Romancing The Stone. Wall Street. Fatal Attraction. The American President.
The son of legendary Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas has become Hollywood royalty in his own right throughout the years. And while most of the time his film roles are a little outside the family-friendly realm, with his character, Dr. Hank Pym in the original Ant-Man movie and now Ant-Man and The Wasp, he’s earning fans from a new generation.
(Disney, Marvel Studios, Freeform & Disney Junior invited me to California on an all-expenses paid trip, in exchange for our coverage of events, including this Michael Douglas: Ant-Man and The Wasp interview. As always, all opinions are my own.)
Michael Douglas: Ant-Man and The Wasp Interview
Some Very Good Advice from his Son
Speaking of the young kids growing up discovering Douglas for the first time, though I dare say his son Dylan has probably always been a fan, Michael Douglas got some very wise advice from him.
Dylan was maybe 15 years old when the first Ant-Man premiered. Douglas recalled Dylan walking out of the movie, arms crossed. He’s an actor himself and the following conversation ensued.
Dylan: “Dad, this is going to be very good for your career.”
Dylan: “Dad, you don’t understand. This is going to bring a new audience for you.”
Dylan then proceeded to recommend that if a sequel was ever offered, to take it! Well, here we are a few years later.
Dylan was right in more ways than one. His dad now has 5-year old kids tugging at his coat saying, “Ant-Man”! And now today, July 6th, the sequel releases into theatres everywhere!
On Not Being the Lead Actor
Let’s face it, Michael Douglas is an incredible actor. I’m specifically recalling that he’s won an Oscar for Leading Actor in a Motion Picture for his role Wall Street.
So, what’s it like for him to take a back seat to actors like Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly?
Surprisingly, I think Douglas actually relishes a role like that of Hank Pym. He mentioned, “It’s easier in that supporting role, so the pressure is off.”
But for someone like Michael Douglas, he really never takes a back seat. He said, “I know what my role as an actor is, but I know mostly what makes a good movie. And I guess what kind of maybe separates me from most actors is that I’m not just thinking about my role.”
Douglas continued, showing just how much his experience can help an entire film, even when he’s not the lead, “Because I’m a producer, I want to be in a good movie. Sometimes you have a good part. Sometimes Sharon Stone’s got the good part, you know. But you want to make as good a movie as possible. This one’s a little out of your hands because the technicalities and the areas that you have nothing to do with. But I have to be careful. I like to give unsolicited advice, which I think somebody once told me, unsolicited advice can be seen as a hostile gesture.”
Ant-Man and The Wasp Suits Him – Figuratively and Literally
Michael Douglas continues his role in this Marvel sequel as Hank Pym – father to Hope Van Dyne, original tiny super hero, inventor of the Pym Particle, and founder of Pym Technologies.
Though an original super hero, Douglas might have mentioned he was a little disappointed that he didn’t get to “don” a super hero suit in the original Ant-Man. Everyone had looked so good. So this time, with Ant-Man and The Wasp, he was excited to get his “old suit back up”. You must see it with your own eyes. I won’t tell you why, how, when, or where.
I just know that if I were a super hero, I would want to put on a suit. For Douglas, it has finally happened!
Here’s a little more background about where we find his character now…
Hank Pym’s complicated relationship with his daughter, Hope, is in a better place in the beginning of the film. Hope has begun to resolve her issues with her father while discovering more about herself. Hank has been affected by the daring exploits with Hope and Scott, and with the new revelation that Scott survived his journey to the Quantum Realm, he has renewed hope that Janet could be alive.Hank Pym, now a fugitive with Hope, faces his most important mission ever as he confronts the repercussions of his past while trying to protect the future of his family.
Ant-Man and The Wasp – What the World Needs Right Now
Charisma. I dare say ask any of the 25 of us who shared that interview room with Michael Douglas if that isn’t a word to describe what he exudes.
As Michael Douglas walked into the room, he simply smiled, kept in character, and said the following. It was as if Dr. Hank Pym himself were saying the words, “Good morning, class. We’re going to learn about quantum mechanics this morning.” With that, he had us laughing and ready for our first interview of the day.
One of the first things that surprised us was that HE actually hadn’t seen the film yet, though many of the cast had, and we had too.
We talked about everything from the love he has for cast mates to the bigger things in life that matter. He gets it. He knows what is important, sometimes a rarity in not just Hollywood, but in our neighborhoods as well.
Douglas spoke of the world we live in right now and said, “The thing that struck me about Ant-Man and now Ant-Man the Wasp in just the responses that we’re getting – it’s such a divisive world right now, both in our country and just around the world and what’s happening. Everything seems to be getting fractionalized.”
He went on, “One of the joys of this business is you make a movie like this, it’s a worldwide success. And the audiences from every continent go to see this movie and they laugh like we laugh, you know. They move like you move. And it just brings everybody kind of closer together. It’s actually the aspect of our industry which I admire the most. And it seems like a good time that we need that.”
On Being Reunited with the Cast
Having read several of my interviews so far ( Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Laurence Fishburne) you can tell these people really like each other. This wasn’t just another job for them. They enjoyed themselves immensely.
