Frosty Interview Josh Duhamel – One of the Stars of ‘Turistas’

     December 1, 2006

Even though Josh Duhamel has been starring on NBC’s Las Vegas, he’s been pretty busy with other things. Not only is he one of the leads in the new film Turistas, but he’s in a small independent movie called Transformers. Oh yeah, and he’s dating one of the members of the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie.

Life for Mr. Duhamel is really tough.

That’s why I was happy with this interview. Even though he is really busy, I got the sense that he was really happy to be there promoting Turistas. And even spoke on what a Fergie Christmas is going to be like.

And for all you fans of that small Michael Bay movie, yes he also spoke a bit on Transformers. While he didn’t give any of the story details away, he did describe pretty clearly what it’s like to work for Michael Bay.

Rather than bore you with a summary, here is the full roundtable interview. It was done about a week ago and with about six or seven people in the room. If you want to listen to the interview you can click here to download the audio, otherwise the full transcript is below.

And if you missed my interview with John Stockwell, the director of Turistas, then click here. And here is the link to the interview with Beau Garrett and Olivia Wilde, the two female leads in the film. Turistas opens up tomorrow.

Question: Did you just want a free trip to Brazil?Or did you just want to have some fun in the mud?

Josh Duhamel: Well, originally, when I first read the script, it was Guatemala. And I was like, “Okay, Guatemala, let’s go do it.” And then they said Brazil, and I said, “That’s even better!” So yeah, it’s everything that you see. I’m sure you guys have probably been there, but I had never been there, and you have this preconceived sort of impression of Brazil, and the music and the booties and the food and Carnivale and the beaches and everything, and it’s all of that. And what I was most pleased with, with the movie when I saw it was the…Especially in the beginning, I thought we did a good job of sort of capturing the essence of Brazil and all of those things. And I think that that contrasts with what happens later in the movie, with some of the graphic stuff that happens after they get sort of get taken up to the house and everything, makes it even, I don’t know…Makes more of an impression because of the stuff that happens before. You know, you don’t really expect it to go as hardcore as it does in the middle, or after all that stuff happens.

So when you know you’re going to spend the whole movie in a bathing suit, do you work out extra hard?

I didn’t spend the whole movie in a bathing suit. That was the girls.

But there’s a lot of it.

There’s a lot of it. But remember, the girls were the ones in the bikinis. I had my jeans on. I asked to wear my speedo, but they wouldn’t let me (laughter). I forgot to get my ass waxed before I went, so they were like, “No, you gotta wear your jeans.” But yeah, it was…The working out was more or less because I knew what I was getting into as far as the physical demands that this movie was going to have, because just reading it was like, “Okay, now we’re running through the jungle, we’re swimming, we’re climbing, we’re jumping off a waterfall.” All these different things. I wanted to be able to last the whole movie and not be completely exhausted by the time we were done, which sort of worked. But by the time we were done, I was so beat and ready to go home that I don’t know how much preparation I could have done. But yeah, there was definitely some training, especially a lot of underwater swimming and stuff before we left.

Do you have to work out on a regular basis to maintain or do you just have good genes?

Well, the jeans were good before…No, I was going to make a bad joke, but never mind. I don’t know. To me, it wasn’t…You know, I didn’t do the movie for that reason, because honestly, I read it and I didn’t see any of it. None of it was scripted to be like that. But then John was like, “No, no, we’re on the beach. You gotta take your shirt off.” I was like, “Okay, whatever.” (laughs) Okay, fine, it makes sense, we’re here, we’re at the beach, we’re going to go swimming. Fine. And then there was another instance where I got shot through the hand, so I had to take my shirt off again and put it on there. So there was these cases where I kept…It was like my sole purpose was not to take my shirt off, and I end up half the movie I have my shirt off. As long as there’s a reason for it, I don’t mind doing it, but I don’t really want to be that guy who’s always shirtless.

Your character is “the careful guy” in the group. Are you like that?

