The actors tend to be props in big action movies. Transformers has CGI robots tearing through the city and the soldier boys just have to run away and try to fire back. Just to play those simple parts, they had to be in tip top shape. Stars like Josh Duhamel went through the usual Hollywood-style boot camp to prepare.
Josh Duhamel on Fighting Transformers
"Well, when we first started, the first sort of boot camp that we had to go to was more of an intensive on what they actually do," said Duhamel. "The amount of training, they basically tried to emulate as closely as they can to what it’s going to be like when they go to Iraq. They’re out in Fort Irwin and we spent two or three days out there just following them around. In the middle of the night there’s attacks that come in. They get up and they have to go find out and find them. It’s as close to real as it’s going to get."
Since some of the real Rangers and SEALs appear in the movie as part of Duhamel's unit, they became fast friends. "I still hang out with those guys quite a bit. They all actually went with me to the MTV Movie Awards. I still talk with all of them. Two of them are on my list for the premiere. They’re just fun dudes. First of all, they don’t take anything too serious because they’ve seen so much."
Shooting the action scenes out of sequence taught Duhamel not to overthink his acting in the big spectacle. "It’s a big blur, to be honest. That last fight scene, when we first started shooting it I tried to follow it scene by scene. 'Okay, this scene 117A. Okay, this is when we’re running from the building here and Megatron is following us.' And then after two days of that I was like, 'F*** that.' I just went where I was supposed to and looked where I was supposed to look, because you don’t know."
To be fair, Duhamel knew exactly what he was getting into from the beginning. "[Michael Bay] tells you before, ‘I demand a lot of my guys in these movies.’ So you just basically know that you have to go in and you can’t be a pussy. Run when he tells you to run, dive when he tells you to dive. And if he tells you to say something, you just say it. Shia obviously had a lot of opportunities to play with the robots and whatnot. We basically spent most of our time running from them and shooting at them. But it’s fun. I felt like a kid out there playing Star Wars or something."
Transformers is out in theaters.
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