Of course, so many of them looked up to Michael Douglas as a Hollywood icon – but what would Michael Douglas say about them?
Douglas said, “I mean, there’s just an inherent relaxation and joy normally about a sequel, or whatever they are or also why you look back in the old days, why actors and actresses work together or directors together – you don’t have to introduce yourself again. You know each other. There’s a comfort factor which makes it much easier. People know your own sense of humor. You’re not going to offend anybody. So, I mean the comfort factor is really nice.”
The Moment Evangeline Realized…
It’s not often you hear something like what I’m about to share.
Michael Douglas literally saw the moment when Evangeline Lilly realized she was going to be a super hero!
In talking about the first Ant-Man movie, Douglas shared, “I was excited for Evangeline because if you remember the end the first one, I don’t know if it was the tease after the credits or whatever, but I show her Janet’s suit and there’s this look in her eye as Hope when she sees her mother’s suit. But what I was looking at – her when she was doing the scene, I saw Evangeline going ‘I’m going to be a superhero'”.
When he mentioned this quintessential moment, I found myself thinking about it, wishing I had been a tiny fly on the wall (or ant, just like Scott Lang)!
Michelle, Laurence, Hannah
Sometimes you realize that even Hollywood icons are superfans of some of our favorite celebrities. That’s exactly how it was with Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Who was the superfan of who? Well, I didn’t get the chance to sit down with Michelle Pfeiffer, but what I can tell you is that Douglas told us of his movie-wife, “Michelle was just such a treat. I mean tremendous Michelle Pfeiffer fan. Never imagined ever getting a chance to work with her.”
He reminded us just why we love Marvel and their incredible talent for casting.
Douglas raved about Laurence Fishburne (calling him Larry), and told us we’ll be hearing an awful lot about Hannah- John-Kamen, who plays “Ghost”. He called her a great rookie and raved about her talent.
And then there was Paul Rudd.
Humor and A Little Jealousy When It Comes to Paul Rudd
Oh, how I would have loved to be on this set. With Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, I have a feeling everyone was in stitches.
Douglas shared that it was often hard not to crack up, but as an actor you just don’t let it go there.
He added, “But with Paul it’s difficult because he ad libs. So much. You know, I’m a little jealous of Paul because I’m kind f carrying the story line, and having to go home to
research about what the hell I’m talking about and all of this. And will pontificate and Paul will just come in with some one-liner and steal the scene. And so, he’s unpredictable, wonderfully so. And funny. ”
But he had to say more about Paul Rudd, “I mean that combined with the fact that Paul is just a sweetheart. He’s just a great, great guy so it sets the tone. You know, most of my career I’ve been number one on a call sheet, the lead, and so to be in a supporting role in a picture like this, you watch how he does it, you assume a lot of responsibility. If you’re smart, if you’re the first, you set the tone. You’re the first one on the set, you make everybody else comfortable to make their best performances possible. I mean that’s just all part of the thing. So, that part was great with Paul.”
Green Screens and the New Pym Lab
It was clear that Michael Douglas has an entirely new appreciation for the type of technology required in Marvel films.
He said, “I’ve never done any of these pictures before. The last one was the first green screen film. It’s just a whole other world. I’ve got a whole new appreciation for actors who can act when there’s nothing there. I mean it may be just basic bottom terrain but you’ll sit in these huge studios with green walls all around and this and that and Peyton telling you, okay, the asteroids coming in here. Look up here, this and that. And you’re afraid you’re going to be embarrassed. And then you see it put together and they know what they’re doing.”
As far as the sets for Ant-Man and The Wasp, Douglas reminds us that at last movie’s end, Pym laboratory got demolished. So he said, “I must have put a lot of money away.” Why? Because the new movie set is one of “the most beautiful sets” he’s ever seen. That’s quite a compliment from a man who has starred in so many Hollywood films.
Who He’d Love to Work With
Though he’s given up on the idea of ever working with his dear old friend, Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas was very clear about one thing. He said, “One of the joys of this, is this point in my career, I want to work with nice people. ” I couldn’t agree more.
And the question we all want to know…
Are you going to be suiting up in the next Avenger’s film?
MICHAEL DOUGLAS : If I open my mouth, a blowgun– it’s a Marvel blowgun– I have learned my lesson. You have nothing. KGB has nothing on me.”
It was clear we weren’t getting anything from Michael Douglas. Hmmmmm.
But that post-credit scene, y’all! Here’s what and where you have to pay attention –> Ant-Man and The Wasp spoiler free review!
Now let’s take a look at the film…
Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP in theaters everywhere NOW!
Blog Posts from #AntManandTheWaspEvent so far:
Ant-Man and The Wasp spoiler free review
Paul Rudd – Living Large with Ant-Man and The Wasp
Evangeline Lilly Ant-Man and The Wasp Interview
Laurence Fishburne Marvel Dreams to Marvel Gasps
Exclusive Cloak and Dagger cast interviews – a new Marvel television show
Ant-Man and The Wasp press junket
Stay tuned for more cast and director interviews!
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