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TMNT 2 Cast Talks Pizza and More!

Jun 01, 2016

By: Lynn Barker

Returning to “Out of the Shadows” from the 2014 first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is Will Arnett as Vernon Fenwick, the ambitious but cowardly Channel 6 cameraman who works with Turtle pal pretty April O’Neil (Megan Fox).

Casey, Vern and April at Police HQCasey, Vern and April at Police HQCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

New to the Turtle films is T.V.’s “Arrow”, cute Stephen Amell playing Casey Jones and, as Stephen described him at Comic Con, “He is not the Casey Jones that a lot of comic fans have come to know and love. He is a guy with a job that lives in New York and loves hockey. When things go awry, [and] when he goes through the normal methods of what someone would do when they’re [a] law-abiding citizen and he’s met with laughter and scorn… he decides to take things into his own hands”. He does still wear a hockey mask, use sports equipment as weapons and is hot for April O’Neil.

Stephen Amell as Casey with his equipmentStephen Amell as Casey with his equipmentCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Also around for a few questions are returning turtles played in motion capture suits by: Noel Fisher - Michelangelo, Pete Ploszek,- Leonardo and Jeremy Howard – Donatello.

Q: So Will, coming back, what was most important to you for the evolution of Vern in this movie?

  • Will: What could I possibly do to take it to the next level? I think it was important overall for everybody that we kind of knew what we’d done right in the first movie and what we’d done wrong, and we wanted to capitalize on the things we did right, we wanted to have more fun and tell a story that really resonated and made sense within the canon of the Turtles. For me, personally, for Vern, it was kind of fun to be able to come back and do something a little bit different. He’s on this path that you think is kind of shady but ultimately has a little bit of redemption, so that was good. I had a little bit of something to do. But overall it was important to make a bigger, more fun exciting Turtles.

Vern (Will Arnett) gets cockyVern (Will Arnett) gets cockyCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Q: Stephen, Casey Jones is such a fan favorite. How did you change it up with him for this film and still keep a balance with the character the fans already know?

  • Stephen: They did me a big favor by giving Casey Jones who’s been in the Turtles canon since the inception of the Turtles basically. They gave him a unique backstory in this movie in that he’s a corrections officer. We don’t get in this movie quite yet the full-fledged five alarm fire Casey Jones that a lot of fans of the cartoon and the comics are used to. This is a Casey Jones that’s trying to figure out what his path is. So we get glimpses of that. He’s bumped up against the idea of being a police detective in the New York City Police Department his entire life, and it hasn’t worked out. That allowed me to take a Casey Jones and make it my own. So without that backstory, I would have figured it out hopefully, but this helped a lot.

Casey (Stephen Amell) with April (Megan Fox)Casey (Stephen Amell) with April (Megan Fox)Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Q: It almost looks like the actors are having too much fun. Were you concerned about being too broad or, on the flip side, taking everything too seriously?

  • Stephen: This was my first big studio feature film and I was actually worried that it would be rigid, because I didn’t have any idea. And obviously we wanted to honor and respect what was on the page, but beyond that I found it to be one of the most collaborative invested sets that I’ve ever been on, just in terms of let’s make the best scene possible.
  • And a couple of times we would put a scene on its feet and it wouldn’t work, so we’d just go back to the drawing board, do it again, and come up with new things. And I know for my character personally, I’d constantly have the writers and the director and the producers coming up to me and saying, cool, we got that. Let’s give this a try. Let’s try a new line here, let’s try this there, and you’d be amazed, I know for me personally, a ton of that stuff ended up in the movie, so that’s a very fun set to work on in that type of environment.

Turtles are amusedTurtles are amusedCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Q: Stephen, this was your first big movie? Really?

  • Stephen: Yeah, my schedule for “Arrow” and the hiatus that I have is so brief and I think that the biggest miracle for me in this movie is just the fact that it actually fit into my schedule, because this is not Casey Jones: Out of The Shadows, it was built and boarded and set long before I was cast in the role. So the fact that I was able to do it (was amazing). It started five days after I wrapped season 3 of “Arrow” and I wrapped on it four days before I started season 4.

Q: What was it like to play a guy who is so very different from “Arrow”?

  • Stephen: It’s very exciting. The first scene that I got to shoot in the movie is where Casey meets both April and the Turtles. And Casey thinks the Turtles are aliens, that they’re gonna eat him. That was my first day and I was beside myself for the first four, five hours just trying to bring it at a level 10 out of 10. I love playing Oliver Queen/Arrow, but I had a blast playing Casey Jones. It was so much fun.

