Spotlight By: Michael DanceMichaelDance@TheCinemaSource.com
Josh Duhamel is first and foremost a hardworking actor. The rare soap opera star to successfully cross over, the All My Children alum nabbed the lead role next to James Caan in NBC’s successful series Las Vegas. And over the last four years, by and large, he has focused mainly on that show, only occasionally appearing on the big screen for flicks like Win a Date with Tad Hamilton and Turistas. While both of those films were unsuccessful, Duhamel’s hard work has paid off again, as he nabbed a major role in the big-budget summer tentpole Transformers.
“I saw the movie last night for the first time, and I was just like, ‘whoa, I don’t believe it,’ it was just so cool,” he says excitedly. “It was so big and loud and I just felt like, it was something that you definitely dream about…I wasn’t expecting this. I mean, I hoped and I thought that I’d get there at some point, but you know for this opportunity to come like it did, I feel very lucky.
At the same time, he’s well aware of the movie’s place in the canon of great films. “It’s a movie about the robots…It’s not the character piece that you would maybe want to do. But at the same time you feel like a kid out there, playing cops and robbers with these big robots.”
Of course, being part of the media, we always try to draw real-life parallels to our pop entertainment, even when there’s maybe nothing there. When it’s mentioned that the full-scale war going on in the film could be reminiscent of the US’s current entanglements, Duhamel is kind enough to consider, and then disregard, the comparison. “I sort of looked at it a little differently. Because [we are] in Iraq, it’s all current, this is stuff that’s going on,
This being a Michael Bay film, the things Duhamel could expect were explosions, more explosions, and slow-motion “hero” shots of the actors. On that last point, Duhamel carries a healthy amount of self-deprecation. “If you could’ve seen what happened behind the scenes, [Bay's] like, ‘Jesus, Duhamel! I need to get you some macho juice or something. I’m trying to make you look cool here!’” He feigns crying: “I’m like, ‘Okay, what do you want me to do?’” Then he laughs. “He’s not afraid to tell you when you look like a pussy, believe me. And he did a few times.”
Upon returning to his day job on the set of Las Vegas, changes were under foot for the upcoming fifth season. James Caan is leaving the show and will be replaced by Tom Selleck. “Tom Selleck is the new wise one. Jimmy’s gone, we all miss Jimmy. I really miss Jimmy.” While he doesn’t know exactly what happened behind the scenes — “I didn’t really broach the subject with him” — he’s optimistic about the future. “Tom seems to be fitting in well. You know, they’re totally different styles, obviously, but he’s a real pro.”
A long-running television show is one thing, and a famous girlfriend is another. (He’s dating Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, something he’s pointedly tried to keep off the front page of every tabloid.) But a gigantic hit movie? That really has the potential