Disclaimer: I was provided with travel and accommodations by Disney/Marvel to attend this interview in L.A. All thoughts and opinions stated herein are my own unless otherwise noted.
Mom Does Reviews went to L.A. in June to interview the cast of Ant-Man and, so far, we have shared our interviews with you from Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and the Antourage. Now I get to share with you the other side of the Ant-Man film – a view from the villain, Corey Stoll. Stoll appears in Ant-Man as Darren Cross (aka Yellowjacket) and he is phenomial! I may be a little afraid of him now because his character was a sociopath – and he played the part really well! Michael Douglas agreed, Corey was a “great great villain” – you will have to see the film for yourself to understand.
“I think the biggest surprise was Corey. Corey was a great heavy. He was a great, great villain, and he brought (in the scenes I had with him), he brought much more strength and dynamo than I ever had anticipated.” ~ Michael Douglas
Before I continue onward with telling you about my interview with Corey Stoll, I want you to ask yourself something. If you were to be in a Marvel movie, would you want to be the HERO or the VILLAIN?
Years before the the movie Ant-Man began filming Corey Stoll had the privilege of attending a general meeting with the Executives at Marvel to discuss his future with them. During that meeting he told them
“I want to play a Villain.” ~ Corey Stoll
“Frankly, playing the Hero,
the contract tends to be longer…”~ Corey Stoll
…and while I had a wonderful experience. I would love to reprise this role if that happens. But [as a hero] I could be staring down the barrel of a seven Picture Deal or a nine Picture Deal like some people did. That’s a big commitment and I don’t know if I was quite ready for that.
Indeed, I never considered how much of a commitment it must be for actors like Robert Downey, Jr., and Hugh Jackman to stay so busy with Marvel. I believe you will agree Stoll made the right choice after you see how wonderful he was as Darren Cross (aka Yellowjacket).
About Darren Cross – Who is he?
Darren Cross is a scary guy. He wants success so badly that he has no moral boundaries. Hank Pym once saw something good in him, but second-guessed his decision later. Hank retracting from being his mentor sent Darren spiraling into this sociopath that we see in the film.
I want to make sure this Character is scary, but I also love what a Loser he was. He’s the least cool guy in the World. He wants to be Tony Stark. He wants to be the coolest guy in the world. He’s puffing himself up with these Tom Ford Suits and driving an Aston Martin but he doesn’t really — He knows that he’s not that guy. That’s the irony. He’s trying to buff himself to impress this Father figure and it’s exactly the opposite of what a Father figure wants.
Is there something good in Darren Cross that Corey Stoll can relate to?
When you are watching the film, there is a sense of good. There are hints that he was once a good guy, especially when you see him seeking Hank’s attention and acceptance. Can Stoll relate to anything that is good in Cross?
Yeah, there’s something that really didn’t end up in the Film but when he’s first selling the Yellow Jacket and this technology, we really brainstormed about what would be the — the beneficial applications of this technology and you realize that this actually could save the world. There’s so many things you could do. You could get a shipping container down to the size of a Volkswagen Bug, and the shipping cost would be like nothing and the Carbon emissions would become smaller. Or you could shrink smoke as it comes out of a Coal powered Planet, or you could get a Surgeon down to go and do Micro-Surgery. It really is like this incredibly Utopian thing. And I think there is that element in Darren that he wants to change the world for the better. It’s just that this Military Application happens to be the most lucrative. He just made the wrong choice.
But also having Michael Douglas be the person playing the Father figure, it was very easy to identify with wanting to get this approval. As a youngish Actor, I would like his approval.
About the Suit… how did that work out?
Stoll spent a portion of filming wearing a suit specially designed for the effects team to add-on his suit later with CGI. We did wonder if he was able to try on anything, or if he felt like he was missing out by not being able to wear one during fliming like Paul Rudd did.
I did two separate trips down to Atlanta just to try on different versions of the suit and it just never looked right. And I remember the first time I tried it on, everybody was trying to convince themselves that it looked cool. “Yeah, yeah, it’s gonna be great, just a little CGI over there and you know, it looked great.”
I just felt like a Power Ranger.
So and luckily, you know, smarter heads prevailed and they just did it off CGI. [And now] I think it’s awesome! I’m so excited the way it works. And you know I wasn’t wearing something but you look at it, it really looks real. It’s really amazing.
[About CGI] The coolest thing. It was a Dance, it really was just like a dance. It’s so funny because I don’t know how many 100 million dollars this Movie is, but in the end it was basically the same feeling as when I was 10 years old playing in the Playground. You just use your imagination and have fun and the camera picks it all up, they just feed that into a Computer, and then thousands of people all over the world peg away at the computers and make it really cool. My part of that job is just to play.
Ant-Man opens TOMORROW in theaters. Go and see all of the work Marvel and the acting team put forth into this film. I cannot wait to share it with my family and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to share the interviews with you.
U.S. Release date: July 17, 2015
Director: Peyton Reed
Producer: Kevin Feige
Executive Producers: Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine,
Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Edgar Wright, Stan Lee
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale,
Michael Peña, Judy Greer, Tip “Ti” Harris, David Dastmalchian,
Wood Harris Jordi Mollà and Michael Douglas