Transformers: The Last Knight takes place in a world that's not friendly to Transformers - not even Autobots. With Optimus Prime gone and the Transformers' presence on Earth declared illegal, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is hiding out in a junkyard with Bumblebee, Grimlock and the rest of the gang, trying to keep them from attracting too much attention... which would be a lot easier if Grimlock didn't go around eating police cruisers.
Cade isn't alone, however, as he has recruited help in the form of Jimmy (Jerrod Carmichael), a local man who thought he was applying for a boring desk job, but who ends up working alongside the Autobots to save the world - this time from new villain Quintessa and her plan to rejuvenate Cybertron. Ahead of Transformers: The Last Knight's global premiere in London, Screen Rant spoke to Carmichael about his role in the movie. Check out a video of the interview above, and a transcript below.
So were you a big Transformers fan coming up?
Jerrod Carmichael: Nah. [laughs] I’m kind of, not really. I was aware of the cartoon and I watched a little bit of it after Garfield but the movies are actually what got me.
Did you go back and watch the cartoon series at all before doing this, or did you just jump right in?
JM: It’s so nothing like it that I don’t think it would have helped at all.
It’s a much bigger scale.
JM: Exactly. I’d seen most of the series, so I was already pretty familiar.
Do you have a favorite out of all the Transformers?
JM: Probably Optimus Prime. It sounds so cliché, you know?
No, it’s not cliché. It’s Optimus Prime.
JM: But I feel like I want to pick the one that would be the “deep album cut” of the Transformers. You don’t want to be the guy who just says “Dazed and Confused is your favorite Led Zeppelin song.” Oh, really? Oh, really???
You could just make up a Transformer and say, “Yeah, my favorite is Box Head…”
JM: Ricky! Ricky is by far the greatest Transformer of them all.
Is there a vehicle you’d like to see turned into a Transformer?
JM: No, because it would frighten me and I would call it The Devil and run and hide in a bunker.
You’re not pro-Transformer?
JM: In real life? I love them in the movies but in real life? No, they’re frightening. The machines are going to take over soon enough and we’re just gonna have to deal with it because they’re going to cure death and we’re all just going to be very old, around machines that are forcing us into a world that we don’t really want to exist in but we don’t have any choice because modern medicine has advanced to a place where we just live in this sedated state where the machines kind of mimic the family we once had…any way… it’ll it be fun, maybe.
Maybe we’ll invent Transformers soon. Would you want to be a Transformer? That’s the other interesting question.
JM: God no! It’s frightening. It’s frightening! Being a human is so cool. And I don’t want us to forget that.
So you like that humans get to help out in the movie, because there are giant robots that turn into trucks and you’re just a squishy little person on the sidewalk.
JM: Yeah. Exactly. We are designed to drink tea and hang out and watch these fights in theaters.
What was it like filming? Because obviously the Transformers themselves, they film their scenes separately.
JM: Yeah. They have a different stage.
How big was the junkyard you filmed in?
JM: It was so massive. It’s all real. All the real world stuff you see is actually there. The junkyard was huge and it was like the first set we were on. It’s weird. The ironic thing is that it looks beautiful. It’s a junkyard but you know, it’s a Michael Bay movie.
With robot dinosaurs.
JM: Yeah, robot dinosaurs just spitting out a police cruiser.
So Jimmy and Cade, Jimmy gets hired by... is it a Craiglist ad?
JM: It was an ad in the local paper and Jimmy thought he was just signing up for a regular desk job and the next thing you know, there’s a robot.
What’s his official title in the company?
JM: Oh my goodness, I’m blanking. It was one that Jimmy essentially made up and Kate was like, “No. No. No one ever gave you that title.”
Do you think he got business cards printed out?
JM: Oh I’m sure. I’m sure he told all his friends. Signed up on LinkedIn. I’m sure he’s on LinkedIn with some elaborate title.
Would you be interested in coming back for another Transformers movie? Having done one would you like to go through that experience again?
JM: I’m out.
JM: I’m done. This was fun. That’s not to say this wasn’t an amazing experience but I’m done after this one. Me and Michael Bay are out. I’m just going to lump myself in with him.
It’s just the two of you walking off into the sunset?
JM: Oh yeah. This is our Transformers swan song.
Are you looking forward to the Bumblebee movie that’s coming out as well?
JM: Yeah, that should be fun. That’ll be really fun, yeah.
I’m looking forward to seeing that as well.
JM: It should be cool.
As a final question, this is very close to my heart, did you say... Oh I’m going back to England again. Did you film anything in England?
JM: Yeah, I did.
How was it filming in my home country?
JM: It was very lovely. Everyone here is very nice. I get to eat beans for breakfast. That’s insane.
JM: Not on toast. I’m not at that advanced Englishmen state yet. I’m a novice. They’re still in small dishes for me. But I’ve got to try it on toast?
Yeah. I don’t how we ended up with beans-on-toast at the end.
JM: Yeah, what’s up with that? It’s like a meal that was created during a war. It just sounds like wartime meals. You know, like certain foods came out of necessity? Or just a nostalgia for it. Like certain foods were created from something terrible, like porridge. Porridge came from something tragic.
I’m not a fan of porridge but beans on toast...
JM: Yeah, because your family isn’t dead from the Depression. [laughs]
Directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Jerrod Carmichael, Isabela Moner and Santiago Cabrera, The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).
There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference. In Transformers: The Last Knight, the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.
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