This past Saturday, Nuke the Fridge’s Ellie Cea attended a press conference for Marvel‘s Ant-Man. The cast included Paul Rudd “Scott Lang/Ant-Man,” Michael Douglas “Hank Pym,” the stunning Evangeline Lilly “Hope Van Dyne,” Corey Stoll “Darren Cross /Yellowjacket,” Michael Peña “Luis Peña,” T.I. “Dave,” David Dastmalchian “Kurt,” and of course director Peyton Reed and producer Kevin Feige.
The cast really enjoyed making this film. Their lightheartedness carried over into this laugh filled conference with the highlight probably being as Paul Rudd, Ant-Man himself, answered a reporter’s cell phone that had been placed on the panel’s table to capture the audio recording of the conference. The cell phone unexpectedly rang during the conference and Rudd answered it by saying, “We are in the middle of a press conference right now. He will have to call you back.” Laughter filled the room and invitees really got a sense of the entertaining vibe that must have been present on set during filming.
Here are a few of the highlights!
Q: The father/daughter relationship is an important element in the movie and I was wondering how did you arrive at that, the story line, and can you talk a little bit about keeping the film funny and upbeat without losing the premise of the story?
Kevin Feige: Well that relationship is right out of the comics. Scott Lang’s character has a daughter named Cassie in his original story. In the books, it’s tied directly to his desire to help his daughter and that’s the reason that he sort of resorts to crime to try and do that. We’ve never had a hero in any of the 11 films leading up to this, who’s motivation involved a child or involved a son or daughter. So that felt again like a reason to do this film now, which was very meaningful to us.
Q: Hope stands out as the biggest bad ass in the entire film, never in distress waiting to be saved. Can you talk about getting to play someone who is a full on super-hero even without a costume, and the example that sets for girls watching the movie looking for someone else to relate to.
Evangeline Lilly: That was the most exciting thing for me about the role. You know when we were filming and during post production there was a lot of buzz on the Internet. Is Evangeline playing the WASP? Is she a super-hero? And I had a lot of questions directed my way about that. I could not have felt more comfortable or more happy saying, she is really just a very capable, very powerful, force to be reckoned with, and she doesn’t have a super power and she doesn’t put on a fancy suit, and look dorky in it (as she grins and looks over to Rudd.) My super suit was my power suit that I go to work in as a high level scientist as the chair of the board of a very powerful corporation and I do think that is a fantastic example for young women. MARVEL is actually doing this incredible campaign where they put on a competition for young women in America, to create scientific gadget projects and promote the math and sciences for young women and young girls. They have really put a lot of heart and love into that. They did it a couple of years ago also, and I was happy to be the face for that campaign. Playing the role of a female scientist in a world where most scientists are men is a great role to play!!
Paul Rudd: Well there’s a lot, but first thing was that it’s different than….
Evangeline Lilly: (blurts out) ME…..Mainly ME!! (laughter fills the room)
Paul Rudd: Evangeline it’s a MARVEL movie… come on… (laughter continues) The fact that it was different than anything I’ve ever done. I liked the challenge. I thought it would be an exciting adventure, and I enjoyed the fact that when I was cast people went, “Huh?” “Really?” You would not necessarily think that. I think that MARVEL likes to do that and I was thrilled to have the opportunity.
Q: How did you prepare, did you go back to the source? Was it the script? Were you a fan of the character before?
Paul Rudd: Growing up I really didn’t know the character. I did, before we ever started shooting, read the comics. I tried to do a little bit of research and then just kind of tried to get into the mind set as much as possible. There’s also all the physical stuff that I kind of wanted to throw myself into to feel as if I could play the part and not only be convincing but to help me feel the part more.
We are convinced that even though the making of Ant-Man, may not have been, set out to be filmed as the funniest movie, or it even being a comedy, as stated by Feige, humor was definitely an element. Having cast a comedian as the Ant-Man was only done because (Feige) “We cast a guy we thought could be a kick-ass super hero who happens to be funny.”
Ant-Man is scheduled to open in theatres July 17, 2015!