Santiago Cabrera Transformers: The Last Knight interviews and more
An on-set interview with Santiago talking about his character Santos, his relationship with Cade, working with Michael Bay, his co-stars and the IMAX 3D cameras.
La Segunda Interview
Santiago gave an interview to the Chilean newspaper La Segunda on his role in Transformers: The Last Knight. Here’s the interview translated into English. (Please note this is only one translation from the original Spanish text and others may be slightly different.) A Super8 is a very popular candy bar in Chile, it’s a chocolate covered wafer bar and vendors even walk through traffic on the highways to sell them!
Eating a Super8 with Santiago Cabrera in Toronto. The Chilean that has triumphed in Hollywood transformed his physique training with Navy Seals.
(By Jorge Ignacio Castillo – From Toronto)
Santiago Cabrera is not the same man that left his mark on the local screen with “La Vida de los Peces” (The Life of Fish) seven years ago. Training with Navy Seals has transformed him physically and has helped establish his career in an american market.
2017 has shown to be “the year” for the this Chilean actor who was born in Venezuela. Director Jean-Marc Vallee (“Dallas Buyes Club”) chose him to be Reese Witherspoon’s possessive lover on the HBO series “Big Little Lies”. The show is projected to sweep awards at the Emmys for the Best Miniseries this September.
He is also the lead actor for the CBS show “Salvation”, a science fiction drama directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (“28 Weeks Later”). Cabrera is a tech magnet who works with a group of scientists to try and save the world from an imminent asteroid collision on earth. The icing on the cake has been his role on “Transformers: The Last Knight” (Premiers in Chile July 20th), directed by over-the-top director Michael Bay. Cabrera plays Santos, the principle antagonist of the film, a character who thinks that all robots are the same and considers the friends of Autobots (Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins) traitors to humanity.
La Segunda conversed with Santiago in Toronto, where he is currently filming “Salvation”. Between bites of a Super8 (the actor has not eaten one in years), Cabrera revealed that his childhood was influenced more by “Star Wars” than by “Transformers”, even though he recognizes that he did play with the action figures.
– “Transformers” is at least a $200 million dollar production. How does it feel different?
In the level of production, in the three or four helicopters that are going around above you, in the intensity of the explosions. Michael Bay loves to maintain the set as realistic as possible to contrast the fantasy of the robots. He uses real military as reference.
– In comparison to your earlier roles, your role in “Transformers” is very physical. How different was your preparation?
Having the Navy Seals present was extremely helpful. I would train with them in the mornings before filming. I saw a lot of war films because my character came from that world. Feeling strong was important: these men are rough, they are well-built, but at the same time they are like children, very approachable.
– You not only are a soldier, but you are the commander of the group
Michael Bay told me that I would not have to do much, because the real soldiers were behind me. That sells the character.
– Did you have any concerns working with Michael Bay?
You hear a lot of things. The guy is a legend in action movies. I have had the opportunity to work with big directors and Michael is on that list. There are many conventional ways of doing things and Michael is unique: visually he is a choreographer. He has the movie in his head, that is why he can change things spontaneously and not lose control.
-How did you connect with Santos in particular?
Santos is someone who believes in a cause and wants to save humanity. Since he does not have a personal connection with Optimus Prime or Bumblebee he believes that all robots are the enemy. I liked that my character developed and had the capacity to change his point of view.
-How would you say that your transformation has affected the way you see your career?
Since I have lived in so many distinct countries, I look for themes that are universal and human, that let you identify with the story itself, independent of where you are from. I try to not pigeon hole myself in a character or culture, to not be a Latin cliche.
-Is there another principle that guides your career?
One cannot go crazy planning your career or you are going to be disappointed. There is always a strategy behind what you chose, but they offer you what they offer you. I have been given the opportunity to work in science fiction and in comics. What fascinates me the most is the archetype of the hero, a solitary character who sacrifices a normal life for a cause.
– What has been your favorite character in your career?
I like to think that each one adds to something. None have been a radical change. “Heroes” was the first time that I was part of something that had a universal impact, it put me on the map, but it did not change my life.
Interview with ‘Hoy’ on the red carpet at Transformers: The Last Knight Chicago Premiere
Santiago gave an interview in Spanish to ‘Hoy’ on the red carpet in Chicago, along with other cast members Isabela Moner and Juliocesar Chávez. Translation coming soon. Click on the screencap to go to the full interview, Santi interview starts about 30 seconds in…
Interview with National Post
Santiago gave an interview to Bob Thompson from National Post. See the interview here, text below….
Keeping track of Santiago Cabrera’s roles is a difficult task.
The Chilean co-starred in HBO’s recent melodramatic miniseries Big Little Lies. Before that, he was a musketeer on BBC’s The Musketeers. His other credits range from a guest appearance on the sitcom The Mindy Project to a recurring part as Lancelot in the fantasy Merlin, all since his 2006 breakout as the addict artist on the sci-fi series Heroes.
Now the 39-year-old shows up in Michael Bay’s special effects extravaganza Transformers: The Last Knight. Cabrera plays a military officer in the unit of Col. Lennox (Josh Duhamel) caught up in the war between mankind and the Transformers.
Taking a break from the Toronto shoot of television series Salvation, Cabrera appraises his Transformers experience and the impact of his assorted performances.
Q: Is the Transformers’ film your first blockbuster?
A: I would say it’s the first time doing something on that scale. It was actually a great experience.
Q: Who do you play?
A: I am a team leader and sort of mercenary who’s an ex-Navy SEAL. And the thing was, we had ex-Navy SEALs with us at all times during filming. It was fantastic to have an instant source to ask them something when it came up — the lingo or whether we’re loading a weapon right.
Q: Did you expect that kind of specificity from Bay?
A: Michael first said to me when I auditioned that he wanted the military stuff to feel as real as possible in contrast to the fantasy world of the robots.
Q: Was it difficult pretending to see the Transformer robots?
A: No, (Bay) makes it feel authentic for the actors. There were lots of green screens but we had lots of real explosions and choppers buzzing over our heads.
Q: Did you always follow to the script?
A: Michael was full of ideas and he sometimes springs things on you, so you have to be ready. He’s at the top of his game and he knows what he wants. He’s a hard worker, and he expects that from everybody in his cast and crew.
Q: Were you anxious about acting in a big special effects movie?
A: (Bay) gives you a load of confidence just by hiring you, because he’s telling you he knows you can do it. And it’s exhilarating and fun, and there’s the attention detail that’s impressive.
Q: Where did you film your Transformers scenes?
A: I was all over the place. In the U.S., I was in Arizona and then Detroit, and in the U.K., we filmed in London (sound stages) and in Wales at a quarry two hours out of Cardiff on this dirt road in the middle of nowhere.
Q: That’s odd — a quarry near Cardiff?
A: It was really quite a sight. When I arrived, Michael was in the middle of it bouncing around the world he was creating. And later, there were lots of explosions and 200 military men running around. I expected the movie was going to be massive in its scope and it was.
Q: Salvation’s probably more modest. What is the CBS series (airing next month) about?
A: It’s a science-fact show and really relevant. It’s a drama about a (doomsday) asteroid heading toward earth, but there’s tongue-in-cheek humour in it.
Last but not least, more photos from the red carpet!
More great photos from the premiere in Chicago…