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Five Questions for Noel Fisher (Michaelangelo) and Jeremy Howard (Donatello)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is available on Blu-Ray and DVD. One aspect of the film that is absolutely essential to its enjoyment is that it looks and sounds incredible. The transfer is absolutely breathtaking, and is worth investing in to experience the sensory experience of the project. To celebrate the release, we talked to two of the actors from the film by phone from Los Angeles, and they told us some pretty fascinating stories from the set. Of course, our final query was an absolutely essential.

Noel, you’re the Canadian kid who got involved in the project.

(Noel) *laughing* I’m the Canuck, who’s doing New York Turtle style. In the older movies, the accents are all over the place. Raph has a thick New York accent going, and no one else really does, and Mikey sounds like a Cali surfer kid. They’re bi-coastal in their accents. For Mikey, I wanted not to go quite as ‘dude-ish’ as he used to be, but I still wanted to keep that ‘fun’ vibe.

(Jeremy) My love started with the 1990 film. We went as a family. It was just magical for me. I got the action figures immediately, played the Technodrome with Krang. I had all the toys, and the video game I played all the time on the original NES at my friend’s house, and that’s how I knew Donatello was the best, because he would whip out his Bo Staff and defeat bad guys. It was a lifestyle for me.

Did you know that you were your character?

(Noel) Growing up, Donny was my favourite, but who doesn’t love Mikey? Funny enough, I am probably more like Mikey. I might be a mixture of Mikey and Leo, something like that. I was a huge fan growing up, I had toys, I had t-shirts, I had a photo of me dressed up as a Ninja Turtle, and I had the Krang Dome, and I would spend hours in my room battling it out in Dimension X in my mind. It’s kind of surreal when it comes full circle, and you get to do this as an adult.

(Jeremy) I remember growing up being all of the turtles, less about their personalities, and more about how cool their weapons were. At the time, the easiest one to obtain was a Bo Staff, because you can just unscrew the broomstick from the broom, and run around the house with that, and I think to myself, “Oh my Gosh, I used to run around the house with a mask, and it was purple! It wasn’t orange, it wasn’t blue. So there was obviously some identification that I had with Donatello at the time. I think that watching the cartoon, I wanted to be either Leo or Donny, I thought Mikey was hilarious, my love for all four of them was 100%.

What was your favourite scene to shoot?

(Jeremy) That rooftop scene, where we meet April for the first time, shooting in the middle of Manhattan, for one or two nights. and just standing there, with the sun setting before we got rolling, you’ve got all your gear on, you’ve got your shell on, it’s a warm summer night, and you are just thinking, “Oh my God, someone pinch me, I just feel so fortunate”. It was awesome.

(Noel) The scene in the hashi. Doing the handstand on the chair was a lot of fun to shoot, any of the scenes in New York, actually walking around New York streets, I got a kick out of walking around and having this strange outfit on, and it’s New York, so no one really cared, I thought that was really funny. Only in New York would no one care at all that you’re walking down the street in a Mo Cap suit with a million dots on your face.

Do you guys get along in real life?

(Noel) The four of us really hit it off, it was really natural, actually from the chemistry read, the last audition that we had, even then, there was a lot of magnetism, and a lot of camaraderie, and we had all just met. Those guys are my favourite part of the movie, and getting that on screen is the best part.

(Jeremy) The four of us became brothers. We got along right away. As soon as we got cast in the film, and it was kind of a casting round robin. There were ten or twelve guys coming in to do the final screen test for Turtles, and they were just trying to find who had the chemistry, and I think that we were the second group to go in, just the four of us, and when we left, the director turned to the casting director and just said “those are our turtles”, so we were flattered to hear that information, and that just blossomed into a great friendship between the four of us. We had a month in New York before we even started rolling to strengthen that bond, a lot of hanging out, a lot of pizza, and I think that it really informed what you see on screen.

What is your favourite kind of pizza?

(Jeremy) My favourite pizza is tomato basil. I’m a simple kind of guy. I do like my old-fashioned, regular cheese, but if I go to a pizza place, it’s usually my staple: chopped tomato, basil, I think if a pizza place can do that well, they can do anything well.

(Noel) I like a little bit of buffalo mozzarella, some basil and tomato sauce, a little bit simple, but good times.