Likely one of the most entertaining and funniest interviews I’ve ever had the pleasure to be part of, the #Antourage as they’ve been dubbed, are the guys behind the guy – behind the Ant-Man. The powerhouse threesome of actors Michael Peña and David Dastmalchian, along with rapper T.I., are the proverbial superhero sidekicks and getaway drivers.
According to much of the cast, Michael Peña brought a good amount of comic relief to the long hours of filming, and it was evident while he was cracking jokes and creating laughs during out interview. Meet Luis, Kurt and Dave – the #Antourage of Ant-Man!
Before our interview even begins, The Antourage has the room laughing and already we’ve made it onto Michael’s Instagram. That’s the way you start an interview.
Q: David, I’d love to know how long did it took to do the hair?
David: “Okay really quick, this is great. Yvette Stone – you’re seeing right here – she actually did the hair every day. She helped create that look for Kurt. And, would you say we were in the chair for half an hour, 45?”
Yvette: “Yeah, we got it down.”
David: “We got it down. It starts taking a long time, but by the end of the movie, like man, we nailed it, and the tattoos and everything. It was amazing make-up artist Greg Funk who did the tattoos, but it’s a cool thing when you’re an actor and the physical world that’s created for you. So like, the wardrobe nailed exactly what I thought about Kurt, the hair – it was a dream. And I would come out of hair and make-up and put on my wardrobe and I walk out out of my trailer and look in the mirror and I’d be like ‘This is good.'”
Q: You guys are pretty hilarious in the movie. Can you share a moment or a funny scene that you all really enjoyed filming together?
T.I.: “I’ll do that…”
Michael: “Sorry, I’m still on Instagram mode, dude. Look how awesome it is man. Are you kidding me?! Get out of town.”
∴∴∴ To his credit, it was a pretty awesome photo. Seriously, go check it out. And like it. Because Michael worked really hard, or for several minutes, trying to post it. ∴∴∴
T.I.: “All of the scenes, you know, that we did together, to me, were funny. A lot of the van stuff. You know, remember the first night we were in that van, the van in San Francisco?”
Michael: “Instagram bro, [I’m on] Instagram.”
T.I.: “In San Francisco, I think it was the scene when Scott was breaking into Hank Pym’s house for the first time. I mean, the stuff that didn’t make it on screen now that’s…that’s the goal. That’s the action.”
Michael: “I mean, that would be another kind of movie.”
David: “It was intimidating too. It’s scary. Because I… we were big fans of these guys and everybody in the film and so the first time we’re sitting there it was in– yeah, it was in San Francisco right?”
David: “…in the van. And they started to just go and rif, too. And they made me feel really welcome immediately, which was a great feeling. You feel more creatively free to do that, but like there were some jokes, obviously not all of ‘em can make it in the film, but these guys…”
Michael: “ …of very poor taste.”
T.I.: “Yeah, of very poor taste. Oh, man.”
David: “And dancing; we had some fun dancing.”
T.I.: “Yeah. And the, you know, the jokes every time he would make a joke because him and Luis and Scott were cellmates, you know, supposedly.”
Michael: “No, we were cell mates, bro.”
T.I.: “Yeah. So every time they’d make mention of ‘Yo, it’s just like when we were in the cell’ and we were like, “Oh really? Really.” You know, things like that.”
Michael: “You get close, bro.”
David: “And then you don’t talk about cells.”
T.I.: “Yeah, exactly.”
Michael: “Yo, the first rule about prison is, you don’t talk about prison. Unless you wanna’ talk about prison.”
Q: So, Michael, your method of story telling is hilarious in the film. Are you like that in real life?
Michael: “No. I’m like, I was always like a quiet kid, to be honest.”
Michael: “Yeah. I remember, like I got messages on Facebook and I’m like, out of all people to be an actor you’re the guy? I was captain of the wrestling team and the track team and, you know, I loved sports and stuff. So that’s the only way that I really made friends, but I was like kind of a nerd to be honest – It’s hard to believe, I know.”
T.I.: “You know what, man, me too.”
Michael: “Were you really?”
T.I.: “Hell no.”
Michael: “You know, but he’s a smart dude, though. So I’m like, you never know, you know what I mean? So I’m like… He knows. T.I. being a nerd. I’m like, “I would believe it.” He’s a smart dude. I mean he’s not– he doesn’t rap about like, you know, just dumb shit, you know?”
David: “I know [Michael] has done some comedy work before, but he’s so famous for these killer dramatic roles and stuff. And the first time we’re on set and he started making T.I. and I just bust out I was like that’s not the dude that I was expecting.”
David: “He’s so brilliant in this film and I, I love it, yeah.”
