EXCLUSIVE: BUMBLEBEE Actor Jason Drucker Talks Reuniting With Hailee Steinfeld, His Sequel Hopes, & More
With Bumblebee making its debut on 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray yesterday, Paramount Pictures recently granted us an exclusive opportunity to sit down with one of the film's young stars, Jason Drucker!
Ahead of the film's home video debut, I was granted an exclusive opportunity to sit down with Jason Drucker, who plays Charlie's (Hailee Steinfeld) younger brother Otis and we covered a variety of topics, including reuniting with Hailee after Barely Lethal, his natural comedic chops, his inspiration for his character, his big car chase, sequel hopes, Megatron, and a whole lot more.
ROHAN: I saw that you’re 13, which means you were very young when the first trilogy of Transformers films came out. Were you a fan of the franchise growing up or are they films you discovered more recently?
JASON: No, no. I was a fan growing up. I remember playing with Transformers toys since I was like 3 or something and had them for a while. Then, I remember learning about the cartoons and tv shows and the movies also, which I did end up watching. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to grow up watching the original films from the ‘80s, but I was definitely a fan before I got this role.
ROHAN: You had a pretty cool reunion on this film as you got to work with Hailee again, after Barely Lethal. What was it like reuniting with her after a few years?
JASON: It was really, really cool. I think it was close to five years between both movies but people look and she’s accomplished a lot in that period of time, in both singing and acting, so reuniting with her was super cool. I really enjoyed working with her on both films.
ROHAN: I’d say most of your scenes in the movie are fairly comedic in nature, playing the little brother to Hailee’s Charlie, and then acting opposite Pamela Adlon and Stephen Schneider, who play your parents. Is comedy something that comes fairly naturally to you?
JASON: Comedy is definitely my favorite genre when it comes to movies. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to work on a full-fledged comedy yet, but yeah, I’m extremely animated and I believe I have a very good sense of humor when it comes to many things and you’ll probably find me just making my brother or my mom or my dad just crack up because that’s just something I enjoy doing. It makes them feel good and it makes me feel good. So yeah, I’ve always enjoyed comedy for sure.
ROHAN: How many brothers or sisters do you have?
JASON: Just two brothers. Older and younger.
ROHAN: Oh okay, so you’re the middle child. I remember that scene where Charlie basically asks you to cover for her while she sneaks out and you almost immediately give her up when your mom interrogates you.
JASON: *laughs* Yeah.
ROHAN: I could definitely relate since I have a younger brother too and he’s definitely screwed me on more than one occasion growing up, with good intentions, of course, in similar fashion to what Otis does to Charlie.
Did you draw any inspiration from your own experiences with your brothers during that scene or when establishing your brother/sister dynamic with Hailee?
JASON: My older brother is only two years older, so fortunately, he’s not sneaking out just yet, but we do have a good relationship. We have many inside jokes and secrets, we’re very close. Same with my younger brother.
ROHAN: You don’t get much face time with Bumblebee, but you do have a pretty sweet action scene with the car chase. I’m sure there were stunt drivers involved, but how cool was that for you to film? I’m assuming you were in one of the cars at some point.
JASON: Yeah, I was. I was in there, but unfortunately, I didn’t really get to go driving around in the car. It was shot in front of a huge blue screen with the shell of a car hooked up to this big machine that was programmed to shake around and stuff to make it look like it was a real chase. It was still really cool and nothing I’d ever experienced before. That was a joy.
ROHAN: Yeah, I can imagine. What was your experience like coming from television and indies to this gigantic Transformers set?
JASON: It didn’t really think it was that different, it was just another acting job on another film. I mean I love what I do, and I just went in thinking this is just another hobby, but it’s a hobby that does come with some really cool perks.
ROHAN: I don’t think it’s been officially announced, but we’ve already seen reports of a sequel being in the works. Where would you want to see the sequel go?
JASON: After Bumblebee, I think they’re taking many steps in the right direction and I trust them and I just want to see what they come up with next.
ROHAN: A potential sequel will see Otis grow up a bit, probably 15-16, how would you want to develop your character even further?
JASON: Oh, I don’t know… Many were saying when I got the part that my character would grow up to be Shia LaBeouf’s character, which I couldn’t believe. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I did have to look him up and we realized that we do kind of look alike, so if that happened, it would be totally awesome, but I don’t think the timeline fits.
ROHAN: Are there any other Transformers, outside of Bumblebee, you’d want to see in a sequel?
JASON: For me, I’d, of course, love to see Optimus Prime again, the end of the movie had me so excited. I know the original Transformers fans would love to see more of the Gen-1 stuff from the beginning of the movie. That was a really cool scene.
ROHAN: Yeah, it was. How early did you know about Optimus’ role in the film and some of the other surprise cameos? Was it all in the script you had or did they hold a few secrets?
JASON: I just remember reading about how the opening was going to be a fight on Cybertron. I don't think it said anything about it being the G-1 Transformers that would be involved, but I remember when they announced that, the older fans were super excited.
ROHAN: You seem to be a big fan of the first Transformers movie, from 2007, and I was talking to Christina recently, who wrote Bumblebee, and she hinted at one of the early scripts having a possible role for Megatron.
What are your thoughts on possibly seeing him again down the line in a sequel?
JASON: Ohhh, that’d be so cool if Megatron came back. That’d be awesome. I don’t know how he’d come back, but that’d be so freaking cool.
On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.
Director: Travis Knight
Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie Watson
John Cena as Agent Jack Burns
Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Memo
John Ortiz as Dr. Powell
Jason Drucker as Otis Watson
Pamela Adlon as Sally Watson
Rory Markham as Jake Adams
Rachel Crow as Celia
Abby Quinn as Alice
Gracie Dzienny as Tina
Ricardo Hoyos as Trip
Kenneth Choi as Ken
Stephen Schneider as Ron
Len Cariou as Hank
Dylan O'Brien as Bumblebee
Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime
Grey Griffin as Arcee
Steve Blum as Wheeljack
Andrew Morgado as Cliffjumper
Kirk Baily as Brawn
Dennis Singletary as Ratchet
Angela Bassett as Shatter
Justin Theroux as Dropkick
David Sobolov as Blitzwing
Jon Bailey as Shockwave
Bumblebee is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & Digital HD!
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