IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Tyrese Gibson talks 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'

Monday, 27 June 2011 00:09 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Tyrese Gibson talks 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'

Musician turned actor Tyrese Gibson could best be described as the hardest workingman in show business, a title once held by the great James Brown. This summer the actor, who began his career as an R&B singer, has already appeared in Fast Five, the fifth installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise, which has earned almost $600 million worldwide so far. Not to mention that he just wrote a new book called “How to Get Out of Your Own Way,” and is put the finishing touches on his latest album “Open Invitation.”

But his biggest moment of the summer is yet to come as Gibson will reprise his role as Chief Master Sergeant Robert Epps in the third chapter of the extremely popular Transformers film series, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which hits theaters on June 29th. I recently had a chance to speak with Tyrese Gibson about Transformers: Dark of the Moon, his role in the film, criticisms about the last movie, working with Michael Bay, and his busy career. Here is what he had to say:

To begin with, what can you tell us about your character, Robert Epps, role in Transformers: Dark of the Moon? Is he more involved with the human characters and the Autobots in this film?

Tyerese Gibson: Yeah, you know my character shows up later on in the film because I'm dealing with post-stress disorder and for the first two whole weeks I just decided I'm just done with these robots in this world. My character is planning on spending more time with his family, and kind of get away. I’m still working with the robots, but I'm working on a top-secret operation for the government and the robots in the film. Lennox (Josh Duhamel) shows up to my job when things get a little too heated and he needs some help, reinforcements, so he shows up to my job and asks me to come back.

What was it like reuniting with director Michael Bay for a third time on this film?

Gibson: Michael was way more focused on this one. I was just on the phone with him the other day, and he was very proud to tell me, “Hey Tyrese, I just finished the movie. I just racked it last night!” I was like, wow! He's like “Yeah, the final cut, I turned it in, and it’s done!” So he just went to go relax and process everything that's just happened that he's done, he did his part.

Have you had a chance to see the completed film yet?

Gibson: I've seen the movie in its entirety absolutely. It's like nothing I've ever seen in my life. It's great man. It's just a bigger scope bro. It's a much bigger movie all across the board.

A lot of hardcore Transformers fans complained that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had too much comedy forced into it and not enough time with the actual Transformers and the human characters that fans care about. What do you think of that criticism and do you think fans will be happier with this film?

Gibson: Well to be honest man you can't really show up as a film critic when it comes to these types of movies. It's for the kids. These are summer fun, cool movies you know. There's a certain level of escapism and I think that some people take this film critic thing a little too seriously. These films are not made ... it's not a Ron Howard movie! It's just a movie! This is not Clint Eastwood directing some dramatic piece with a heavy storyline. It's just like a summer fun cool movie to go eat some popcorn and see some cool shit.

Is there one scene in particular in Transformers: Dark of the Moon that you think fans of the franchise will especially enjoy?

Gibson: I can't really go into too many details, but I just think that overall for the fans around the world coming to see this movie, we worked really hard on it. I worked our ass off on it. I mean I shot for Fast Five and Transformers 3 simultaneously and you know my heart was mainly on the set of Transformers because I have a real history with these robots. This is something that I grew up watching as a cartoon. I had my Transformers underwear, with my bowl of cereal in my hand, and so I'm a real fan. I think one of the biggest moments for me, is when I met Peter Cullen. It was just crazy man. The footage is on the Internet. When I met Peter, it was just nuts. I just couldn't believe I was meeting Peter Cullen man. Shit was crazy. I'm not a work for hire. I'm a real fan of this shit. I got a Transformers tattoo on my forearm. Look it up on the Internet, you'll see the picture of Transformers on my forearm. It's the Autobot symbol. It's on my forearm, and it's on the Internet, Google it!

Between Transformers: Dark of the Moon opening now and Fast Five opening earlier this year, it really seems like this is the “Summer of Tyrese.” How do you feel about all the success that you have had lately?

Gibson: Yeah, we got Fast Five, we got Transformers 3, you know I'm a New York Times best-selling author now with this book I just wrote called “How to Get Out of Your Own Way.” We got that going and then I just finished my new album. The new album is called "Open Invitation." A got a lot of things going on man.

What was it like for you working on Fast Five, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon while you were recording your album and writing your book? Was it difficult for you working on all of those projects at the same time or is that just part of the job for you?

Gibson: You know what, I've been multi-tasking for years man. I've definitely never multi-tasked on that level, but it's a beautiful thing that happens when you've got great people that come in place and handle scheduling, and handle that level of playing the field. I never forget one time. This is a true story, I was on the set of Fast Five, and we get a last minute call from Michael Bay that we have to shoot at NASA at the space shuttle. They said, “It's the only day they're allowing us to shoot there. This is last minute and we need Tyrese here, is there anything that can be done?” So here I am on the set of Fast Five in Atlanta with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwyane Johnson, and we're doing this huge thing. But first thing that morning I was on the set for maybe three hours then Michael Bay sent a C5 to pick me up. So I shot both movies in one day. Michael Bay sent his private plane to Atlanta and flew me to Florida to NASA to shoot Transformers 3. It was really crazy bro.

Do you consider yourself the new James Brown? Are you now officially the hardest workingman in show business?

Gibson: Hey man, I’m like a dog. Like I said, if it can be scheduled, I’m going to show up. My book is a New York Times best seller, I mean of all things I'm proud of is that. Because there are a lot of people that have a lot of information on how to be successful, how to get to the top, and they're stingy, they're insecure; they want to keep all the information to themselves. Will Smith is one of my mentors. He's taken me under his wing, really showed me the ropes and gave me some information on what it takes to get to the top in this world called Hollywood, so I put it all in my book man. Everything I know is in that book. The response has been amazing.

Finally, with your busy work schedule, how do you find time to be as active as you are on Twitter?

Gibson: Well that's my world baby. You know you got to put that energy in the universe.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon opens in theaters on June 29th.

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