TMNT2 cast at Ritz Carlton in NY. (MMoore Photo)

TMNT2 cast at Ritz Carlton in NY. (MMoore Photo)

They’re back! Yes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” (TMNT2) and this time around added to the fun is the mad scientist Baxter Stockton (Tyler Perry), Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams), Super Shredder (Brian Tee), and Rocksteady (Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly). All were at the Ritz Carlton Hotel to talks about their exciting project.

Perry expressed the joy of working on TMNT2 and taking on the role of a relative genius. “What I love about working in this kind of environment is that I get an opportunity to be a student. It’s very collaborative. You know I’ve been doing my own thing for so long, I got a chance to put all that aside, go in to someone else’s set, sit back, learn and pay attention, and that’s what was really exciting for me. I think I had more fun and more excitement off camera when I was watching and paying attention than I did on. So I get it.”

How was that first call? “Well, when I first got the call and I got the offer, I went back and tried to do some research and then I go, ‘wait, he’s black. Oh, okay,’ Perry enthused. Describing how the laugh came about, he said, “That just happened one day on set and I was sitting there flirting with Megan’s character, that laugh showed up and everybody’s like, ‘keep the laugh, keep the laugh.’ So because I thought it was hysterical that this guy thinks he has a chance with somebody like Megan.”

Amell fights meta-humans and sinister criminals along with his black brother in arms, David Ramsey (John Diggle) on CW’s “Arrow.” So I asked him how the deadly forces in New York City stack up against those in Starling City, especially working with the Turtles as allies? “You know, people have tried to make me pick who would win in a fight, consistently, for the past four days – to which I would say I feel like Casey Jones. Oliver Queen one on one, I don’t know, Casey’s unpredictable.”

“But,” Amell went on to say, “the forces in this movie just purely from a budgetary standpoint would probably take down the forces in Starling City. If we could afford the Technodrome on our television show, then maybe it would be a fair fight.”

Tyler Perry as Baxter Stockton in 'TMNT2'

Tyler Perry as Baxter Stockton in ‘TMNT2’

This is the first live incarnation of Bebop and Rocksteady and you two were so on point. How do you explain this great chemistry?

STEPHEN FARRELLY: When I found out that I got the role and that Gary was going to play Bebop, I got his number, called him, and he got kind of weirded out at that in the beginning, this strange dude calling him. But when we landed on set the first time and we met everybody, we then went straight to an Irish bar.

GARY ANTHONY WILLIAMS:  My man. My man. Yeah, it was amazing.

SF: It was lots of fun.

And Brian, can you explain your take on Shredder?

BRIAN TEE: I think I wanted to bring a groundedness, I guess a humanness to Shredder ‘cause I think over the years, even in the movies in the ‘90s you never really saw a face. There was just this mask and that kind of presence. He’s got to be kind of the baddest of badasses, in this movie, and to have that groundedness is what I really wanted to bring.

Being that this is the second time around, what did you want to bring to your character, Verne?

 WILL ARNETT: I think it was important overall for everybody that we kind of knew what we’d done right in the first movie and what we’d done wrong, and we wanted to kind of capitalize on the things we did right. We wanted to have more fun and kind of tell a story that really resonated and made sense. For me, personally, for Vern, it was kind of fun to be able to come back and do something a little bit different.

As Shredder joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang. It all unfoils June 3rd. For more photos, go to Facebook.com/TheFilmStripTM.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

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