Multi-faceted actor Jamie Bell who came to prominence with his award-winning performance in the British dance drama “Billy Elliot” now transforms into a hero with epic strength as Benjamin Grimm aka The Thing in this year’s highly anticipated superhero film “Fantastic Four.”
Directed by Josh Trank, “Fantastic Four” brings Bell to co-star with equally talented young actors such as Miles Teller in the role of Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara as Sue Storm aka the Invisible Woman and Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch in the stand alone and contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s first (original) superhero team created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961.
Written by blockbuster maker Simon Kinberg (“Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “X-Men: The Last Stand”), the latest “Fantastic Four” resets everything as it introduces an origins story of a young group of friends who are dynamic, intelligent and courageous before being transformed into powerful heroes the world has ever known. In this cutting-edge version of director Trank, “Fantastic Four” brings the brilliant and brave young friends in what could be mankind’s first journey to an alternative universe. But during the mission, each of their physical form is altered, granting them unmatched strength and abilities.
More than playing The Thing who possesses unimaginable strength, Bell’s Ben Grimm is best friends with the brainy Reed Richards. As Ben, he is someone who is conflicted, who is inside himself, who's kind of stuck. He thinks that maybe baseball is his way out. Ironically he then gets stuck and can't find a way out but along with Reed and their newfound friends and his altered appearance, he has finally found a way to channel his inner strength to greater heights.
On filming scenes where he appears as The Thing, Bell shares that director Trank was unmovable that his character still retains his human soul through his eyes. “On every setup where I would play The Thing, there was always six to 10 reference cameras shooting my face, sometimes even just the back of my head, just to get everything, to capture reactions. The performance aspect always remains the same, in that you 100 percent come to life as a different being. It's so immersive, and it kind of has to be. For the technology to really work, you have to focus on every tiny little physicality. I would say, “When I come to a stop, can we just make sure that dust comes off me?” I just wanted to make sure that we never lost his organic matter. Fortunately, Kevin Mack (Visual Effects Supervisor)’s kind of a genius with that stuff,” enthused Bell on filming his scenes.
“Jamie’s someone I’ve always been a fan of, since Billy Elliot. I’ve followed his career and always wanted to work with him. Knowing him in real life I knew there was a shade of his personality that could organically embody who I feel this character needs to be in this movie. I suggested it to the studio, they loved it, they knew he was a great actor. So I called him up. I think he was a bit surprised to get the call but we had a great conversation about the character and the next day he read the script and said, “If you want me, I’m in!” said Trank on casting Bell.
Prepare for a rocking new experience in theatres when the new “Fantastic Four” opens on August 5 nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.