A look at the newest robot-vehicle adventure with star Isabela Moner
Actress and singer Isabela Moner stars as Izabella in the new film, “Transformers: The Last Knight” and the 15-year old says that the opportunities it has afforded and the experience of making a film of this caliber has had a lasting impact on her. Most known for her time as lead character CJ Martin in Nickelodeon’s “100 Things to Do Before High School”, and has had stints in Broadway and sings as well. According to her, the transition to a Michael Bay movie has been swift but fun.
Tell me about your experience diving into a film like “Transformers: The Last Knight”.
I’ve never really done anything at this level, this is kind of new for me. This is all new from me. Initially I was intimidated, for sure, I mean this is Mark Wahlberg that I was going to be acting alongside and Michael Bay is going to be directing me. I really honestly thought I had to be something that I wasn’t. Obviously I was a little intimidated I gotta say, but my mom the first day kind of gave me a little pep talk and reassured me that it was all going to be okay. ‘You were cast for a reason’, that’s what she said. And you know, this is how I got ready. I walked on set and Michael Bay was like, ‘Okay, can you use a fire extinguisher?’ I was like, ‘Um, yeah my dad’s a firefighter.’ So he was like, ‘Well you’re going to be putting out a fire.’ So then I was expecting some like small fire maybe, I don’t know why, I really thought because of child labor laws. Then he lights this curtain on fire inside of the trailer and it’s just a huge fire. I wasn’t standing close enough apparently, because he kept telling me to inch closer to the fire. I was so close to it, I thought my hands were gonna burn off. That kind of got me prepared for the tone of the rest of the shoot. Just a bunch of explosions, running, crying, laughing. For six months!
What was your most memorable moment through the course of this shoot?
I think celebrating my birthday on set for sure. Everyone got together, including the big wigs, and Michael himself and everyone in the crew who I had gotten to know, they were basically family at that point. And they all sang happy birthday to me and brought out a table decorated with a bunch of stuff [like] my favorite kind of cake, ice cream cake. And that’s hard to handle especially in summer heat. Then they put Transformers on it, obviously. And they got me an Apple watch too. I lost it thought! It’s somewhere in my house, I didn’t lose it like forever-forever, it’s just at my house but I don’t’ know where it is. But it was a great present, I used it for about a month.
Hopefully you find that watch sooner than later. Moving on to your role in the film, can you tell me a bit about your role as Izabella in “The Last Knight”.
So she is an orphan due to the fact that her parents died in the ‘battle of Chicago’ and my character [has] spent the last few years in a post war zone with the Transformers including my little blue guy, ‘Sqweeks’. He’s this little blue Vespa and we call him a ‘lame transformer puppy’ because he can’t transform but he’s really cute though. And they actually built him for set, he’s not remote controlled. There’s a guy named Jeff operating him, Jeff is great by the way, great ventriloquist. [Sqweeks] eyes light up, it’s like you’re looking into this real living thing, it’s like he has a soul. She’s kinda like tomboyish I guess, kind of [a] “Transformer doctor”. There’s a lot to be said about her, including the fact that she’s not your typical Transformers female character. I kind of intimidate Mark Wahlberg‘s character a little bit because i’m so in his face, I’m so sure of myself and I almost challenge him in a way, we’re constantly making fun of each other. He’s like ‘you’re an annoying kid’ and I say, ‘well you’re this old grumpy man’, so I mean, touche.
Finally, why should folks check out this new installment of the Transformers franchise?
I think they should watch this movie because it’s all about uniting everybody together and it’s all about making everyone aware that not everyone’s a bad guy, there’s people with good intentions. And there’s this great inner conflict between Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, they fight! The 80’s fans of the TV show will really like that aspect because it really touches on the Transformers, it’s not just the humans stories. It’s like the real Transformers stories about Cybertron and their origins.
See Isabela in action in “Transformers: The Last Knight” which rolls into theaters June 23rd.