Stanley Tucci has admitted that he “never quite knows what he’s doing” while filming against a green screen.
Throughout this career, The Devil Wears Prada star has appeared in a number of films reliant on large amounts of CGI, including Captain America: The First Avenger, the Hunger Games films, and the sequel to Percy Jackson.
Appearing on the Off Menu podcast on Wednesday (23 November), Tucci spoke about appearing in films that rely on special effects and admitted that he found green screen-acting a little tricky.
“You don’t know what you’re doing,” the 62-year-old said. “You have no idea what’s happening.
“It’s all happening so fast and there are guys with tennis balls on big sticks, going, ‘Look over there! Look over there! Be afraid! Be angry! Be sad! Run! Run! RUN!’ I never quite know what I’m doing, but I just do what they say.”
Asked which of his green-screen films had created the most impressive scenes, Tucci said the Transformers series. The actor appeared as Joshua Joyce in Age of Extinction in 2014 and returned as Merlin in The Last Knight.
“Somebody like [director] Michael Bay, he has those images in his mind, he’s been making those movies forever,” Tucci said.
T”hey are pretty impressive, when you just think about it. He does it so quickly. A lot of people, it’ll be quite a laborious process. But he’ll be like, ‘Just do it like this, do that, do that, don’t worry about it, I’ll put it in later.’ Everything is, ‘I’ll put it in later’... He’ll put us in later, probably. That’ll happen someday.”
Host Ed Gamble joked that the filmmaking process would one day be just three tennis balls facing each other, with Tucci replying: “Well eventually, that’s what it will be… That’s what Roger Federer’s going to do next.”
Tucci has previously criticised green-screen acting in a 2013 interview as he revealed why he didn’t like making 3D films.
“You end up doing a lot of stuff in front of a green screen, that’s not really very exciting for an actor,” he said.
Other celebrities have also recently commented on the process, with Christian Bale saying that he found it to be “monotonous” when he shot Thor: Love and Thunder.
“Can you differentiate one day from the next?” he said. “No. Absolutely not. You have no idea what to do. I couldn’t even differentiate one stage from the next.
“They kept saying, ‘You’re on Stage Three.’ Well, it’s like, ‘Which one is that?’ ‘The blue one.’ They’re like, ‘Yeah. But you’re on Stage Seven.’ ‘Which one is that?’ ‘The blue one.’ I was like, ‘Uh, where?’”