In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in theaters on August 8th, four Ninja turtles, known as Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello, must leave their home in the storm sewers of Manhattan and battle evil with the help of their sensei, Master Splinter.
Following their panel in Hall H at Comic-Con (read our recap), co-stars Megan Fox (“April O’Neil”) and Will Arnett (“Vernon Fenwick”) spoke to press in a roundtable interview about how this Vernon is a supportive friend to April, how April is connected to the origin of the Turtles, which versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles they’ve most responded to, over the years, and sharing the Turtles with their kids.
Question: Will, what is your Vernon like?
WILL ARNETT: In the comic, Vernon had much more of an adversarial relationship with April. But there has been, through all the various incarnations, from the comic to the TV series to the movies, artistic licenses taken, in order to tell that particular story. As this movie really evolved, and before we started shooting, it became apparent that there needed to be an evolution. The character that they needed to partner up and really support April, they needed a character more like Vernon, so they had to change the rules with him, a little bit. What is true is that he’s a cameraman. That part of it stays very true. But now, he works with April. Maybe some of his crankiness is transferred into him just looking for an easy ride. He wants to punch the clock and go home, and doesn’t want to get involved. So when April is like, “Hey, listen, I’m following this story.” He’s like, “Oh, god, come on! No, just let it go!” And then, he gets sucked in. I’m very skeptical. I’m like, “What are you doing?! This is crazy!” But ultimately, they are good friends and he does support her. He goes along for the ride, and the rest is history.
That’s a nice change.
ARNETT: Yeah, it is!
FOX: I don’t know what I’m allowed to reveal or not reveal. She’s not aware that she had anything to do with it. She didn’t really have anything to do with it. But, her dad was a scientist whose experiments were being funded by a shadowy group. There’s a lab fire, and her father dies in the lab fire. It’s not until she starts hearing their names, when she meets them on the roof, that things start firing off in her brain. And she goes and digs through all of her father’s old lab notes and his books, and all of this stuff, and she discovers that these are quite possibly the little turtles that she used to look at in his lab, before it burned down.
Do you have any fond memories of any incarnation of the Ninja Turtles?
ARNETT: I thought you were going to ask if I had fond memories of Jonah Hex.
FOX: So many! That was in Hall H, by the way. Can you believe it?
ARNETT: Was it, really?
FOX: Me and [Josh] Brolin. I loved the live-action movies. I watched the cartoon a little bit, also, but definitely the live-action movies. And the second one, in particular, was definitely my favorite. I don’t know if you’ve watched The Lost Boys. I’m sure you’ve seen that movie. It’s like that capsule period of time. There’s something so magical about that moment of movies. And that was a little bit later because [Corey] Feldman was a kid in The Lost Boys.
ARNETT: I knew them through the eyes of my brother, who was quite a lot younger than me. But, my new fondness came a few months before the movie came into my sphere. My own kids watch the Nickelodeon show, which I think is really terrific, really funny and really good. I saw how much they were enjoying it, and it just coincided with the time the movie came up. I was like, “No way! My kids are gonna lose their minds!” Which they did.
FOX: Well, mine are babies still.
ARNETT: Hers were babies when we were shooting. My guys came by, a lot.
FOX: Well, there was only one baby. The other one was in my body.
ARNETT: You’ve gotta tell me how that works, one day. Yeah, my kids were able to come and enjoy it, a lot. We shot it in New York last summer, and it was just awesome having them there. They were so excited.
FOX: It’s an interesting movie. His kids are three and five. Kids that are that age can see it and love it, but teenagers and adults love it, too. It manages to be one of those movies that spans all of those generations. It’s just bad-ass, all around. And it’s not too scary for little kids either.
ARNETT: Teenagers, mutants, ninjas and turtles will all love it.
Will you go down on the Comic-Con floor, at all?
FOX: I don’t know.
FOX: They’re actually surprisingly very polite, the people that are on the floor. I walk the floor. I came once when my husband was here for Sarah Connor. I wasn’t promoting anything, but I came in a Star Wars t-shirt and walked around, and nobody bothered me one time. It was great!