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EXCLUSIVE Red Carpet Interviews with Cast & Creative Team of TRANSFORMERS PRIME: BEAST HUNTERS

Jason Teich - March 21, 2013



Last week at Universal Studios' Hollywood Globe Theater, The Hub screened the first two episodes of TRANSFORMERS PRIME: BEAST HUNTERS, the third and final season of the four-time Emmy Award-winning series, and TV Tango worked the red carpet before the event to uncover exclusive scoop. The cast and crew dished about their characters in Season 3, discussed the series finale, and revealed their feelings about being associated with the TRANSFORMERS franchise.


On the red carpet, TV Tango scored exclusive one-on-one interviews with TRANSFORMERS PRIME's voice talent and its creative team, including Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Frank Welker (Megatron), Sumalee Montano (Arcee), Steve Blum (Starscream), Tania Gunadi (Miko), Andy Pessoa (Raf), Ernie Hudson (Agent William Fowler), Peter Mensah (Predaking), Jeff Kline (Executive Producer), Duane Capizzi (Co-Executive Producer), and Steve Davis (President of HASBRO Studios).


Tomorrow, Friday, March 22, 2013 at 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT, The Hub presents the Season 3 premiere of TRANSFORMERS PRIME, immediately following a four-hour marathon of episodes from the previous season, including the exciting Season 2 finale. The saga of TRANSFORMERS PRIME: BEAST HUNTERS continues on Fridays at 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT for the show's entire 13-episode final season.

The red carpet before the TRANSFORMERS PRIME: BEAST HUNTERS world-premiere event.

Question: After the dark ending to Season 2, what can fans expect in Season 3?

Jeff Kline: I think that it would be pretty unfair of us to keep everyone in the doldrums for the entire third and final season. Hopefully there will still be some surprises. I can’t promise you everything will be sunshine and lollipops, but I think it’s a satisfying conclusion.



Question: Can you talk about the beasts, AKA the Predacons, being unleashed in Season 3?

Tania Gunadi: Have you seen the Predacons? They’re like dragon beasts.  I’m scared of them. But you know Miko – Miko is never scared. Miko wants to kill them all.

Peter Mensah: I think the Predaking is the sign of things to come. It’s a great introduction, a really unmistakable entrance.


Question: What do we have to look forward to with your characters this season?

Peter Cullen: In Season 3, there are times when Optimus Prime is really being kicked around, and he makes it back. Despite all the trials and tribulations, he gets back on his feet, which is a great message. Always coming back. Always surviving. Always being strong. Always being your best.

Steve Blum: You can rest assured that Starscream’s going to get punished at some point, so I always look forward to that -- and I think the evil writers look forward to that as well.



Question: What makes the third season, TRANSFORMERS PRIME: BEAST HUNTERS, special?

Duane Cappizi: We have the benefit of being able to look back at what’s been done before and look for ways to, not freshen up or update, but sort of start again.

Steve Blum: It’s beautiful to look at; it’s eye candy. The depth of the writing is magnificent. Each episode reads like a film or book. I was transfixed. There are very few shows I work on where I’ll read the script from beginning to end and enjoy it just as much as I would if I had watched it. The vision is so clear.



Question: What can you tell us about the ending of Season 3?

Jeff Kline (on getting advance notice for the final season and how it affected the series finale): We very much appreciate getting that heads-up so we could write accordingly. We had always planned the story knowing where we wanted to go at the end. Not sure how long it would take to get there, but knowing where we wanted to go. We tried really hard to give a satisfying conclusion to not just the whole, but also to each character. Hopefully, the fans will be satisfied and surprised in some cases. In the end, we want the viewers to experience a really good story, well told, so that they’re ready to see what the next TRANSFORMERS story will be.

Sumalee Montano: My favorite episode is the last one. The last one goes out with a bang. I can’t say why, unfortunately, but it is my favorite episode of the whole thing. 

The panel after the TRANSFORMERS PRIME: BEAST HUNTERS world-premiere event.

Question: What makes the TRANSFORMERS franchise so popular?

Steve Davis: So many of us grew up with it. The themes, the stories, and the characters really resonate with such a broad demographic.

Jeff Kline: At its core, TRANSFORMERS is all character-driven. From the beginning, there was a real backstory and a mythology to it. And at the very center were these two brothers, for all intents and purposes, who went two very different ways. So I think the success of TRANSFORMERS over all these years has been that you can always return. And it’s a fantastic place to start.

Peter Mensah: TRANSFORMERS tackles universal subjects -- fighting for right, good versus evil.

Question: What’s it like working with Peter Cullen and Frank Welker, the stars of the original series?

Jeff Kline: Fantastic. Aside from just the benefit of having them around, because of what they’re going to bring to it performance-wise, their energy trickles down to everybody else in the cast. They have the best time in the studio together. We record radio-play style where we bring all the actors in once a week versus recording them separately. So Frank and Peter will spend a good part of the recording session cracking each other up, and it gives the rest of the cast the freedom to ad-lib, to be loose.

Sumalee Montano: From day one, they set the tone for what this franchise means to so many people. It’s heartwarming and inspiring, and they bring it every time. They’re the leaders of our family. And they’ve helped create something that’s so special. I will never forget them.

Andy Pessoa: Freaking awesome!



Question: What has it been like working together for 25 years?

Peter Cullen: Frank Welker is one of the greatest talents in the business. To be with him in a working environment again after so many years is a blessing. The only thing I haven’t done with Frank yet is fly in his airplane.

Frank Welker: It’s like being with my brother. A couple sessions ago, he brought in this little bird thing that he twists and makes these high-pitched sounds. I thought it was somebody’s chair. Then I saw him laughing, and I knew it was Peter. But pretty soon it was louder and louder, and I started getting blamed for it. That’s typical Peter – but he’s a blast!



Question: Frank, how do you conjure up pure evil with your voice?

Frank Welker: It’s just getting into the body.  I do this thing with my hands, and it just feels like evil electricity running up… (in Megatron voice) I’m Megatron, leader of the Decepticons.



Question: What are some of the challenges of doing voice work?

Ernie Hudson: As a live actor I can do something with my face or my eyes – I’ve got all this to work with. When you go into a studio, you don’t have any of that to work with. All you’ve got is your voice. You can do all these things with your voice – color, texture.

Tania Gunadi: In animation, it’s a totally different technique where your body cannot move far away from the microphone. You have to learn how to do that, how not to pop your “p’s,” and how to make sure that everyone can hear you. It’s completely different, but it’s really fun

To prepare for the Season 3 premiere, check out the official trailer for the final season of TRANSFORMERS PRIME: