Ant-Man Exclusive Interview
A couple of weeks ago I was given the chance of a lifetime to cover the Ant-Man movie on my blog. I am still in shock because…well because Marvel. My goal in life is to one day meet RDJ and I am now one step closer. I have to admit that Ant-Man has been on my radar since they announced it would be filming. I have always liked Ant-Man and I knew that Paul Rudd would rock the role. He is funny and he is a well rounded actor. I was not disappointed (see my review soon). I was able to sit down with Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly for an exclusive interview recently.
When they walked in, Paul Rudd gestured to Evangeline Lilly's belly like tada! I guess they had already gotten a few comments about it because she kept the pregnancy a secret from the press until that day. Then he showed her to her seat which was super nice. They started the day off with a joke since we were at a huge conference table.
Evangeline Lilly – I feel like we should have a big turkey dinner spread out before us
Paul Rudd – Or the biggest game of poker in the history of poker
As a blackjack dealer I appreciated that. I wonder how that would even work. I bet I could make it happen. Paul Rudd has a such a comedic face though. He always looks like he is thinking of something mischievous to say.
Then the conversation moved on to the first question which was about Paul Rudd's perchance for comedic movies and now the sudden shift into action. There is plenty of comedy in Ant-Man but we do all have to admit we love the muscles Paul Rudd added to play his superhero role. He said the parenting aspect of the movie drew him in. As a mom, I loved the relationships that the movie portrayed. I mean you see love interests in the other Marvel movies and sibling love/hate but you rarely see parent/child interaction.
Paul Rudd : Right, well, um, you know, I always felt like with, especially with Marvel movies, but just talking about this one, that it was going to be funny. We– they are good with levity. I mean, all their films have funny moments but they're not necessarily straight up comedies. And, with this one I knew that the action was going to be really good. I knew the visuals were going to be crazy good.
But, I also knew that there was this relationship that Scott Lang had with his daughter and that there was the relationship that Michael Douglas has with his daughter and that this whole thing with parents and children, that that was going to be really the thrust of the film. And that's relatable and empathetic and something that you can hang the whole thing on. And that's pretty dramatic.
So, that's really what I kind of focused on, figuring you know, humor would be there in the end.
Evangeline Lilly had to throw her own spin into his comedy though. I wish you could have seen her facial expression when she was talking about him making her laugh during serious moments. She was really hilarious.
Evangeline Lilly – And that said, he did not stop improving and cracking jokes through the entire– there wasn't one scene no matter how serious where you didn't make me break character. And I kept asking him what am I supposed to do with you do that? Do I riff with you? Do I shut up and let you do your thing? Like, I am so out of my element 'cause you are so comfortable in that comedic space and he being the sweetest man alive as we all know, always — I'm only preaching to the choir. Do you see their faces?
You were always like I'll just do what you say, do whatever you want. I don't know what to do! Nothing feels right. Tell me what to do. And he never did, never would.
But back to the parenting thing. I was really interested in the relationship between Scott and his daughter. I like the actress they got to play his daughter (Abby Ryder Fortson). She was very good and she has a very adorable face for the scenes they got her to play.
Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly also talked about relationships between the characters. They said that Michael Douglas was super amazing to work with and that they were in awe of him. They also said he would make off color jokes to make them laugh. We asked them about their characters on screen and how fun it was for Evangeline Lilly to punch Paul Rudd's character repeatedly.
Evangeline Lilly – Everyone asks me that. You know I didn't really punch him, right? I didn't actually punch him.
Paul Rudd – Movie magic.
Evangeline Lilly – I loved the take that they kept in the film because of course you never know what they're going to use and what's going to end up on the cutting room floor and one of his improvs was when he said “were you aiming for the head?” I was so glad that it ended up in there 'cause I love that line.
Then the question was asked “You are a great pair, even just sitting there, is that something that happened right away on set?” They laughed so I assume they had already gotten that question as well that day.
Evangeline Lilly – Oh we fell in love.
