With the Detroit Pistons going to the NBA Finals twice and the MLB All-Star Game last week, Detroit is getting loving attention it hasn’t seen in years.
Well, throw this one on the list: much of director Michael Bay’s latest action flick “The Island” was filmed in Detroit, and from what two of the film’s stars, Academy-Award nominees Michael Clarke Duncan and Djimon Hounsou have said, Motown is improving and ready for the world’s attention during next February’s Super Bowl.
“I didn’t like the cold at all, but you know, I loved the time that I spent here, certainly with the food and all that, it was amazing,” said Hounsou, a native of the West-African nation of Benin.
The prolific character actor, whose film credits also include “Amistad” and “Constantine,” said the cuisine was actually the highlight of his visit. “The food was delicious … definitely better than L.A., it’s just easier to find good restaurants in Detroit than L.A. I mean, the food is very rich.”
Better food than L.A.? It’s safe to say Mr. Hounsou was limited to just the Greektown-Hard Rock Café-Whitney triangle.
His co-star Michael Clarke Duncan, who was recently in the screen adaptation of Frank Miller’s “Sin City,” regretted that he was not able to come to Detroit. “No, I wasn’t in Detroit; that was Djimon and everybody else. I only did my part in L.A., but I wish I had been here … you got all the cars here … yeah, we needed Detroit.”
While discussing the film, both actors suggested that its premise is more science and less fiction. The movie follows “agnates,” or human clones created as insurance policies, and implies that such a possibility might not be far off in the future.
“I believe in the future … if the government can make money off of it, I think that they’ll approve something like that. I mean, this company, Merrick, is a big conglomerate and it makes tons of money; it charges $5 million a head. If you think the government has to get some of that money, then they’re … cool with it,” Duncan said.
Asked how he feels of the possibility, Duncan had mixed feelings.
“I don’t know if it’s a person’s right. If somebody is really sick, like say your mother has this degenerative heart disease and her clone can save her, I mean then you want to do that because you want your mother to live. But you know there’s going to be somebody else out there doing something else with it. Somebody will just be like ‘cool, I’m going to clone myself and make this race of super humans,’ and that’s when the idiots come out of the box.”
For Hounsou, the idea of using a clone is laughable — he’s even reluctant employ stunt doubles.
“(I did) all of the action scenes, all of it. I don’t understand the stunt double, unless I have to be flying like superman, I don’t need a stunt double … you know, I’m fit, so why am I going to have someone running for me? What’s the point?”
On the same note, Duncan explained his averseness to using technological advancements to enhance his body.
“I’m, like. old school; if God wants you to have it, you’ll have it, and all the enhancements, I don’t really think…” Duncan said. Before finishing the thought he added, with a booming laugh, “I mean, it looks good on the females though. I’m just saying, enhancements on a female, that’s a good thing, but I don’t think on men it’s really … next question!”
So is Detroit ready to replace la-la-land as the place for movies, their stars and their clones? Probably not. But at least we know Hounsou will return.
“What I really wanted was a Detroit Red Wings jersey. Hockey is my favorite game … I really wanted … to be here and see a game in Detroit. I understand that the fans are some of the best fans, just some of the craziest out there.” In the finished film, a Steve Yzerman jersey is visible in the futuristic city’s backdrops — perhaps left in at the Hounsou’s request.