Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D - Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson
Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Epps (Tyrese Gibson) © 2011 Paramount


Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson are back in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon once again portraying Major William Lennox and Master Sergeant Robert Epps, both working on a highly-classified secret government mission to try to annihilate the evil Decepticons who are once again targeting Earth.

They spoke of returning to their roles and the incredible success of the franchise at the press day in Moscow for the movie.

What’s happening with your characters in this sequel?

Tyrese Gibson on the red carpet arrivals of the Global Premiere © 2011 Paramount

Tyrese Gibson: My character, Robert Epps, is Master Sergeant in Command in charge of all communications pertaining to the aircraft, where we’re landing, where we’re dropping bombs, where we are located, where all the action is supposed to take place on the grounds, keeping us safe.

In this particular Transformers, my character comes in later in the film because I’ve retired. I was frustrated and I was dealing with post-stress disorder.

I’m on a classified mission working with the Autobots on some top secret stuff and he Sam shows up to my job, and asks me to come back and join in on the mission to defeat these Decepticons. I’m a little reluctant, and then I just decide I’ve got a problem with these Decepticons and what they did to my friends – and Epps is back.

Josh Duhamel on the red carpet arrivals of the Global Premiere © 2011 Paramount

Josh Duhamel: My character is not Captain Lennox but Major Lennox no. I’m the fastest rising soldier in the history of the US Military. But we left last time with me as Captain. He beat the evil Decepticons and this time around we join forces with the Autobots and we work together to hunt evil.

My character has been working with the Autobots for the last few years, there’s an underground, highly-classified part of the government, and we work directly with the Autobots and work in teams hunting wherever Decepticons show up around the world.

Tyrese, you were in the fifth installment of Fast and Furious, and the third Transformers – how did those experience differ?

Tyrese: I love adrenalin. I’m a big fan of cars. I’ve tried my best to get as many cars as I could over my years, and make sure that they’re as fast as legally safe.

Fast Five is a different type of movie, different kind of cast, different type of energy. I think for me, I didn’t grow up watching Fast and the Furious – I grew up watching Transfomers. And so as far as the culture, the world, Transformers is more in my bloodstream.

When Michael approached me about Transformers all of six years ago, I tried to keep my composure. He said, ‘Hey, man, I’m supposed to be doing this movie, Transformers. Would you be interested?’ And I was like, ‘Hell, yeah.’ On the inside, I was jumping up and down, going crazy. But I was trying to keep my cool.

It’s been an incredible ride. And as far as I’m concerned, you can do movies with cars all day, but they won’t transform. So this is always gonna be the biggest and the best of them all.

Can you talk about working with Michael Bay?

Josh: He’s like a big kid who loves making movies and has this incredible imagination and this gift for shooting.

I think he’s a little bit underappreciated for his ability to pull humor out of things, because a lot of the humor you see in his movies isn’t always in the script, a lot of it is because of him bouncing ideas off of either Turrero or Shia, whoever is in the scene. They find ways to make it funnier, bumped up against really scary situations.

What was it like working with Josh again?

Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and Epps (Tyrese Gibson) with Optimus Prime behind © 2011 Paramount

Tyrese: Me and Lenny’s character, it has always been like the ying and the yang, where if he’s Captain Lennox, I’m Master Sergeant Epps and we’re both on a mission to accomplish the mission.

It was just good to work with Josh again. I think he’s grown as an actor. He’s grown with being able to take on the responsibility of coordinating and trying to be a leading man, to take charge and keep it all together and make it all stick like glue.

So it was good to see him take charge in Trans 3 and he’s doing a lot more communicating with the robots and helping to get the mission accomplished.

What was your expectation doing Transformers 3 movie?

Lennox (Josh Duhamel) © 2011 Paramount

Josh: There is an expectation, and I don’t think anybody wanted to just come in and do the same thing. You’re always trying to find something new to elevate the material and try to make the best movie that we can.

I was very proud of the first one and the second one, but I think that he really did a great job of keeping it linear and human, and the action stuff is just really intense.  There’s a lot of darkness to this movie, not only in the action stuff, but I think Shia’s performance, there’s a darkness to it which makes it very cool.

With the fans, typically you really run into really high expectations or really low expectations, people don’t expect these movies to match what they did in the first one.

I really feel like Michael was really focused on making a fresh version of this movie, and I was really pleasantly surprised by how human it felt and how the story all made sense, and I just love the darkness and the violence of it too.

There’s something very scary about it.

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter. More by Judy Sloane