man. The movie comes out on July 17th and it is one of my favorite Marvel films to date. I’ll be bringing you more Ant-Man interviews and even a review of the film in the next few weeks so be sure to check back.
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