Friday, April 1, 2011

An Interview with Bruce Boxleitner for Tron: Legacy

What can you tell us about TRON: Legacy?
TRON: Legacy is a father/son story. It’s the sequel to TRON and the story follows a guy called Sam Flynn who is in search of the father he never really knew. Sam feels abandoned by his father, who went missing 15 years ago, so the story has an element of classical mythology to it. Sam learns about himself as he sets out on this journey of discovery. He soon finds himself, as well as his father.

Hoes does it feel to see people excited about the TRON universe again?
It feels great, although I’m amazed because when we shot the original movie, we had no idea that it was going to become a cult classic. We knew we were working on something cutting edge, but the film didn’t have a ton of success when it was first released. However, as the years passed, I kept seeing it pop up on Top 10 lists of fan favorites and cult favorites. I would say that 85 per cent of the autographs I have signed over the years have involved a piece of TRON memorabilia. Even when I worked on the TV show, Babylon 5, I was still signing TRON merchandise – especially overseas. There were always huge lines of people waiting with TRON memorabilia when I visited countries like Australia and the UK, and I was always surprised because I never believed that it would come to that.

What attracted you to the sequel?
The idea of working with Jeff Bridges again was a big plus point for me, but I was also intrigued to find out what had happened to these characters. It’s been 28 years since the first film was released and I wanted to know where they went during that time. When I first read the script, I was thrilled by it because I had no idea that Alan Bradley would become such a lost soul. It was such a great idea that it was a no brainer to sign up for the sequel. I was thrilled to be asked to return.

What do you think of TRON: Legacy cast members Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, who play Sam Flynn and Quorra in the movie?
I’m very proud to say that I started on the movie earlier than everybody else. I was hired to screen test all of the young talent fighting for the roles that were eventually won by Olivia and Garrett. I screen tested all of the Sam Flynns and all of the Quorras – and it was a lot of fun because I got to work with a lot of young, new, talented people. It feels really good that these two made the cut because they were my personal picks. I was really impressed with their work. They are both going to go far in their careers.

In what way did the filmmaking process differ between the original TRON and TRON: Legacy?
The two movies are both cutting edge and they’re both years ahead of their time, but they were shot completely differently. On the original movie, we were running around in tights with a Frisbee taped to our backs. We were wearing hockey helmets with motocross shoulder pads and armguards, along with high boots. If you had to go to the bathroom, someone had to unzip you and you’d have to take everything off just to go for a pee. We were promised the movie was going to look good, but we had no idea what was going on when we shot it. We were blown away by the results, though. It looked amazing.

How does today’s filmmaking compare?
Today, filmmaking is still a long process – but everything is much more sophisticated and technologically advanced. There are no tights and no Frisbees. The costumes are incredible and the motion capture used in TRON: Legacy blows me away. The bulk of my time on the set of the movie was spent in the real world, so I didn’t experience the technical side of filming as much as Garrett Hedlund and Jeff Bridges. However, I was extremely impressed with everything I saw.

What do you think of the light suits used in TRON: Legacy?
I think they are fantastic. They have lights incorporated into the actual suit, so they’re very different to the tights we wore back in 1982. The new suits are spectacular. There was this wonderful moment on the set of TRON: Legacy where the director would yell, “Light them up.” This happened just before he called “Action” and it was amazing because all of a sudden, all of these people on the sound stage would literally light up. It was amazing to watch.

How do you think the younger generation will react to TRON: Legacy?
How will the younger generation react to the movie? Well, we’ve had a lot of positive feedback so far. Personally, I hope that a whole new generation falls in love with the movie and this cutting-edge world we created – and I hope it spurs them on to watch the original TRON movie, too. We have the original film being released on Blu-Ray, so it’s going to be out there for them. However, they don’t need to know anything about the original film to enjoy TRON: Legacy. It’s my character’s job in the movie to reveal the past mythology and to familiarize the audience with the story, so it’s all explained clearly at the start of the sequel. You know what? If kids today don’t like this movie, then I quit! Personally, I think this new generation is going to love it. They are going to be blown away. I can’t wait for them to see it.

TRON: LEGACY is Available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Movie Download April 5th!


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