I definitely have some of the typical kind of paranoid issues that a lot of, I think American tourists, especially, have going abroad. But you know, growing up in North Dakota, you don’t get a chance to see all these things, and you hear all these stories, and I don’t think this movie is going to help that any. You know, people are going to be like, “No, no, no…” You’d be extra careful. But yeah, I guess part of me would probably be, maybe not as severe as he is in the beginning. He is kind of the most cautious of the group. But I guess I wanted to kind of play him like that in the beginning because in the end, I wanted him to kind of be the reluctant kind of hero–somebody who when you’re faced against something like this, that I think that…You know, if you’re faced with the worst possible scenario on a trip that goes so wrong, how would you react to it? Would you curl up in a fetal position, or would you fight back and try to save your sister or whoever? And he had it in him, and I don’t know if he knew he had it in him until it all sort of happened. So that was…It’s not exactly a character piece, but that’s sort of what my character went through, I guess.

How long did it take for the bug bites to heal?

Ooo…Mine weren’t as bad as Desmond. Did you hear about Desmond’s?


I don’t know if he has some sweet skin or what the deal was, but he got bit worse than anybody. He actually had to leave in an ambulance at one point because he had so many bites on his leg. He has pictures of them, and I swear to God, it looks like he has leprosy. Because these little gnats…You don’t even really see them, they’re like these tiny little gnats. You don’t…They’re like, oh, no big deal. They bite, and then like a day later, you get like these little red welts with these little black things on top. And they don’t go away. They don’t go away for weeks. And his just kept building up and building up. He actually sat and counted them one day. It was something like 68 or 77 of these things up and down. It looked like he had leprosy. And I got them, too. Not nearly as bad as him. But he actually had to get a shot of cortisone and be taken away in an ambulance at one point because so many of these bugs had bitten him. Ultimately, they did heal.

Were there a lot of injuries during filming?In the film you ran around a lot with no shoes, did you get a lot of cuts on your feet?

Yeah, there were. I remember getting pissed off at one point because every time I turned around, I’d gash my hand doing something or I’d cut my hand or cut my feet. It was always something. And it’s like, at least if you know we’re going to be diving in the mud, like when the guy’s shooting at us, we’re like diving…It’s like a regular yard, and there’s sticks and stuff everywhere. It’s like, at least prep it a little bit! We know we’re going to be diving in it! I don’t want to be landing and like jabbing my hand with sticks anymore. I was so sick of it. Or the dog cage, when we were all sitting in the dog cage, they put like that steel wire stuff up, but they didn’t prep it. Because they knew I was going to be like trying to stab the guy through the thing, yet there’s these little barbs sticking out everywhere and I’m getting cuts all over. But it’s part of it. And in the end, it all made it feel more real. I was pretty gung ho throughout the movie, and by the end, I was ready to go home, but I think it was all worth it.

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How long did you have to hold your breath underwater?

I don’t know how long it was, I just know like the distance we had to go. We had to start here, I have to go down underneath this rock formation, and then come back up. And in all your clothes and stuff, it makes it more difficult. But some of those guys, like the guys that were chasing us, the bad guys, are actual spear fishermen. So they can swim underwater for a long time. Especially the one dude that was chasing her, and he’s kind of slow underwater. He goes under for like 3, 4 minutes and he can stay under. I couldn’t do that. But it was definitely a challenge physically, which made it…And I think that’s what Stockwell wanted. He didn’t want us to have trailers or any of the amenities that you normally have on a movie set. He wanted it to be as rough and sort of miserable as possible. Because it sort of shows up in the movie, and I think that that was his intention.

What was the single worst hardship you had to endure?

I wouldn’t say any of them were hardships. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be a pleasurable movie to make. But I would say the lowest was… There was this underwater cave…They were like national park things that they have, and people go down and they stand outside of it, and they can look at it, but they can never go in. So we got access to this, to go down. And the water’s only this deep, and then it goes deeper and deeper as you go. But you had to take these paddle boards and swim out. You couldn’t stand in the sand because they have these protected crustaceans, so you had to swim out. There was this little cave where, because nobody’s ever back there, the bats live in these things. And that’s where all the bats are. So there’s like this long tunnel with water going through, and we’re like swimming through it. And of course, Stockwell wants to get the nicest visual for the shot, so he sprays down all the walls, makes sure that they get it all nice and wet and glisteny so it looks creepier. But there’s like 500 years of batshit on these things. (laughs) And then we have to go trudging through it, and like, “Okay, now pretend like there’s a hole underneath, and you gotta dive down!” And we’re like, “This is like bat dropping soup.” (laughs) And I was like, “Okay, this is officially the worst moment of this movie.” (laughs) But whatever. It was all fun. It was fine.

How did the physicality of this movie compare with Michael Bay‘s Transformers?

