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Before stepping into the spotlight as the new young hero in the fourth installment of the "Transformers" franchise, Jack Reynor would like to spend a little time talking about "What Richard Did." Nope, "Richard" is not one of Jack's friends — it's the new indie import from Ireland he stars in that screened at the Tribeca Film Festival this week.
The 21-year-old Reynor plays Richard, a high schooler whose life seems to be skimming along a golden road until a fate-changing accident the summer before his senior year.
Of course, we couldn't let Reynor go without asking him a few questions about "Transformers." Read on for Reynor's prediction for the number of explosions in the action movie, his favorite things about New York and an in-depth discussion of Mark Wahlberg's third nipple.
Congratulations on the movie! It premiered in nearly a year ago, so you must have seen it a few times by now.
[I've seen it] about 25 times. The world premiere was last September in Toronto, so we've been up and traveling with it kinda since then.
Are you tired of watching it yet?
Do you have a different opinion of it than when you started?
No, we're all very proud of it. I'm really happy with it, and it turned out exactly the way we wanted it to. And it's put me in an incredible position, career-wise, and I'm just so happy and honored to have been a part of that movie. If I never make another film again, I'll be happy that I had that one.
Oh, but you are.
But I am!
And so, we thought it would be a fun question, since the film is called "What Richard Did," obviously: What did Richard do?
Oh, what did he do!
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Or, what are some other things that Richard did?
OK. Richard's like this golden boy from real kinda like middle class society in Ireland, and he goes to one of these rugby schools where he has quite a strong sense of himself, or so he thinks. And during the course of the film, he kinda gets into a bit of a row, and without giving too much away, does something that causes everything that he thinks about himself and his life to be stripped away, and he's forced to look at himself critically and to re-examine and to just analyze everything about himself, and it's about how he does that, and the process that he goes through.
You're based in Dublin, correct? Where are you living nowadays?
I’m kind of nomadic really, but I’m based in L.A. at the moment.
How long have you been there?
Um, maybe a month and a half? And I'll be there until I go and shoot "Transformers."
Had you been to L.A. before recently, the past few years? Are you well-traveled?
Yeah, I hadn't been there before my career started. I went up for the first time when I was 18. It's a great place, I love L.A. I mean, in Ireland it just rains all the time, it's crap weather, so it's nice to go to L.A. where it's just sunshine every day, and then it's kinda easier to live a kinda healthy lifestyle. As opposed to New York, where you just drink all day.
You said that you're a little bit nomadic right now. What are the things that you have to have with you?
I bring a copy of "Dracula" with me wherever I go, the book. It's my favorite book in the world, it's absolutely incredible. My great-great grandfather was the guy who printed the first edition, so he's the first person to ever put "Dracula" on the written page.
That's really cool.
Yeah, and as far as I'm concerned, the film has never been made, because no one has been able to adapt the book truthfully. So my dream is to make a proper film about it someday.
Nice. Do you want to be behind the camera? In front?
I'd like to produce it.
Do you have any interest in writing or adapting screenplays?
Yeah, absolutely. I think that it's an important thing that, in your career, you should kinda do everything if you can. You should write and produce and direct and experience it all, and I think that's how you'll have longevity in your career as well. Look at Ben Affleck right now.
Dude's on fire.
Obviously there's a big vampire thing going on right now, and you're into "Dracula." So: "Twilight"? Thoughts?
You look so pumped!
Yeah, just totally pumped. [Laughs] Yeah, it is interesting. It's definitely a removal from classic vampire culture, but teenage girls seem to love it.
You among them?
[Laughs] Me among them!
You're going to be in "Transformers 4," which is really cool, congratulations.
Awesome. Yeah, thanks.
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So when's all that starting?
Um … you know, it's all kinda a little bit … I don't really know, I'm kinda kept in the dark, and I'm happy that I'm kept in the dark, because it's too big for me to really want to have to think about too hard. So I'm not really sure about … we're gonna start shooting soon? I guess it's gonna go up until maybe the end of the year, and we've got a lot of places that we're gonna go to, and Mark Wahlberg's in it, which is incredibly exciting for me. I think Mark is amazing. We've got Nicola Peltz in there as well, Stanley Tucci's just come on board. There's great actors, and I'm just really excited to be part of that project.
