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Press Conference – Stephen Sommers, Sienna Miller, Channing Tatum

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
22 July 2009

1. How do you see the franchise of G.I. Joe developing?
Lorenzo di Bonaventura: It’s always great when you hear someone ask about a franchise, you know you did your job pretty well. What’s great about Joe is, that there’s a really deep mythology, some people think of it as a toy, it’s not, it’s a great comic book and animated series that we drew from. The good news for us, is that there’s an infinite number of stories because the creator decided to never kill a character off, so it was one of the interesting things when Steve and I first approached the script is that all these characters have these deep seeded back stories, so for us, we are hoping that the success will lead to a second movie.


2. Can I ask you about the audacity you have had in inventing words from the Celtic language and casting a non scot for a crucial member of the cast when the character’s supposed to be a scot?
Stephen Sommers: Well absolutely, John Hannah, after working with him on so many movies, I could never understand him, I just thought I’ve gotta get someone else to play Scottish. We have people on set who know how it’s meant to be said, we have professionals.


3. This is a very different role for you, quite the action girl. Can you tell us how you enjoyed it or didn’t?
Sienna Miller: I loved it! it was such a relief to do something that was just pure entertainment and fun, and I had to get fit for the first time in my life which was entertaining, and six weeks of fight training, I can do mixed martial arts, I can fire weapons now a good little scrapper now.

Stephen Sommers: It’s difficult to create such an iconic character.

Sienna Miller: It’s very difficult to create such an iconic character like the Baroness bun no, it was great and a lot of fun.


4. Were you slightly miffed that you didn’t get to punch and kick and fire guns and stuff?
Karolina Kurkova: No I didn’t, I was more the brain, telling them what to do. Dennis was my general, my boss, and I was the smart one with all the gadgets, I didn’t have a gun so I was kind of upset that I didn’t get to fight and use my long legs.


5. Can we talk about the costume, how was it to wear, it didn’t look like the most comfortable thing you’ve ever put on in your life?
Rachel Nichols: Yeah, the battle gear was kind of a process to get into, and they were extremely tight suits, I had four different ones all different distressed versions, there was one with holes in the side for my entrance and landing. But the one thing they maintained in all of them was that from the back it looks like I’m wearing a bit of a thong.

They definitely weren’t the most comfortable but they looked fantastic.


6. Was it kind of cool to be the guy shouting the orders, then stepping back and letting the kids do all the physical stuff?
Dennis Quaid: It was great, I was the grizzled veteran, like I’ve said before, everybody got to go to Prague, I got to be in California with Karolina.

Stephen Sommers: Dennis didn’t get to throw a punch, so I promised him that if there’s a sequel he gets to ride a horse and shoot a gun.

Dennis Quaid: I did get my arse kicked by Sienna though.


7. I assume you had to do a lot of boring gym stuff for your role or are you naturally fit and toned?
Channing Tatum: Me and Marlon, we worked pretty hard for it, that’s how we bonded, we had fun doing it.


8. Did you ever possess a G.I.Joe as a kid?
Marlon Wayans: We grew up in a house of ten kids, my father made like ten thousand dollars a year, which is like fifty cents a day, we grew up really poor so it was either dinner or G.I Joe dolls, thankfully my parents chose dinner.


9. Why are you in this crazy business, when you’re an intelligent bloke with a law degree behind you, and here you are running around playing kids game with another bunch of kids?
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: What can I say, you’ve only gotta see the movie to get the answer to that, I’d take a rubber suit and a big gun any day. You know reading the books, traveling around the world, working with beautiful girls, and you know just being in the camera, to me that was always my dream. The education was something I had to do as a foundation so I did that and went out to play, and I’m still playing.


10. Now that you’ve been in your first Hollywood blockbuster, will you consider a permanent move to America, or is it important for you to stay this side of the pond?
Sienna Miller: I’m staying at home, I can’t leave London, it’s great that I get to travel for work, I love British cinema, so it’s great to be able to hop between this and the more Arthouse stuff that I’ve done before.


11. Which is more fun, being blonde or brunette?
Sienna Miller: As a brunette, I got some pretty large weapons, so probably brunette in G.I. Joe.


12. You presumably modeled your own action figures, was there any degree of envy over anyone elses and how was the process for you?
Dennis Quaid: There’s a Hawk toy, and it really does look like me to tell you the truth.

Marlon Wayans: My doll looks like Eddie Murphy.

Rachel Nichols: Cannings is the best.


13. What was the big physical challenge for you and how sweaty was your outfit?
Sienna Miller: The most challenging thing was the fight training, learning the fights, six weeks of training with Rachel, and the outfit definitely did get sweaty. Initially for me, firing guns was a big deal, I found that quite intimidating not coming from a gun culture and I couldn’t do it without squinting.


14. How are your fanbase reacting to your recent wedding and how’s it working for you?
Channing Tatum: Yes it absolutely is, we didn’t have much of a honeymoon, we had a little mini moon, we;ll have the full moon later.


15. Were there any items that you took home with you and are there any pieces of clothing that you would wear?
Stephen Sommers: I take all the good props, because I learned on the first Mummy movie, they said all the props have to be kept in a warehouse, and when we went to make ‘Mummy Returns’ they were all gone, so all the good props are at my house.

Rachel Nichols: I kept a pair of boots.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: I wanted a gun but that was a bit tricky, so I traded it for a Baroness suit.

Marlon Wayans: Do hyou know how many girls I would pull with an Accelerator suit on.

Karolina Kurkova: I was very lucky, my suit was very comfortable, it was military with loose boots, I was the serious girl, I didn’t get to wear any tight outfits so it was kinda nice for a change to be comfortable.

Rachel Nichols: I could definitely wear the battle gear for Halloween and I could probably wear the Cammo suit in real life if I felt like it.