SDCC 2010: TRON LEGACY Interview Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde and Michael Sheen

     July 28, 2010


The highly anticipated sci-fi film Tron: Legacy is finally opening in theaters on December 17th, much to the delight of fans of the 1982 original. After nearly three decades of updated technology, the story is now a high-tech, 3-D adventure set in a digital world that’s unlike anything ever captured on the big screen.

While at Comic-Con, Jeff Bridges & Bruce Boxleitner, co-stars from the original film, were joined by Tron newcomers Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde and Michael Sheen, to talk about the excitement for the film, revisiting the world and putting on those electronic suits. Check out what they had to say after the jump:

Tron_Legacy_movie_posterQuestion: For the actors new to the Tron franchise, what was your first exposure to the original?

Michael: I remember when I first saw Tron back in 1943.

Olivia: It came out two years before I was born, but it’s always part of the culture. I was aware of it because of video games. It was this cool retro thing that I was aware of. It was just part of the zeitgeist. I just always knew it was cool, and now we’ve made it cooler.

Michael: I was 11 when it first came out. I went to a cinema. My uncle Russell was there with me and, apart from the phenomenal acting, I forget who the actors were. It was just that look. It was both a futuristic and historical cyber-movie with this weird thing called CG.

Garrett: I never saw the original until about 2003. I saw it on my laptop oversees somewhere. A pal had shown it to me. He said, “You’ve never seen the original Tron? You have to see Tron.” So, I sat back and watched, and I just thought it was a trip. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. At that point, it being 20 years old, it still played so well.

Jeff, what was your reaction when this first came across your path?

Jeff: Well, I had heard rumors that there was going to be a sequel, for many years, but I gave up on it. And then, all of a sudden, this script showed up and Disney had it on the back burners because they were not satisfied with the script, so they waited. And, I’m so happy they did because we got a good script. They also held out and found the right guy to be at the helm. With Joe Kosinski, I really think they found a terrific leader because he came from architecture. It’s always interesting where a director comes from, whether he’s a writer or an actor. To have an architect at the helm of this one was terrific. He was really up-to-date with all of the modern techniques we had in special effects, so he was a great leader and he was terrific with actors. When we got that whole package together and then presented it, I said, “This sounds like something I’d love to do.” Just like the first one, it tickled the kid in me to be sucked inside a computer and play with all of the new toys that we had available to us. To be involved with the cutting edge was very exciting.

How does it feel to see people so excited about Tron again?

Jeff: Oh, it’s great. It’s so exciting. Comic-Con wasn’t around back when the first one came out. To feel the energy of the people, we really sensed it when we came here last year and showed the trailer. It was the year before that when we showed the first test, and that was very responsible for getting the whole movie rolling and getting it financed. The fans have been very integral to this whole thing.

Did you do any photography on the set of this film?

Jeff: No, I didn’t take too many pictures on this film, mainly because the cameras that I use are wide lens. They require quite a bit of light and our movie required very little light. Because of the suits, it was quite dim, so I didn’t take too many pictures. I have a few and they may pop up on the web site again.

What’s it like to have Daft Punk involved with the film’s score?

Olivia: It was amazing because they would come to where we were shooting. Sometimes, if we really needed to find the tone of a scene, we would listen to a Daft track and then you’d really understand where you were with the scene. I thought that was really helpful and really inspiring, so we were lucky with that.

Jeff, do you think 3-D is here to stay?

Jeff: As far as 3-D goes, I don’t know if that will stay very long because things are moving so rapidly. As filmmakers, we’re constantly always looking for something to bring the audience deeper into the reality of the story we’re telling. There’s a film process called Show Scan that Douglas Trumbull developed that didn’t take off. That was running the film at 60 frames, instead of 24 frames, and it was projected that way. It made everything look sharp and with almost a 3-D effect. 3-D without glasses should be coming out in the next 10 years. That would be a hologram. Or, maybe you’ll just take a pill. It will be Tron: The Pill.

Bruce, how did it feel to work on this?

Bruce: Well, the idea of working with Jeff again, and finding out where these characters went after all these years, and seeing what happened to them, was what intrigued me. When I first read the script, I was just thrilled about it because I had no idea that Alan Bradley had become such a lost soul. It was such a great take on these characters that was so absolutely real. I was just thrilled by it.

Tron-Legacy-postersWhat was it like to wear the electronic suits?

Olivia: It was amazing.

Michael: It was amazing to watch Olivia in the suit.

Olivia: It was totally revolutionary. This had never been done before. We were wearing electro-luminescent lamps woven through layers of neoprene and all these other amazing materials. It was an honor to be able to wear something like that, that was changing the way that every other department was working on the film. It would change the way the scene was lit, and it would open up all of these possibilities. It was really beautiful. We would get really excited every time the suits would turn on because you’d look around and go, “Gosh, this is really amazing.” Then, it made this sound, which the sound department loved.

Garrett: We had to train immensely for the suit and they do this thing called cyber-scan, where they created this suit out of every curve and definition of your body, so it was completely exact and fit like a glove. Then, you would go into a dark room and light it up. That was the most satisfying.

Michael: There was a great moment before every take where, just before they’d say, “Action!,” they’d say, “Light them up!” In the scenes that I was in, there were a lot of people in them, so the whole room would suddenly light up and you’d forget to act for a little bit because it was so cool.

Bruce: In the original film, all we had was spandex tights with magic marker. It was the first male thong. We didn’t plug them in.

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