When Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) was in elementary school in the mid-to-late 1990s, he remembers waiting every week to watch one of his favorite animated series on TV, Beast Wars: Transformers.
An expansion of the Transformers media franchise, the show was set 300 years after the original 1980s cartoon and featured animal-inspired robots known as Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons. Some of the characters in the series included a gorilla named Optimus Primal, a rhinoceros named Rhinox, a cheetah named Cheetor, and a Peregrine falcon named Airazor.
“I watched the show every week,” Ramos, 31, told Remezcla during a recent interview. “Cheetor was always my favorite. He was always swaggy, funny [and] fast. He was always the coolest one to me.”
Next summer, Ramos will lead the cast of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, the seventh live-action installment of the Transformers film franchise, which started in 2007. In the film, he plays Noah, a Brooklyn-based, ex-military electronics expert, who is caught at the center of another intergalactic war between robot nemesis, which has found its way back to Earth.
As a fan of all things Transformers, Ramos was beyond excited that the next film in the franchise would combine the worlds of the Autobots, Decepticons, and characters from Beast Wars. This is only the second live-action Transformers movie – after 2018’s Bumblebee – that filmmaker Michael Bay does not direct.
“I was so pumped that [director] Steven [Caple Jr.] and the rest of the team were committed to making this the biggest Transformers movie they could possibly make with all new elements and characters and with crazy visual effects,” Ramos said. “I was pumped that I got my own Transformer!”
The Transformer that Ramos is referring to is the Autobot known as Mirage, which in Rise of the Beasts is designed to transform into a silver and blue Porsche 964. Mirage, who is voiced by actor and comedian Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island), was originally a Formula 1 race car. Despite changing its make, the Porsche still went very fast during Ramos’ stunt driving training.
“The way [Mirage] transforms is wild, man,” Ramos said. “They really spent their time making this car and this character incredible. I’m excited to be acting with [Davidson] in a movie. He’s amazing.”
While the first teaser trailer for Rise of the Beasts features Ramos behind the wheel of the Porsche, his driving responsibilities for the movie stopped at pre-production training. “I was training with the stunt coordinator but the kinds of stunts we were doing, they needed a [professional] stunt driver [for the movie],” Ramos said, adding that to prepare for his training, he had to get his license for the first time. “I was living in New York for so many years. Thank God for cabs. Hopefully, I’ll get a car soon.”
A Porsche, maybe? “If Porsche wanna hook me up,” Ramos said laughing.
As for how Rise of the Beasts will compare to the other films in the franchise, Ramos said it’s going to be heavy on action like the first five movies were, but also have a human connection like the sixth film, Bumblebee.
“I think we split the difference with this one,” Ramos said. “We take inspiration from Bumblebee and how amazing the storyline and emotion was in that movie, but we up the ante in the action in this film. I mean, you have no choice. We have all these different groups of robots now, so there’s no way the battles aren’t going to be crazy.”
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, starring Anthony Ramos, is scheduled to premiere nationwide at theaters on June 9, 2023.