Different. I mean, that was tough in its own way, too, because he demands a lot, too. Both these guys are similar in that way. They demand a lot from you, and you gotta come ready to play. That was different in the sense that it was a lot of heat, and we had a lot of equipment and stuff on, and carrying big, heavy guns, and running through the sand. But you know, similar, but not that same.

Shia LaBeouf at the Bobby junket said he was in a lot of physical pain. Did you experience something similar?

Yeah, I guess. He didn’t have to carry a big gun, though. He just had like his jeans and a sweat top and tennis shoes. We had like full army gear the whole time. But he worked. He’s the lead of the movie. He’s the one who was there more than anybody. It’s definitely a pretty taxing movie, too.

Is it done shooting?


Any reshoots?

Not yet. I’m sure there will be at some point. They’ll probably have to pick up some stuff, but I don’t know of anything yet.

Have you ever had a vacation from hell?

No. I mean, we’ve been close. Me and my buddies used to go to Mexico for spring break, and we got ourselves into some pretty hairy situations. But never any sort of prisons or any sort of fights with the locals or anything like that. But close. I know some people that have. Like Stockwell’s one of them. The girl at the beginning of the movie, actually…The one on the table at the very beginning, she’s like, “No, please!” She, actually in real life, was kidnapped. I can’t remember the actual story, but she was kidnapped for like two weeks or something, and held in a basement or something, and she went through this whole like really traumatic ordeal when she was younger, like 10 or 12 years old. But yeah, luckily, I’ve never had to go through anything like that.

You’ve talked a lot about the strenuous shooting that took place, but there had to have been some fun in Brazil.

Oh, yeah. That’s what I mean. I’m not trying to say that it sucked, because it was a lot of fun, too. And it was an adventure. And we all knew going in that it was going to be tough. So I tried to be as up for it every day as I could. And it’s like, how many people can say they get to do stuff like this? But then come Saturday night, we were like all ready to go out and have fun. Beau and Olivia were the ones who really sort of rallied everybody. I’d be like, “No, I want to go [home].” Like, “Come on, we’re going out!” “All right, okay, we’re going.” And then we always had a blast.

Where were you in Brazil?Where did you go out?

We were in Ubatuba for the first…Ubatuba is a little surfing town. I compare it to like Hermosa Beach or something like that. Like a little bit lower class version of Hermosa Beach. A little surfer town between Ubatuba and Sao Paulo. And there were little places there we would go. There was little clubs and stuff we’d go to. There was what they called a hick festival, where one month of out the year, all the people of Brazil dress up like farmers and they have these big parties. So I have these pictures of me with this fake mustache and this big straw hat and straw thing. There’s lots of stuff to do, and it’s a pretty great culture. The people really have a zest for life there, and I hope that this doesn’t dissuade people too much from going to visit, because it’s a pretty great country.

One of the girls asks if anyone minds if she takes her top off. Is that the most unnecessary question? Are there guys objecting?

Well actually, I was the one that said, “No, no, no, keep your top on, because I don’t want to get in trouble.” That was my character, [which is] so not me. (lots of laughter) That was maybe the most difficult line reading that I had in the whole movie. (laughs)

It’s your sister…

No, my sister’s friend. That’s part of the reason. So yeah, no straight man would ever say no to that, especially if it’s Beau Garrett.

That was some acting.

Yes. That’s going to be my Oscar. (laughter)

How is Las Vegas going?

JOSH: It’s going well. We’re having fun. I think we’re on episode 12 of 17 now, so we have not many left this season. And who knows about next year? The numbers have been pretty good, so I think that we may get another year, we may not.

Why only 17 episodes?

I’m not sure. I know that NBC was making cutbacks pretty much across the board. I don’t know if it’s because they needed to fulfill an 88 episode contract that they had with TNT. I’m not sure. I feel like we should get another year because there’s not a lot of other stuff that’s working for them, and the numbers have been good. We’ve been winning the night demographics-wise, anyway. So whatever happens happens. I like the show, I’d love to do another year on the show, but if NBC doesn’t want it, that’s fine, too.

What about the move to Fridays?

I wish we were still on Mondays, to be honest. It was a better night for us. I think that everybody liked it better. Because who’s watching TV Fridays? It’s the kind of show that people who watch it aren’t home on Friday nights, who really can enjoy it. But, it’s still doing pretty well for Fridays.

Any upcoming episodes you’re excited about?