Casey Jones hides from the baddiesCasey Jones hides from the baddiesCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Q: Stephen, as far as a TV versus film, doing all this action stuff and stunts, what were the biggest differences for you?

  • Stephen: They let me do whatever I wanted on Turtles, and I didn’t know that they would. I ended up doing every single stunt in the entire movie save for one stunt where I get ratcheted into a car, which I didn’t want to do nor would they let me do. I got to get to New York a little bit before we shot and I got to work with the stunt choreographer and the fight coordinator and build a fighting style for Casey Jones. And then on the plus side, when you’re shooting, you simply have more time (than in T.V.). My first fight with the Foot Clan went so well that that sequence and that week of filming is probably the thing that I’m most proud of in my entire career. So I felt really grateful that they allowed me to do the physical side of Casey Jones. Very cool.

Donatello, Michaelangelo and Leonardo on plane wingDonatello, Michaelangelo and Leonardo on plane wingCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Q: Did they let you keep the mask?

  • Stephen: I don’t want to keep the mask. It doesn’t fit. You think that in the midst of this gigantic film we would have taken a mold of my face but nope. And I wore it for two straight nights and it pushed on this part of my face and I would complain and Megan Fox would tell me that I was a sissy so I would stop complaining. By the way, that’s not the word she used. And then the next day we were filming in an alley, same alley in New York City, and I got a sinus infection and almost begged off work for the first time in my life. So if I get to don the mask again, we’re gonna get that sucker fitted.

Casey Jones suited upCasey Jones suited up

Q: Who would win in a fight, Arrow/Oliver or Casey Jones?

  • Stephen:  Casey’s unpredictable so not sure on a 1 on 1 with Oliver. But the forces in this movie just purely from a budgetary standpoint would probably take down the forces in Starling City. If we could afford the [PH] Tectadrone on our television show, then maybe it would be a fair fight but for now I would have to go with Krang and Baxter Stockman and Bebop and Rocksteady and Shredder as the soldiers of the Foot Clan and soldiers from another dimension in this case.

Poster art for Casey and AprilPoster art for Casey and AprilCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Q: Will, you shot a scene during a Knicks game in NYC. Was that awesome?

  • Will: That was awesome. Yeah. You get to do a lot of cool things in our job. But the novelty has still not worn off, that you get to go to Madison Square Garden and shoot and be courtside. We shot during like TV timeouts. We rehearsed the day before, went in, and it was the first scene that we shot in the movie, and of course luckily we had a 18,000 strong audience to watch our first takes so it was kind of like we had to get it. It was kind of nerve-wracking.

Will Arnett as Vern tries to sell airWill Arnett as Vern tries to sell airCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Q: Hey, Turtle actors, what might be different with your characters this time around?

  • Pete (Leonardo): I think with Leo what was really fun to explore was seeing where his breaking point is. You know, Leo’s always been the leader, the do-gooder, the one who’s by the book. And I think because of that, a bit of a almost silent sufferer where he won’t show weakness. He won’t show emotion like these other guys can. But everyone sort of has a breaking point, and it was exploring what does it take to push Leo to that edge where he’s gonna speak his mind, and he’s gonna tell these guys how he feels? And, yeah, really sort of that balancing act was fun to come up against.
  • Jeremy (Donatello):  Well I think also these guys are growing up and as they grow older, especially in this film, you see it’s that the individuality really starts to come out. And as the team, it’s a question of can we keep this team together, these guys together with all the unique traits that they have, and work as a team? And, I think that’s the challenge that your character has, kind of deciding what can I do to bring these guys together to kind of save the planet?
  • Noel (Michaelangelo): I think for this movie in particular, I was really excited because the turtles have a really specific character arc that you get to see, and it explores that family dynamic that makes the turtles kind of timeless. You know what I mean? That’s why everyone likes the turtles. And for Mikey specifically, I really liked the idea that he’s sort of the youngest out of everyone. He’s very much the youngest feeling. And so the idea that he might get to be accepted in the rest of society, and not have to necessarily be a turtle anymore is like a really strong pull for him. I think I really wanted to see what that was like, get back in that teenage, “I wanna be like everybody else” kind of mode. 

Turtles ready for actionTurtles ready for actionCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Q: What is your fave pizza?

  • Noel:  I’m pretty much a cheese pizza guy. That’s, yeah, that’s pretty much it.

Turtles high rise sitting in NYCTurtles high rise sitting in NYCCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is in theaters Friday!


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