Michael: “I’m imitating this guy – I won’t say his name, but he’s, you know, in my neighborhood. And I had the blessing of going to prep school and living in the ghetto, you know what I mean? It’s what happens or whatever. And so like, I’d travel like an hour in the morning just to get to that school, come back and then all of a sudden the dude’s like, “And how, how did it go man? You want a nickel bag?” And I’m like, “No man, I’m good man. I gotta study and stuff.” He said, “But if you don’t want a nickel bag it’s cool.”
And then you know he’s the kind of dude that, you know, he got a girl pregnant when he was 13. Yeah, which is amazing, but he’s a really great dad…when he’s not in jail. So, it was like I was waiting for a movie to put that character in there because he’s like, the most optimistic criminal that I’ve ever met in my life. But he like, you know, everybody loves him, but at the same time like you gotta’ be kidding me. So that’s Luis.”
Q: How did all of you guys get all of this project?
David: “I auditioned in January of 2014 for the casting director for this film. I auditioned for it and I got the sides and the role description and it’s so different than anything I’ve gotten to do before. And my immediate goal was like ‘Hey, I’m a huge comic geek.’ I’ve loved comics my whole life. And, I wanted something that my mom can go to the cinema and watch and not be terrified because I tend to play some pretty creepy. So, I went after it and I created a voice and the character and then she liked it so she fought for me with the Director at that time and I got to read for him, and he liked it.
And then I got to go to test. So it was a very long process for me; two auditions and then a test and then I got the part and then everything started to change. I was like, “Oh my gosh, am I still gonna’ get to do a part in the film?” And then my manager called me like 2 months after we were starting and goes, “Great news. You’re going to Atlanta to do tests.”
I didn’t understand what that meant and I had a newborn at home, and I was very frazzled, and I was very nervous. And I thought ‘Okay, like I’m gonna’ go and do another audition. So I went to Atlanta, and Michael was there and everybody else. And I’m meeting everybody and I’m so nervous. And I realize what they meant by that kind of test. Like, hair and make-up test. It’s like, I had the part. I was in.”
∴∴∴While David shares his story of the arduous climb to be Ant-Man’s low-man, T.I. and Michael are oblivious; they’re playing with the collection of Ant-Man figurines, wondering where theirs are. They laugh, they apologize, but like the rest of the cast we interviewed that day, they continue posing and playing with them throughout our interview.∴∴∴
Michael: “Sorry, dude. Go ahead. You say something serious, it’s good. Go ahead, man.”
T.I.: “For me, I think, when it was first mentioned that there would be an Ant-Man film, someone mentioned me in association with it all over the blogs and everywhere. Like, “Yo, T.I.’s gonna’ be in it.” And I was like, “I have no idea what you’re talkin’ about.”
I don’t know who it was or what it was that, you know, that mentioned me, but I think over the years different people fell out and there were starts and stops and starts and stops. And, so finally, maybe 2 weeks or 3 weeks before they began shooting, I got a call saying, “Can, you get– are you in Atlanta?”
“Well, can you go do an emergency reading for Ant Man over at–?”
“Yeah, okay, I guess.” And so…”
Michael: “It must be cool to be a rapper. ‘I mean, if I have to.'”
T.I.: “I go and read and they give me a bunch of anonymous scenes to read and they called me back. And, so then I have to find a way to re-arrange the rest of my schedule to actually take advantage of this great opportunity to do this film.”
Michael: “And he’s got a crazy schedule. I swear to God. He’d fly in like that morning, so many times. And like–“
David: “From around the world. He’d be like, “Oh I was in Africa last night playing the–””
Michael: “Yeah. So I’m like, you know, we could never complain.”
T.I.: “I did go to Africa.”
David: “Yeah, like, on a Friday, and we were shootin’ on Monday. It’s like, ‘Wow.'”
Q: T.I, You do a lot of stuff with Boys & Girls Clubs in the communities, and Marvel does, as well. Is that something that you recognized and perhaps made you want to be a part of Marvel?
T.I.: “I mean, I think that’s just a positive coincidence. I never considered the philanthropic synergy that could have been created for this. I never really thought about it that way, man. I mean, of course, if there’s anything that we can do together to help the people in the underserved areas in society, man, that’s always a consideration.”
Q: David, you hash-tagged photos of the whole group as “The #Antourage.”
David: “You like that? Alright, let’s make it stick. Alright put it out there.”
Q: Watching the movie, you guys stuck out as a highlight of it. And the fans will want to see more.
Michael: “Trust me. I’ve got the whole thing. We show up with Dr. Strange; we’re gonna help all of his hair and his style… but no, yes that’s a dream.”
T.I.: “Even cooler though is, is they should give us a comic book.”
David: “Oh see, put that out there.”
Michael: “The comics so great and fun for people because we don’t – not everybody has superpowers right? But these guys, we’re good at something. It’s just like – what do you do with the thing that you’re good at? Are you gonna do something good in your life or are you gonna do, you know, what our past is for our characters? And I love that. I think that’s what makes these films great for audiences too and, and families.”