Shooting for Bumblebee tested my imagination, says Hailee Steinfeld
The actor plays Charlie Watson, a teenager who befriends the titular character
Hailee Steinfeld's bond with autobot Bumblebee is the highlight of the film, but the actor says she found it hard to emote in front of the camera with her absent co-star. All Steinfeld had was a "tennis ball and a stick" to respond to while enacting her scenes as Charlie Watson, a headstrong misfit teenager who eventually befriends the alien robot, B-127, and later renames him, Bumblebee.
"It was a very strange experience, unlike anything I've ever done. Making a film where it feels like 90 per cent of it is with something that is not physically there. The weirdest part was that it wasn't like I was in front of a green screen and had nothing around me. I was in the real world with nothing to talk to. I haven't really decided (if it was harder or weirder) but it was interestin. Travis Knight, the director really got me through, helping me by just really painting the picture in every moment," she said in an exclusive video clip shared by Paramount Pictures.
Acting alongside her absent co-star may have tested the margins of Steinfeld's imagination but she managed to bond with Bumblebee through his expressive big blue mechanical eyes.
"I think there's something very special about them. One of the first parts of Bumblebee that I see as he's transforming into his robot self are his eyes. Those were the first things that come alive and that's really the connection. It's all there, he doesn't speak so it's all in the eyes," she said.
The Transformers spin-off, executive produced by Steven Spielberg, has been critically-acclaimed for its humane story. Working with John Cena - he plays Lieutenant Jack Burns, a hardened military officer who has a grudge against the Transformers - was also a delight for Steinfeld.
"It was really a lot of only us in multiple scenes back-to-back. So we had a good amount of time together. Our characters don't necessarily get along that well so it was nice to have somebody that could very easily snap into character and really take it seriously and get the job done. When the camera's not rolling he was laughing and having a good time and making jokes and that's always wonderful to have around," she said.
Also starring Jorge Lendeborg Jr, John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, and Pamela Adlon, Bumblebee is releasing tomorrow in India.