Transformers: Dark of the Moon
An interview with cast member Penny Gibbs about her experience working on Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Transformers (blending in with local police officers) arrive at the Packard plant to start filming Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
A generation’s greatest achievement. Our nation’s proudest moment. A secret hidden for 40 years.
How did you find out they needed extras and how did you go about getting the part?
I found out about Transformers 3 on the internet, through a website for local actors and on Facebook. Facebook is actually a great resource for actors!
Did you get fed?
Yes! We had a great breakfast everyday, then we moved to set and another holding areas and there is always Kraft Services with water and snacks available. If we stayed late enough, and we usually did, we were also fed lunch usually about 6 pm.
In this video several Transformers from Optimus Prime to Bumblebee are being driven & moved around the city from one location to another in Detroit during the filming of Transformers: Dark of The Moon
Did you wear your own clothes ?
No, I went in for wardrobe fitting about a month or so before filming. While I was there other extras were there getting fit for a 1960’s scene and I was so jealous of the really groovy clothes they got to wear! I was put in an unattractive outfit which I was told was going to be destroyed and burned for the scene I was going to do! I was no longer jealous! I also was given another ‘clean’ outfit which I ended up never wearing.
How many days were you there and what did you do during down time?
I was on set for 3 days. Usually during downtime I bring a magazine, or a book, a script or sides if I have any to memorize and always my iPod. But what usually happens is I end up socializing with the other extras. I usually know several people or wind up meeting some really great people and we just chat or play games while waiting!
Did you meet any of the stars? If so who and tell us about your experience.
This was one of the rare instances that I didn’t get to talk to one of the stars. For some reason, one of the stars will always come over and say something to me! Even if its just “will you pass me some butter” that Topher Grace said to me on a different movie called The Double. It was at that moment I developed an insane crush and I totally forgot what butter was and he had to point it out to me (he is SO cute in person omg)! Pretty much every movie one of the stars will want to talk to me. But I did see Shia and Josh who looked incredibly handsome!
Tell us, no spoilers please, about your experience in general.
I was SO excited to work on this set and I wasn’t even a Transformers movie fan. I saw the first one and barely remember it! But when I saw Bumble Bee, Maximus Prime, and the bad robot cars race around the ruined, destroyed streets of Detroit, I was HIGHLY impressed!
What did you take away from the experience?
A sore foot. Seriously I spent 3 days running for my life as fast as I could in heels and my left foot hasn’t been the same since! By the 3rd day, I was in flip flops and hobbling for my life as fast as I could.
I don’t think Penny is in this clip but it is an example of the work she did.
Was working on Transformers 3 exciting and fun?
HELL YES! I saw some amazing scenes with some incredible vehicles, complete with explosions and handsome Josh doing hand to hand combat in a sexy outfit!?
Staged explosions on one of the Detroit sets of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, on Clifford street at Woodward.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is due out July 1, 2011. Visit the official website. This film is not yet rated.
More about Penny Gibbs
Would you also tell us a little bit about how you got started in acting?
Well back in the summer of 2008 I, like half of Michigan, was floundering in a stink hole economy. I happened to watch the news one night and saw that an agency was accepting people to keep on file to work as extras in movies. For $10, they took 2 photos, a head shot and a body shot and will keep all your info on file in case they need people for be cast as extras. I went because I always wanted to be in movies, so I thought “what the heck, maybe I will get to be in a movie one day” and I went to the casting call.
I got an email the next month to be in a TV movie called “Prayers for Bobby” starring Sigourney Weaver. I spoke to a couple of the stars, Dan Butler who played Bulldog on Frasier and Susan Rattan both who were very sweet and friendly! I was TOTALLY hooked! That was the first year of our tax incentive for films and I started getting called to do a movie every month. I met and spoke to tons of celebrities, been and did so many interesting things that I never would have done otherwise.
I decided I wanted more and took some acting classes at a local actors workshop. I studies for two years and it did me a world of good! I have always been pretty shy and they had me doing something every night that was way out of my comfort zone… which I needed!
Soon I started going on auditions for local independent films. Some I really really nailed and some I really screwed up, but I found it intoxicating! I started getting small speaking roles and even a few major roles in these indi films to build my resume and experience and I continued to do extra work. It seemed my weird luck that many times, the director would grab me and put me in a place by the star or have me do something cool where I would be seen.
I started doing music videos, commercials, done voice over work and even did some modeling! Soon I got a real agent who cast for speaking roles only.
Eventually I auditioned for a feature extra role in a large budget Hollywood movie, Cedar Rapids. The character was the “Frizzy Haired Woman”. Now I have gone my whole life trying NOT to be the frizzy haired woman, but there I was in a room with 15 other frizzy haired women all trying to be the frizziest. It was surreal.
I was the last to audition and I was in the audition room with Miguel Arteta, the director himself, for the shortest amount of time. As I left the building and got in my car to program my GPS for home feeling a bit dejected, I heard a tapping at my car window. The PA was there and asking me if I had time to come in to be measured for wardrobe, I got the part! I was the only one who brought a head shot/resume and when the director asked me to improvise a scene, I went into autopilot like I was trained to do and wasn’t at all nervous like I would have been without training!
Cedar Rapids was the most incredible experience I had ever had on set! I was given my own trailer, with my wardrobe and jewelry inside waiting for me inside! When we shot for 5 days in a hotel, I was given a hotel room with a hot tub in it! I was able to eat meals with the cast (Anne Heich, John C Reilly, Ed Helms, Mike O’Malley, Kurtwood Smith among others) and crew. If you have ever worked a movie you know how great it is to get the much better Crew food, usually extras and cast & crew do not eat together, but I was considered cast! I was on set for about 12 days total. I was even bumped to a small speaking part and was paid SAG wages!
All in all I still get a rush and just love watching movies make their magic and meeting all the incredible people I have met. I have seen and done such cool things like running for my life from imaginary flying killer-cars, dodged explosions, danced with and saw Sam Rockwell strip, hung out with a dangerous real Detroit motorcycle gang, and cheered on wild roller derby girls and futuristic robot boxers! I met A List celebs like George Clooney, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Pierce Brosnan and Gerard Iwanttohavehisbaby Butler among so many other incredible experiences. What a way to make a living!