Dominique Fishback and Anthony Ramos on why Transformers: Rise of the Beasts had a shaman's blessing
Studio execs weren't the only ones who gave their blessing to Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Turns out, a shaman did, too.
Set in 1994, the upcoming blockbuster follows the Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons as they join the existing battle on Earth between Autobots and Decepticons, filmed partly at Machu Picchu — yes, that Machu Picchu.
Filming at the historical landmark was predictably strict, according to the film's stars Dominique Fishback and Anthony Ramos. So strict, in fact, that the film and its set had to receive a blessing from a shaman before filming there.
"We had a shaman come in and bless the film," Fishback told EW at CinemaCon recently, where she and Ramos were honored with the Rising Stars of the Year award. "The shaman came — and butterflies remind me of my grandmother, and [afterwards] a butterfly stayed in the middle of set for 15 minutes. And then I got the butterfly to walk on my finger. We have videos."
In addition to the shaman blessing, no one was allowed to eat or drink anything on the site, and they couldn't step on any of the stones either, Fishback and Ramos revealed.
Paramount Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback in 'Transformers: Rise of the Beasts'
Speaking with EW, Fishback said noted she was to bring to life her character, Elena, who is from Brooklyn, just like she and Ramos, whose character Noah is also a Brooklynite. "We've never seen the perspective of a Brooklyn kid meeting Bumblebee or Optimus Prime," she said. "I was excited to bring our version, our authenticity, our swag, and cadence and the way we speak, and how we approach things [to the film]."
As a lifelong fan of all things Transformers, Ramos added he was thrilled to see fan-favorite characters finally make their way into the film franchise. "I was excited for the new characters to come to life and people to meet them, like Mirage and Rhinox and Cheetor and Optimus Primal. And Scourge being this new villain who I think is the biggest villain we've ever seen in any of these movies," he said, adding, "and now we can actually talk about Unicron. For the fans, like the people that really love Transformers, this means a lot to them — they've been wanting to see these characters, especially Unicron, for years."
Ramos continued, "And then on top of that, you know, you got two kids from the hood, you know what I'm saying? Running around, saving the world, traveling, going from Brooklyn to Peru."
Directed by Steven Caple Jr., the film also stars Michelle Yeoh, Peter Dinklage, Pete Davidson, Ron Perlman, Colman Domingo, Peter Cullen, and more.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is currently scheduled to open in theaters June 9, 2023.