“Transformers” lead and known “Star Wars” fan Josh Duhamel stars in the new movie “Lost in the Sun,” about a felon who takes an orphan on the road as an accomplice. We recently spoke with him during a press tour for the film about super powers, what he would bring to the Avengers, the Darth and Luke dynamic between his character and the boy, and much more!
Marvel.com: To begin, what was it like building a relationship with the boy lead in the film?
Josh Duhamel: We went through a pretty extensive process of trying to find who that kid was going to be. And [Josh] Wiggins sort of separated himself because there was a great mix of a kid who’s still a kid and somebody who was transitioning into adulthood. The kid couldn’t be too young or young-feeling and he couldn’t be too old. He had to be sort of an impressionable, early teen. Somebody with the ability to drive a car and shoot a gun and still think that’s cool but also at the same time go “Wait, this guy is not a healthy father figure.” And thats really why he brought so much to it. And if we didn’t find the right kid, the movie doesn’t work and I thought that Wiggins was fantastic in this movie.
Marvel.com: I want to say that your character seems to be the perfect dynamic of being a bad guy but still a redeemable and likable. That’s got to be one of the meatiest roles. How did you take on this role?
Josh Duhamel: Well, he’s described as a smalltime crook and I guess that is what he is. But I was more interested in what the psychology behind why he is this guy and I don’t think anybody sets out to be the bad guy. But a bad decision quickly leads to another bad decision and I think his life has been a series of bad decisions and he’s filled with a lot of regret and missed opportunities. He realizes that at this point in his life he wants to try to find some peace. But he’s also desperate. Desperation makes you make really dumb decisions sometimes and he needs to eat; he needs to pay off this debt. So he’s desperate for money and he gets this kid involved with stuff that he never should have gotten a kid involved with. But that was all he knew to do in the moment and ultimately he goes too far and theres no turning back.
Marvel.com: Since a lot of people will watch the trailer and compare it to other films, I want to get your take on it. I see it as kind of like Clint Eastwood’s “A Perfect World” — what do you see it as like?
Josh Duhamel: Yeah, I guess that would be a pretty good comparison. There’s something about these guys who never set out to break the law or do things that were going to get them in trouble, but maybe they were. I mean some people maybe just have an attraction to the dark side. I don’t think that’s John. The more complicated he was, the more interesting he was going to be — not just for me but for people watching it. This guy didn’t want to be this dude, he just had no other choice…especially in his mind. So I think that is similar in a lot of ways to what happened to Kevin Costner in Clint Eastwood’s movie where you cross that line and there’s no turning back. And eventually you’re going to have to pay for your actions and that’s what happens here. I think both of these guys get what they deserve.
Marvel.com: It seems, from your social media, that you’re a Star Wars fan. I wanted to see what kind of Star Wars characterization is there in the relationship between your character and the boy. Is it like Obi-Wan and Luke?
Josh Duhamel: Maybe it’s more like Darth Vader and Luke.
Marvel.com: Very interesting.
Josh Duhamel: I don’t know, I never really thought of that while I was shooting it, but I am a huge fan of those movies. You know, I don’t think it’s as extreme as the Darth Vader thing because I think he truly was on the Dark Side. But what fascinates me is how people get in that position and I don’t think its by choice. I think it’s just some bad decisions that sort of led you to a place where now you’re labeled a bad guy or a criminal and it’s like “holy [expletive] this is not what I expected from myself.” And how do you get out of it and how do you find peace, which is really fascinating to me. This guy, all he really wants, is a simple meal and a bed that he can sleep in and not worry about being killed and to have a little peace of mind. And it’s a lot harder to achieve than you would think, especially for people like this.
Marvel.com: I also wanted to ask, if you personally had a super power, what would it be and why? And if your character had a super power what would it be and why?
Josh Duhamel: If I had a super power it would definitely be to fly. I sometimes watch birds just going wherever they want, just flying over the top of traffic here in LA. I don’t need x-ray vision or anything, I just want to fly — is that asking too much? And what would my character’s be? I think his would probably be to, somehow, magically make money.
Marvel.com: So it would just appear in his hands.
Josh Duhamel: Yeah, if he could just snap his fingers and have $10,000, that would cure a lot of his problems. But then again he’s probably that guy who would probably just do something again to get in the same position later. It’s funny how these types never seem to break the cycle.
Marvel.com: And if your character joined the Avengers, what would he bring to the table?
Josh Duhamel: Let’s see…he would probably be one of those characters that sort of toes the line between right and wrong. You can’t tell if he’s with you or against you. I think he would probably lie on the outside of the circle of trust within the Avengers.
“Lost in the Sun” is out now on VOD and iTunes. For more from Josh, you can follow him on Twitter here.