Don Jeanes Interview — Transformers: Dark of the Moon
|Photo By: Michael Rozman|
When I saw the first trailer for ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon,’ I thought, “I wonder if that guy in the space-suit is hot?” Then I landed an interview with him and as it turns out — he is hot. There are days when being a blogger really pays off. Actually, I prefer to call myself an “online journalist,” but that’s neither here nor there. The hot guy in question is Don Jeanes, and he plays Neil Armstrong in one of the biggest blockbuster films in history. Jeanes grew up on a ranch in Texas, and he later moved to New York to pursue acting. After a few years in New York, he moved to Los Angeles, where, needless to say, he’s doing quite well for himself. Read my interview with the yummy actor below.
I think every kid fantasizes about being an astronaut. What was it like wearing the space suit?
It was really cool. Our costumes were inspired by the designs of actual NASA space suits. I couldn’t help but feel a little heroic just trying it on at the fitting. I will say though that once you put on the glass helmet it gets a little claustrophobic.
The 1984 animated Transformers film was Orson Wells’ last movie. Were you intimidated by the history of the Transformers franchise?
Yes and no. As an actor I was intimidated to play one of America’s most beloved heroes in front of such a large audience but not of the Transformers franchise; in that aspect it was an honor.
As a kid, I loved the transformers cartoon and used to watch it every morning before school. I went to see both ‘Transformers’ and ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ in the theater. I remember sitting there after ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ envisioning myself being a part of such an action thriller film.
Shia Labeouf has described Michael Bay as having an “aggressive personality.” What was your experience working with him?
From my personal experiences on set, I would say that Mr. Bay is straightforward when he is directing. I found him to be as personable as a man can be considering the millions of dollars invested in the film while orchestrating hundreds of people on set everyday. I was intrigued by his hands-on approach for each scene and his interactions with all of the actors and crew members. It was great knowing that I could have an open line of communication.
You’re starring in the Los Angeles play, ‘Jesus Hopped the “A” Train,’ this summer. I know your career began in New York. Do you favor theater or film?
That’s a hard question to answer. I really enjoy working in both mediums because they allow me to work as an actor and perform in different ways. A linear performance in front of a live audience on stage is what I love. On the other hand, I also love film because it reaches a broader audience in which I can impact more people.
I read in an interview that your cousin is a rodeo clown. For some reason I think his career might be just as entertaining as a Hollywood film. Any chance you might have stayed in Texas and gone that route?
(Laughs) Yes, there’s a slight chance that would have happened. I started riding bulls when I was fifteen with my older brother. We had only been riding for a short while when he broke his collarbone. I must admit, as a young kid, that scared me a little given that I could no longer get to the rodeos because I couldn’t even drive yet. I think if that accident hadn’t happen I might still be “Spurrin and Pickin Apples” in Texas today.
Tell the truth. Do you have a Megatron figurine from your childhood that you fight in your spare time?
(Laughs) No, but I do have a “Sonar” figurine that was given to me for my last birthday.
Did you get to steal anything from the set?
(Laughs) Does a pair of socks count? I drove my motorcycle to the set every day and one morning it was raining. My feet ended up being soaked. I ended up getting a pair from the costume department and they have been a memento ever since!