Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell Discuss Fantastic Four

Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell Discuss Fantastic Four

Shakefire had the opportunity to sit down with the superhero cast of Fantastic Four. Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm/Human Torch), Kate Mara (Sue Storm/Invisible Woman), and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/The Thing) talked about what it was like on set, what they'd like to see in the sequel, and one of their favorite scenes to film that was ultimately left on the cutting room floor.


Shakefire (SF): How fun was the set?
Michael B. Jordan (MBJ): The chemistry between the cast is something we’re proud of. I think we’re all pretty close, didn’t mind getting up and going to work. It was fun.


SF: Did you do anything together before filming started to create that chemistry?
Jamie Bell (JB): We went to New Orleans once.
MBJ: Yeah, yeah, we definitely had a little, uh, escapade.
JB: I call it team building.
MBJ: In New Orleans of all places, so you can imagine we had a great time...we won’t remember.
Kate Mara KM): I remember all of it.


SF: What was like reuniting with Josh Trank, having previously worked together on Chronicle?
MBJ: I think it was just growth, seeing how everybody grew in two years from one project to the next. The size of the project was ten-fold compared to Chronicle, with that one being an origin story and completely original, and this one kinda following the legacy of Fantastic Four and how he adapted that material to make it into something fresh. And it’s an origin story in its own right as well, because you’re being reintroduced into these characters for the first time. You see them pre-accident, pre-powers, and watch them grow into what they become. Josh was very specific about the characters and what he wanted the performances to be like and the tone of it all. I guess being more in control, in charge of this one. The other one was a little more collaborative, as far as the actors; it was his first time out. Now he’s solidified himself as a director.


SF: The project was quite secretive. There were never many set photos or anything that showed up online. Did that drive you crazy at all or were you itching to talk about it to people?
MBJ: It’s just hard being asked the questions you don’t have the answers to. They always think you’re trying to be super vague or something, but it’s like “I don’t know shit,” right? I guess that was annoying at times, but that comes with the territory when you’re doing these bigger projects, these big studio films, and everybody’s trying to be super top secret and not have anything leak and keep things as close to home as possible.


SF: What kind of research did you do for your roles in terms of reading the comics or did you want your performance to be fresh and not be influenced by the past?
KM: It’s hard to not be curious about the comics that have been written, especially because I didn’t grow up reading comics. I knew a little about Fantastic Four, but not enough to get me...once I knew I was doing the film, of course I was excited and wanted to see what that world looks like. But Josh Trank and Simon Kinberg were really specific about which story we were telling. You can’t really do research on that because when you’re trying to make something unique and new and create a totally different world there’s nothing you can really look at for that. It’s mostly just trusting in what script we had and what world our director wanted to create.


SF: There’s talk about a 2018 crossover with X-Men. Would you rather see them team up or fight?
MBJ: Both.
JB: Yeah, I’d love to bash up someone. I’d love to bash up Wolverine.


SF: But he’s done after his next film.
JB: But I’d love to bat him before he’s done.


SF: So who wins?
JB: Oh, I’d batter him. I’m telling ya. He’s not getting up.


SF: Jamie, was it a relief or a disappointment that it was mostly CGI for you?
JB: Anonymity is really important to me. I don’t know why. I usually hide behind affectations of a character. It’s just easy for an actor to do that because you’re less on display. I think Josh had a test for me when I first sat down and was like, “You did Tin-Tin but how do you feel about your face never being seen?” and I was like, “It was perfect. It was the perfect role.” because I can still go and get coffee and walk my kid and not get noticed. Anonymity is great; I love it. If I can hide behind a kid with a quiff or a guy made of rocks, for me as an actor it’s really great because I get to hide myself and be something else completely.


SF: What about you two as well? Michael you’re character’s on fire much of the time and Kate you have all these force shields and can go invisible. What was it like on set when you know you might look a little ridiculous at first, but completely different when the final product comes out?
KM: I thought that was challenging, for me it was anyway, because you have no idea what it’s going to look like. It really is a trust exercise. You just have to really trust the people that are on the team with you who are creating it and the director and everybody else. I’d say the first couple of days of using our powers and figuring out what that means and what that looks like, for me that was a scary sort of time. Then once you own it and feel like it’s yours it was less scary.


SF: How many of your own stunts did you do, and what kind of training did you guys have for them?
MBJ: A lot of the major stuff; we had a great second unit, a great second unit. A lot of the visual effects come into play that save us from actually being in a physical situation and going through choreographed stuff. Whenever we could and whenever insurance would allow us to get up on high wires and, for me to fly around, it was pretty awesome. It was pretty cool. The rigs and stuff like that were pretty fun. Getting shot up into the air like 80 feet and then landing, stuff like that. It was pretty cool.


SF: What makes Sue stand out, particularly given the discussion surrounding female superheroes and their representation in these movies or lack thereof. Do you think Sue stands out in that regard? Do you believe she’s a positive step forward for women superheroes?
KM: The thing I love about Sue, and all the characters in this specific comic book, is that we’re all equals. It has nothing to do with her being female. That to me was appealing. It was never a question of, “Oh, she’s the female superhero so she’s getting the short end of the stick.” I didn’t feel that way with our story. I’m not really sure about other female superheroes, but I do think that Sue is very strong on our own, but in our story I think that they’re all very much equal.


SF: Is there anything about the sequel that you want to see or not see?
JB: I’d like to see more of how the characters interact with one another. This film very much is to get them to that point, taking them as people you don’t know through this transition to characters that you can recognize. For the next film, it should take it further and see them interact with one another. Things between me and Johnny gets a little bit more antagonistic. More of a blossoming love story between Reed and Sue, maybe. More of a family dynamic. Stuff like that would be great. There’s a wealth of material there that of course in a 90-minute runtime of an origin story is difficult to get to.


SF: What about villains? Any villains in particular you want to see?
JB: You can’t get away from Silver Surfer. I know that was, chronologically speaking, the next film in the old franchise. I think Silver Surfer is really cool looking.
MBJ: Namor is pretty cool. I think he’s pretty much the strongest mutant right now. It would be a pretty interesting battle.


SF: And Sue is right in the middle of that, too.
MBJ: Oh for sure. I’d love to see the classic story where he’s running rampant and the only reason he’ll stop is if he gets a real kiss from Sue. That would make a great storyline for the sequel.


SF: With a sequel already in the works and rumor of an X-Men crossover, were you ever worried about being locked into something like this for years to come?
KM: It’s definitely a huge decision to sign on to potentially three movies, but because we knew, for me anyway, who the rest of the guys were and I love them all so much as actors and now I love them all so much as people, I felt good about that and knowing that I would feel safe acting with them and being challenged in however many years time down the road. That was exciting to me. More exciting than scary.


SF: Is there any particular scene you’re really excited to see?
JB: Yeah, I had a scene with Kate and apparently it’s cut. I was really excited about it!

KM: It was so cute. Apparently it was too cute.
JB: I think it was too cute because the love interest is all wrong.
MBJ: I have no idea what you are talking about.
KM: Yeah, you wouldn’t because it was a scene between us and you were like, “blah, blah, blah.”
JB: It was a scene where Dr. Storm was at Reed’s house trying to tell his parents how talented Reed is and his parents are going like, “Okay, we don’t know where our son is, but okay.” She’s waiting outside and I bike up to Reed’s house kinda awkward because she’s a girl. But really I just played the scene flirting with Sue Storm, so it was kinda fun.
KM: And that was the first scene I shot. It wasn’t the first scene you shot?
JB: No. But it was fun. Cut!


Fantastic Four releases in theaters later this week on August 7, 2015.