Are you a big Michael Bay fan?
You know, his only film that I haven't seen is "Pain & Gain," I am so excited to see that. But my favorite movie of Michael's at the moment is probably, I think, "The Rock." "The Rock" is a great movie.
Nice. So you're gonna be kinda the new Shia LaBeouf …
I think, in a sense.
I'm sure everyone loves being compared, right?
[Laughing] In a sense, not quite. I think there's definitely making a step away from what was there in the previous films. It's gonna be a new approach, so I'm happy to be coming in with a kind of fresh outlook on the whole thing.
You, and Mark Wahlberg, and Marky Mark's third nipple.
Uh huh, exactly, exactly.
Have you seen it?
No. Oh, really? He has a third nipple?
Yeah! I think so. Am I wrong? Am I making that up?
I don’t know. I didn't notice in those Calvin Klein shots that he did.
I think that he has, like…
Publicist: It's his belly button, maybe?
Does he have two belly buttons? He has something strange about his torso.
I'll ask him.
I'd like you to examine that, and find out.
I'll talk to him about that.
That should be probably how you just talk to him. Walk up and be like "Hey man, I heard something weird is going on here …"
"So tell me about this nipple, man! What’s going on?!" That's hilarious.
Are you keeping your accent for the movie?
Again, it's something that remains to be seen.
Can you do an American accent?
What’s the hardest word to say in an American accent?
I don't know, I'd have to be doing it to think about it. I think, you know … what would I stumble on? Like I said, I've been brought up watching American TV. I'm a citizen, I was born here, and I think I have quite a good ear for it, so I don't really stumble up. I feel like I should say yes, that I stumble on a word, that I have a word that I stumble on, but I can't say that I do right now.
Brush off your shoulders.
I'm just that f**king good as an actor! [laughs]
What's your prediction for how many explosions are going to be in this movie?
Explosions that I think are going to be in "Transformers 4"? OK, well, what constitutes an explosion? Does it have to be a building? Can it be, like a car blowing up?
Oh yeah, that definitely counts.
There's gonna be, I would say, in excess of 100. I think between like 100 and 150. That's a rough estimation, but if I would hazard a guess, I think that's what it’s gonna be.
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So we have a few Tribeca-specific questions, since we're here in New York. If you had your own film festival, like Robert DeNiro and Tribeca or Robert Redford and Sundance, what would it be called, where would it be, would it have a theme?
What would it be called … [To publicist] Have you got any killer names for a film festival?
Publicist: The Transylvania Film Festival
There you go. That’s what it's called. That's bad ass. If there was a film festival in Transylvania …
Would it be all vampires or would it go totally opposite? Would it be, like, musicals?
No, it would have to be … I'd want to be doing it in a really slick way so it wasn't actually about vampires, but there was like an air of it there, so everyone would very much like be black tie, it would be very dark, and kind of a little bit mysterious, there would be like fun s**t to do. I would make it into kinda like a horror festival, sort of.
Publicist: Like the seats are coffins, or something like that.
Yeah yeah yeah yeah!
It could be like a gothic rom-com fest.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about New York?
My favorite thing about New York is the view, the skyline. We went to, like, the Irish consulate yesterday, they hosted a party, and we went up to the 52nd floor of this building and they had this gorgeous penthouse apartment, and we just looked out and watched the sun go down, and it's right in the middle of the city, it's like being on a chessboard, it was amazing.
My least favorite thing about New York is probably the traffic. I hate it. The people are such aggressive drivers here, they're horrible. God, it's nearly as bad as L.A. L.A. is worse, but it's nearly as bad as L.A. I always feel like I'm in danger of having an accident.
And a signature food of New York is bagels. How do you take your bagels?
Yeah. Bagel fan?
I just have it with butter and ham on it, I guess. Toasted.
Using the formula of your first pet and the street you grew up on, what your porn name would be?
Sandy, and the street I grew up on was St. Helens Road.
Sandy St. Helens!
Holy s**t! [laughs] That is awesome! That's one of the best ones I've heard!
Would you like to take a selfie for us?
I'm recording video. Oh. Here we go.