This morning, I had a phone interview with Marvel’s Ant-Man stunt coordinator Trevor Habberstad. Trevor Habberstad worked along side his father, Jeff Habberstad, on the film and also other Marvel projects such as X-Men: Days of Future Past, Iron Man 3, Spider-Man and even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. During the interview, we discussed topics such as most challenging stunt in the film, how it’s like working with his father and Paul Rudd, I even got the scoop on some future Marvel films. Take a look at the interview below.
Chris “the Scoop” Salce: What was it like to be a part of such a unique superhero movie? There’s tons of humor and action.
Trevor Habberstad: Yeah, it was fun. It was totally a different experience than what I’m used to in a superhero movie because usually, it’s non-stop go, go, go, next, next, next, next and heavy action, but in this one we got to have fun with it basically. Like having him go and trying to jump through a giant keyhole and strength and then get big so with our stunt double, we were just like ‘well with this one, you are just going to go head first into the door,’ (laughs). We just got to goof around with it and have a good time and got to tell a little more of a family story instead of your typical superhero movie. It was fun and we got to work with a guy like Paul Rudd, who’s amazing and Evangeline [Lilly], and even our director Peyton [Reed], he’s obviously great with comedy and it turns out that he’s also pretty good with action too.
Chris: How was Paul Rudd when it came to stunts? Did he want to do most of them?
Trevor: Anything he could do, he was aimed to do. He wanted to and he had a great stunt double. Paul was really smart about it, he was really passionate about it and wanted it to look as good as possible, so he would train really hard to do certain stunts and he would be great but he also knew where his strengths and weaknesses were and if he didn’t think that he was going to be the absolute best and give the best performance for a certain piece of action, he would say ‘No, no…I need the stunt double to do it because he’s going to make it look a lot better.’ And sometimes we would say ‘No, we think you can do it, it adds something to it when it’s you, so we let you do this bit and then the double do this bit,’ he would say ‘Oh, okay.’ It was great, I really enjoyed working with Paul. It was my first time and I really hope that it’s not the last.
Chris: What was the most challenging stunt in the film that you guys had to put together?
Trevor: It was one of our fights. The scene where they were fighting inside of the helicopter in the final act and then they end up miniature inside of a briefcase, falling out of a helicopter. It’s a zero gravity environment. So we had to design a fight in zero gravity inside of a confined space. So we ended up shooting it motion capture, inside of an indoor skydiving facility. We hired pro indoor skydivers, in specialized jumpsuits with tracking dots all over them. We put a bunch of cameras outside of the glass and had to challenge them to look like they weren’t flying or falling but like they were floating in zero gravity, and then making the fight moves look cool and not just like they were floating in space trying to swing at each other. It ended up being really cool and a fun experience for us.
Chris: How was it like working with your father? He has been in this industry for over twenty years, how is it like following in his footsteps?
Trevor: He’s been at it for actually thirty-five [years] and it’s been great. I really enjoy working with my dad because he has been around for a long time and nothing surprises him, he’s seen it all. We go through a movie and he lets me have the reigns and go with it but he’s able to sit there and go ‘Hey, you might want to think about this the next time you go do that’ or ‘you might want to change it up.’ We have a really good working relationship that is a very clear and distinct line between a working relationship and personal relationship. We’ve been able to set up good clear boundaries. I think he’s one of the best I’ve worked for because he takes care of all of us. It’s great.
Chris: Do you know if you’ll be working on any of the upcoming Marvel films?
Trevor: I intend to. ‘Ant-Man 2’ starts up next year, I’m hoping that they’ll at least give me an opportunity to do that one again. Right now, my dad is directing second unit on ‘Doctor Strange’, so he’s over in London right now. He’s really excited about that and he says there’s a lot of really cool awesome stuff coming up and it’s going to be a really exciting movie, so I’m pretty excited for that. I’m glad that he’s over there doing it. I’m sure another Marvel movie will come along (laughs).
Marvel’s Ant-Man is out now on digital HD and comes to Blu-ray combo pack and DVD Dec. 8.