‘Transformers’ stars irritate press, fans

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‘Transformers’ stars irritate press, fans


Michael Bay, Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf take questions about their work on “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” at a press conference in Daechi-dong, southern Seoul, on Wednesday. Provided by All That Cinema

Fans eagerly awaiting the new “Transformers” movie were left in the wet and cold when the director and stars of the sequel to the 2007 film were no-shows at a red carpet premier in Seoul.

Director Michael Bay and the two leads Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf were more than two hours tardy for a special screening of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

The red carpet event was scheduled for 8 p.m. at CGV Yongsan last Tuesday, but it seemed that the stars’ crammed schedule had delayed their arrival.

So when Bay and Co. shuffled into a press conference at Kring, a gallery in Daechi-dong, southern Seoul, the next day half an hour late, some members of the press staged a walkout.

Their late arrival seemed even more inexplicable when Bay told reporters Wednesday that he had made a point of returning to Korea after receiving an enthusiastic response from film fans two years ago here for the first in the Transformers franchise.

Apparently, Korea had not initially been included on the Paramount press tour list, Bay added, and its inclusion was at Bay’s behest.

The 2007 blockbuster drew a record 7.5 million viewers in Korea, the largest number ever scored by a foreign film here.

Eventually, the press conference in Daechi-dong resumed after the walkout, with the director and two actors engaged in promoting the new film.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a bigger adventure than the first movie, according to Bay, covering a wider scope and traveling further around the world. The producers promise even more exotic locations, such as Shanghai and the Pyramids in Egypt, and more explosive action scenes.

“The robot animation is far superior [than the last movie] and we’re quite proud of it,” Bay said.

The director said Transformers is not just a large-scale robot action movie featuring explosions.

“There are also dramas in Transformers and I don’t consider my film just an explosion fest. It is an extremely complicated process, creating these types of robots - creating emotion on something which doesn’t exist,” he said.

“I consider the type of movie like Transformers [to be] something that transcends everywhere,” he added.

Fox backed up the director.

“The movie is still hard to make. It’s such a difficult process and a bonding experience where everybody is involved,” she said.

Fox added that she found slipping back into her character from the first movie to be a relatively easy task, pointing out that the sequel has a lot in common with the first movie.

The situations are similar and many members of the original cast and crew are the same.

However, the characters have changed and grown in Transformers 2, according to leading man LaBeouf.

His character, Sam, must deal with his new college life and a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend, Mikaela (Fox).

He also has to face up to a new and even stronger threat from the evil Decepticons against his band of Autobots.

The director, renowned for large-scale blockbusters such as “The Rock,” “Armageddon” and “Pearl Harbor,” also revealed his future filmmaking plan, which was somewhat unforeseen.

“I have a small movie that I want to do, which is a dark comedy based on a true story. But they may never allow me to make it. They want me to do this big one instead,” he said.

The press conference also struck a more serious note when Fox was reminded of her recent controversial remarks about the acting profession in Hollywood.

The Hollywood starlet was asked about her recent comment that actors were “like prostitutes.”

Fox said: “Not only actresses, but actors in general are prostitutes. We’re products that are bought and sold. I don’t mean it to be literal or controversial, it’s just my observation.”

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will hit local theaters on June 24.

By Park Sun-young [spark0320@joongang.co.kr]
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