Yeah, the next two that are coming up are really good. The two that we’ve shot I think may be two of our best episodes that we’ve done. They decided to make it into a two-hour…Because it was originally a two-part…It was going to be one week, then the next week was the second part. And then they decided to make it a two-hour thing. And it’s good. It’s different than anything we’ve done. It’s much more intense and dramatic than anything we’ve done.

Have you written or directed for the show? Or do you want to?

I wouldn’t mind directing. I actually wrote a script for them a couple years ago. Gary was like, “No, no, no.” He didn’t even acknowledge it. Then this year, he comes, he goes, “You know that script you wrote? Do you mind if I use that?” I was like, “Go ahead.” He’s like basically saying, “Do you mind if I use your script and not have to pay you?”

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You should get a story credit.

It’s different. It’s a different story, but it’s kind of the same thing. But yeah, I’ve thought about…I wouldn’t mind directing one. But who knows? Maybe if we get another year, maybe they’ll let me do one next year. But eventually, I would definitely like to direct.

With the holidays coming up, is there a gift you’re hoping to get this year?

Another really good film would be nice. (laughs) I’d love to do something really cool. But no, I feel very lucky. I feel very fortunate for the situation I’m in right now. I don’t really ask for much more. Just the typical answer. No, not really.

No toys?

I would like to get one of those remote control things that you can walk in the house and push one button and all your lights and stuff come on. That’s about the one thing that I would really like to have. Like I don’t know if you ever saw Tad Hamilton, but he walked in [claps hands] and everything turned on. Something like that. (laughs)

Any holiday plans?

Yeah, I’m going to my girlfriend’s for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. Then she’s coming with me to my mom’s for 26th and 27th, and my dad’s 28th and 29th, and we’re all flying to Vegas. It’s cool because she wasn’t going to go to this show in Vegas. She was just going to stay at my dad’s. She’s like, “No, I’ve already made plans, I’m going to my boyfriend’s, I’ll be in Minnesota.” They call back a week later and say, “Well how about this? We’ll fly him, his family, all to Vegas, we’ll put them up, we’ll fly them all back private jet if you come do this.” And she calls me, she says, “What do you think about this?” I go, “Give me a second.” I called my dad, he’s like, “Hell yeah!”(lots of laughter)

How rocking is a Ferguson Christmas?

Oh, her family’s fun. Her family is a lot of fun. They’re all coming over for Thanksgiving, too.

Are you going to travel to the Philippines to see Apple’s show?

Oh, I would love to, but no. Is that what he’s doing?


For the holidays?

Yeah, for the holidays.

Oh, he’s like Elvis over there, I guess. I’ve never been over there, but I guess they just like mob him.

Being on the Culver Lot, have you gone over to Deal or No Deal or 1 vs. 100?

Oh, we see them all the time. I’ve been in there. I took my mom and some people from back home over there last week just to go. I haven’t actually watched the taping. I think as a cast, we’re going to go onto 1 vs. 100 to promote our show for the night. I think this week we’re going to do that. So yeah. There’s a lot of stuff going on over there these days. They’re shooting Rush Hour 3 over there right now, too.

Michael Bay is known as a prankster on set. Did he get you?

Did he get me? No. He didn’t get me, but he did do some stuff to people. (laughs) It’s like he’s known for just being like…He wants everything sort of at his fingertips all the time. Like we’re downtown LA and he’s got people going from one end of the street to the other end of the street, crew was like pushing carts and getting cameras. “Okay, shoot this here, go here. I want to get this here.” End of the night, he’s like, “Okay everybody, we need to get this last shot down here! I want A and B cameras down here! We’re going to be shooting this way! I want to light it like this! Get everything lit, we’re going to be shooting…Set up the stuff to come down here. The explosion’s going to come down here. Blah, blah, blah.” So they’re like, “Fuck, we’ve got 15 minutes, 20 minutes left before we’re wrapping.” And everybody gets down there, [and he says,] “Just kidding! That’s a wrap!” Like he thinks it’s hilarious, and the crew so wanted to kill him! (laughs) He’s great though, I gotta say. He was a pleasure to work with. For the most part.

Have you seen the robots yet?

I have. I’ve seen a little bit of it cut together. It’s wicked. It’s going to be cool. They say it’s going to be more photo-real than any sort of stuff of this type that’s been done. So we’ll hope! Take care.

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