“Good morning, class,” Douglas said to us when he reached the front of the room. “We’re going to learn about quantum mechanics this morning.”
Honestly, if anyone else in the world had come into the room spouting that caliber of “dad joke,” we’d not have laughed as we did. But Michael Douglas has this charm to him that he’s maintained since he first began acting. It’s the same one that made us fall in love with him as Jack Colton in Romancing The Stone.
Douglas reprises his role as biochemist Hank Pym in Marvel’s 20th feature film, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Perhaps there will be moments when Douglas watches the film that he’ll be just as shocked as were were. When we interviewed him last month, he’d not yet seen the final cut.
“I haven’t seen it yet,” Douglas told us, and we all gasped. “The people yesterday saw it… and had a really good response.”
Most of the world hasn’t seen it. There were a few screenings, one of them ours, before the world premiere. Today, Ant-Man and the Wasp trickles into a few theaters, but this weekend, it opens in theaters everywhere and we can finally start to publicly discuss it.
Because honestly – and especially having visited the set back in 2017 – the secrets of this sequel have been hard to keep.
“There’s just an inherent relaxation and joy normally about a sequel… it’s why – you look back in the old days – why actors and actresses work together or directors together,” Douglas said about reuniting with the cast and crew of Ant-Man.
“You don’t have to introduce yourself again, you know? You know each other. There’s a comfort factor which makes it much easier. People know your sense of humor. You’re not going to offend anybody. So, I mean the comfort factor is really nice.”
Five Facts About Michael Douglas!
- Douglas was roommates with actor Danny DeVito in a $150-a-month New York City apartment in the 1960s
- He has fathered 3 children when he was 34, 55, and 58.
- Douglas is exactly 25 years older than his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, but both share a birthday on September 25th.
- He is the son of legendary actor Kirk Douglas, most famous for his role in 1960s Spartacus
- Douglas has appeared in nearly 50 feature films
Raving About His Co-Stars
“Paul is just a sweetheart,” Douglas said about his Ant-Man and the Wasp co-star, Paul Rudd. “He’s just a great, great guy so it sets the tone. Most of my career, I’ve been number one on a call sheet, the lead, and so to be in a supporting role in a picture like this, you watch how he does it – you assume a lot of responsibility [as the lead]. If you’re smart, if you’re the first, you set the tone. You’re the first one on the set, you make everybody else comfortable to make their best performances possible. I mean that’s just all part of the thing.”
“I was excited for Evangeline [Lilly] because, I remember the end the first one,” Douglas recalls of the first Ant-Man film, “I show her Janet’s suit and there’s this look in her eye as Hope when she sees her mother’s suit. But what I was looking at when she was doing the scene, I saw Evangeline going ‘I’m going to be a superhero!‘ I could see her. She was, you know, ready to go and excited!”
An then, there’s, of course, Michelle Pfeiffer.
“Marvel does a great job of casting, obviously,” he says, smiling. “But you see, Michelle was just such a treat. I’m a tremendous Michelle Pfeiffer fan; never imagined ever getting a chance to work with her. Needless to say, to play 30 years younger. So, that was great.”
“And Larry Fishburne is quite an actor,” Douglas confirmed “And then this young lady who I think you’ll be hearing a lot about is Hannah John-Kamen, who … they were all talking about her almost like [she] was a sports team. ‘We have this great rookie, this girl. She’s fantastic.’ And she really is. She’s wonderful.”
This time, in Ant-Man and the Wasp, we get a better glimpse of Hank Pym as the original Ant-Man, which means we also get a chance to see the actor who plays Hank Pym get his turn to suit up!
“I did!” Douglas confirmed. “I must tell you, I was a little disappointed on the first one, you know? I kind of reluctantly looked whimsically at how good everybody looked, Paul looked great and everything else. I got my old suit back up, so if this continues, my feeling is, you know, if you can get big or small, they make you young; I mean, I might as well get back in there again,” he said, laughing.
Being On Set With Michael Douglas
“This set was a lot of fun,” Douglas said of Ant-Man and the Wasp. “I was trying to find my place in this and, you know? I did not plan on mentoring Scott. That was not my idea, to take over the role of Ant-Man. Nor do I think he’s proper for my daughter.”
Douglas said the role of his character was to find that his goal was to try to find the sweet spot between kind of a dry and a little intellectually aloof for his role as Dr. Hank Pym. He also said that they’re careful on set not to lose too much to the humor of the film and behind the scenes, which I imagine is difficult when funny man Paul Rudd is your co-star!
“We watch it,” Douglas said about cracking up while filming. “When you feel it bubbling up, we don’t let it go there, you know, because sometimes it happens, and it’s hard to pull it back. And then you can lose a lot of time. I mean, you know, once somebody goes, then it happens. But with Paul, it’s difficult because he ad libs so much.”
“I’m a little jealous of Paul,” Douglas said, “because I’m kind of carrying the story line, you know, and having to go home to research what the hell I’m talking about …and Paul will just come in with some one-liner and steal the scene. He’s unpredictable, wonderfully so. And funny. So, it happens a lot.”
What Marvel Studios Will Do To Keep A Secret
“If I open my mouth, a blowgun- it’s a marvel blowgun…” Douglas said when we asked him about details, any details, regarding Avengers 4.
Sure, it might be a joke. But, when we interviewed Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed, he made a similar joke. So, could it be that, in order to keep certain details of their films secret, Marvel Studios will go to great lengths, even having their actors and director assassinated?
I doubt it, or poor Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo would have seen their end, for sure.
But, just to be safe, we’re not revealing any secrets of the film, so make sure you go see it when it opens in theaters this weekend!