Paul Rudd – Yeah we got on right away. (he was laughing so hard at what she said)
A couple of questions later we asked about the ‘opposites attract' aspect of their character dynamic. In the movie they butt heads often and it really seems like they won't be able to work out their differences. Hope van Dyne is a no nonsense kind of woman and Scott Lang has never met a situation he couldn't make a joke out of. Obviously they would butt heads.
Evangeline Lilly – I think that in our lives, we all know often what our greatest pitfall is in our character and um, we don't know we're doing this but I believe that we're constantly drawing people into our life to help us deal with that thing and usually those people are the most unpleasant people for us to deal with because they bring to light that thing that you wish you could just push under the carpet and not think about, but you know you need to work on.
And I feel like for Hope, Scott coming into her life could not have more poignantly exasperated the issue of her need for control, to control everything, every little thing right down to her lipstick point and her haircut. Um, and you know, he just is so loose and, and from her perspective he seems so out of control and um, I think that's that rub that we draw to ourselves. She drew in that energy because she needed to face it and she needed to deal with it and I think it's really appropriate that it's the Scott Lang character who helps Hope to realize what's truly going on in her relationship with her father, because she couldn't see it for herself.
We did have some serious questions. We asked what they though the main theme of the movie was based on the parent/child relationship questions we had been asking about before. They answered in a big way.
Evangeline Lilly – I can lead off anyway. I think redemption really is, is a big theme in the film and I um, you know, I think redemption between um father/daughter and the father/daughter relationship is, is the powerful theme that really anchors the film emotionally. That would be my stab at it.
Paul Rudd – I like this idea that you know, we're dealing with all of this craziness with a suit that shrinks you down and controlling ants and all this kind of stuff, and yet this constant thing with parents and children, whether it's you know, with Michael or my daughter and me and Corey and Michael, um, that this is the, this is the stuff, this is what makes the movie more than just um, visual spectacle.
It's the thing that I think everyone will relate to, you know, we've all had bumpy times or whatever in our, in whatever our relationship is, with our parent or our child and uh, that's the stuff that I think people will relate to
That makes me happy. I love this movie. It has a great theme that goes beyond the ‘saving the world' superhero theme of other movies. The characters are more than that and I think they picked a perfect person to play Ant-Man.
And our best question (especially amidst the accusations of ignoring female characters in superhero movies which I will talk about in my movie review post) was about the “girl power” theme of the movie. And Paul Rudd like the true comedic genius he is, jumped in and was like, I've got this question. It was so funny.
Evangeline Lilly – You know, it's funny because actually the girl power part was no really my contribution. That was Marvel and the boys who– I mean what guy doesn't like a girl who can kick ass? They like to see that on screen, right? What I think is important is that woman, first of all be a woman and not a girl, and that she also have all the dimensions that a male character who can kick ass would also have. And I think a lot of the times what happens mistakenly in men's very, very meaningful attempts to make strong women is they make them strong in the way that they relate to, which is wrong.
And I think that female strength, um, has many more dimensions than that and I think that um, a lot of our strength comes from our women's vulnerability, our compassion, our maternal instincts, and I don't think that those things should ever be labeled as weaknesses. And I think that's one of the things that I always look to put in and infuse these characters with is um, is the sort of moments where you suddenly realize underneath that very hard facade, underneath what she's trying to project to the world because she feels she has to survive or she has to do what she needs to do is you know, a little girl within all of us and even within Paul, there's just a little girl.
Paul Rudd – It's true, very true.
Evangeline Lilly – That needs love and wants to give love in order to receive love and I think that's what we're all doing. That's the human predicament is how do we give unconditional love and just not losing sight of that.
That was probably the best ending question I have witnessed. I was sitting there silent just listening to her. She put it perfectly and she is such a commanding presence that I think everyone else was feeling the same. They took a group photo with us right afterward. I am there in the front with my Marvel shirt on.
If you noticed the cool Ant-Man figures in the pictures or saw any of The Rock Father's social media posts during the event, you should check out his post on the interview. Check on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #AntManEvent for other interview posts! You should also check out the trailer for Ant-Man just to get you into the mood for the movie coming out on 7/17.
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Visit the official ANT-MAN site: http://marvel.com/antman