Transformers: Rise of the Beast actress Dominique Fishback recently discussed the upcoming film where she made the claim that “as black and brown and people we don’t get the opportunity to see mind-blowing things.”
In an interview with Fandango, Fishback as well as actor Anthony Ramos, Tobe Nwigwe, and Lisha Koshy were asked, “Is there anything that you can tease in Rise of the Beasts that could suggest the future of the Transformers film franchise is especially bright because of the movie you made?”
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Fishback answered first saying, “I think the idea of like nothing is ever really new under the sun. Like things works because they’ve been working a certain way for so long and that’s why you get different characters from different backgrounds, and then the perception changes. And the lens from what you see things change.”
She continued, “So I think like with this you have these kids from Brooklyn. We’ve never seen Brooklyn kids meet Autobots. It’s never happened. We don’t often — as black and brown people — we don’t get the opportunity to see mind-blowing things like aliens and things like that.”
Ramos then chimed in saying, “Or we’re not put in mind-blowing scenarios like.”
Fishback went on, “And so to have that and have it take place in Brooklyn and so infused in the culture of Brooklyn because [Director] Steven [Caple Jr.] was so specific about that. That gives a whole dynamic and a whole new world opens up because of the perspectives that we have now. Very different.”
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Fishback’s comments echo what Director Steven Caple Jr. told BET back in December 2022. When asked what it means to be a black director helming a blockbuster franchise, Caple said, “You came straight out the gate with that one [laughs] — it’s been an emotional ride.”
He continued, “It’s been two years now — Anthony [Ramos] and I talk about having this type of opportunity but also understanding it’s our time. For us to be in this position where we can tell a story about our culture, our people, and see ourselves portrayed on the big screen blending in with these vast genres is special.”
He went on, “There are not too many people on the actor or director side to be in this position on this scale and scope, and we’re doing our best to carry this weight.”
“No matter how many times [Anthony] and I look at each other on set, tired and all, we realize we’re able to do something special and for a reason,” he added. “We created something special, and it feels great to be in this position — super honored and blessed.”
When specifically asked about why he chose “Juicy” for the first teaser trailer, Caple said, “The movie takes place in the 90s when the album Ready Or Die was released, so that’s why [Juicy] was the perfect record to choose. His voice and what he meant in that era and time captures much of what we’re doing in the film.”
“Fishback, who originally is from Brooklyn — her character and Ramos’s character have a lot of big dreams and hit glass ceilings but ultimately become the heroes saving the world discreetly as that’s how the Transformer laws are,” he detailed.
He added, “You have these average folks transforming into something huge and special we didn’t know existed, so the record was a right move — it was our anthem on set, so we played Biggie or Anthony was singing [The Tempations].”
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The film’s producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told Collider in April that this 90s cultural society makes life difficult on the human characters played by Ramos and Fishback.
He explained, “Our first objective was to figure out, how do we hold on to the emotionality of the experience for the humans that are going through it? And our decision was to give them character arcs that are more significant than we’ve done before.”
He continued, “It’s hard to say that about Shia [LaBeouf] in the first movie; you know, he goes from being a young man, essentially, to a man, right? In this case, Anthony Ramos and Dominique [Fishback’s] characters are both characters who are trying to find their way in a life, and in a cultural society, that’s not making it the easiest for them.”
“And so, the experience of the movie for those characters is to come to terms, not exactly about who they are, but how to move forward in their lives. It’s an interesting character arc for both of them where they fulfill, to a certain extent, the desire that they were having for themselves,” he elaborated.
What do you make of Fishback and Ramos’ comments about Transformers: Rise of the Beasts?
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