Michael Bay's Transformers trilogy initiated an entirely new generation into the Autobot world. But for Tyrese, seeing Optimus Prime on the big screen was a day he'd fantasized about for decades. Yet never in his wildest dreams did Tyrese imagine he'd be one of the franchise's stars. And this self-professed super fan is now hoping we haven't seen the last adventure.
ETonline caught up with the multi-hyphenate to talk all about the famed franchise just as he's prepping to release Open Invitation, his first album in five years.
ETonline: Looking back on the three films, how do you feel about the story they told?
Tyrese: When we did the first one, we were hoping it would find an audience. We knew there were Transformers fans out there, but we were in unfamiliar territory. We needed them to identify with images they didn’t grow up with. So when the first one did well and we got the new generation, it made us want to make the sequel better. Michael [Bay] has said that because of the writers strike, and various other components, it wasn't as special as it could have been. Coming back with three, we did the research, wrapped our heads around the fan critiques and went in saying, we can't please everybody, but let's try to come close. And I really think we put our best foot forward. I never thought as a child, watching Transformers in my drawers, that one day, I’d be in the actual movie. It's wild.
ETonline: Shia LaBeouf has made it clear he plans to make no more Transformers movies, how do you feel about a fourth?
Tyrese: I'm the biggest Transformers fan there is. I hope we do another movie, just for the sake of the fans. With all due respect to Shia [LaBeouf], he's on the set every single day because he's in pretty much every single scene. My character comes in and out, so he's dedicating 7 months out of the year to these movies. His world was Transformers. I think he and Michael were creatively frustrated and tired of the world. They want to get some stuff out of their system, but on behalf of fans all over the world, I hope they come back so we can do it again.
ETonline: What about the rumors of your Death Race co-star Jason Statham joining the cast?
Tyrese: No, he’s stepping into Fast & Furious, not Transformers. He's in talks right now, but that's my dude – one of my good friends. And you don't find real friends in Hollywood.
ETonline: You're also getting back into music, releasing your fifth album on November 1. How does it feel?
Tyrese: I can not tell you how excited I am to share the music with my fans. Anyone who knows me knows that my first love is music. It's in my heart. There wouldn’t be movies and other opportunities if it wasn't for music. My fans feel like I turned my back on it because I've done so many movies back to back. But I've read every tweet, every Facebook message, every email -- and when I tell you that I took my time with this album, that it's my best album to date, I mean it.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is now available on DVD.