Ryan Lee Talks Super 8

Recently I got the chance to speak with Ryan Lee about his new film Super 8. The highly anticipated JJ Abrams film is getting alot of buzz and Ryan was kind enough to talk with us about his breakout role.

Ryan Lee 2

How did you become involved with Super 8 and what can you tell us
about the film and your character?

My Agent, Liz Atherton had me tape my audition in TX and then she submitted it.

We went to California a couple of times for callbacks.
Having JJ Abrams in the room while I auditioned was a bit nerve-racking. But by the end of
all my auditions, I felt like we were friends. About 6 months after the
taped audition JJ told me face to face "I got the part!" I stayed calm while
we were talking, but when I got home I immediately jumped on the hotel beds
for like 20 minutes. I was so excited!

The film is set in a small, 1979 Ohio town, and is about a group of 6 kids
that are making a zombie movie for a film contest. While we are filming, we
witness a catastrophic train crash and, soon after that things in the town
start to go missing like household appliances, dogs, and PEOPLE! It was
really fun to film a '70s movie. I felt like I was really living in that
time. The sets are so cool.

My character is the crazy, pyromaniac of the gang. He loves to blow up
anything that he can get his hands on. He is also the cameraman who is
filming the zombie movie. Cary is very daring and just always wants to have
a fun time. He acts first and thinks later. When Cary sees the train wreck,
he is pumped up and excited, while everyone else is scared. Cary is funny
and a loyal friend, but he does try to mess with everyone around him for his
personal amusement.

What was working with JJ and the Cast like and what were some of your
fondest memories from filming?

I had a great time working with JJ and all the Cast. We are lifelong
friends. JJ is the coolest guy you will ever meet. He's just like one of
the kids. He always cracked jokes and made us laugh. In between takes, JJ
would beat box on his microphone. It was really awesome. He is one of the
greatest directors that I have ever worked with. He is extremely talented,
kind and patient. We never saw JJ lose his temper the whole time we were
filming. He is very hands-on but he let us bring what we wanted to our
characters and kind of let us make it our own. During the breaks in filming,
all of the cast including some of the adults would play football. We also
rode our bikes on the set lot. We had a lot of fun. On our days off, we
would hang out in each others rooms playing video games or going to the
movies, swimming, or goinh to the mall. We even played laser tag and went
bowling together. We also ding dong ditched a lot of our own hotel rooms.
It was a blast! During Halloween, some of us put scary make up on and played
dead in the elevators of our hotel. We made a lot of people laugh that day,
and some of them even gave us money or candy! Most of us were able to go
Trick Or Treating together, so that was really fun.

How did you handle working with special effects as it can be
challenging for some?

Special effects were the BEST! Who wouldn't want the chance to run through
explosions; and to be able to do it in a movie, with real Army tanks, and
real American soldiers and in front of JJ Abrams? It's an experience I will
never forget. I took a stunt class for about 2 years. Just like me, Cary is
a daredevil so I loved every minute of working with the special effects, and
we knew we were always going to be safe. When people go and see the movie
they will love the special effects!

Did you get to meet Steven Spielberg and what was that like?

Yes, I did get to meet Steven. I had the chance to shake one of the world's
most influential man's hands and it is one of the biggest moments of my
life. He is super nice, and became our friend right away. He would tell us
about what a good job we were doing. We would also just talk about normal
things like our iPhones and what new apps to get. He also gave me advice
about life that I am very grateful for and will never forget.

What can you tell us about the films story and your character as a
pyro who proves comedic relief is an interesting character description.

Super 8 is not a kid's movie. It is a film for everyone who likes
excitement, adventure, suspense, Sci-Fi, romance, action, and mystery. This
movie has a little bit of everything in it. It's really a movie that
everyone can like.

Cary is definitely the most easygoing of the group. He treats situations
like they happen for his entertainment. Cary maintains the balance between
the humor and seriousness of his scenes. He would most likely be the one
that would get his friends into trouble. He is impulsive and unpredictable.
Cary is always practicing his pyro skills, for better or worse.

What sort of research did you do for your part?

Well I couldn't really do a lot of research since everything was so top
secret. Each time I auditioned, we had different scripts with different
stories lines that didn't relate to each other at all. Some of the scripts
were dramatic and some were comedic. So I actually didn't know what my
character was like. But once I was given the role, I just brought Cary to
life through my personality. Honestly, I just took JJ's direction and had
fun with my character.

Did you have alot of stunts to do in the film and if so, what stood

Yeah, there are a ton of stunts. It's an action packed movie for sure. We
were really lucky that we were able to do some of our own stunts. The tank
scenes were just like playing Army except in real life! We were running
through explosions as the tanks were driving by us and you could feel the
power of their blasts pumping through your chest. It was such an adrenaline
rush. We did other stunts like running as fast as we could through the
fiery train wreck and hurdling ourselves over fences at full speed and
driving really, really fast in cars. They were all very fun and very, very

How did you get into acting and what was your big break?

My sister and I both began taking acting classes and went to a summer camp
where we first met our agent. I started filming a lot with the University
Of Texas Radio, Television and Film Department students. I've also worked
on lots of Independent film projects in the Austin area. I would say my
first big break was a television appearance on Friday Night Lights, "It's
Different For Girls." I played Scott Porter (Jason Street's) neighbor. We
had a bicycle and wheelchair race. I had to ride my bike really slowly to
match the speed of his wheelchair. We had a lot of fun together.

What movies have you seen recently and what do you have on your to
see list?

Recently I have seen "Limitless," "Arthur", "The Green Hornet", "Buried
Alive", "The Fighter," "The Kings Speech," "True Grit," "Rango" and "The

I am looking forward to seeing so many upcoming movies such as: "Mission
Impossible-Ghost Protocol," "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon," "War Horses,"
"We Bought A Zoo," Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows: Part 2," "The Green
Lantern," "Cars 2," "Hangover 2," "Tree Of Life," "Cowboys and Aliens" and
"Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows." I am especially excited about seeing
"The Decedents" because I have a friend who is a lead in the movie, Nick

What future projects do you have coming up that the readers can look
forward to?

I recently worked on the independent film, "Meeting Evil." My scenes with
Samuel L. Jackson and Luke Wilson are really dark and intense. I like
playing dramatic characters as well as comedic ones. Acting with them was
such an incredible experience. "Meeting Evil" is going to be an awesome
movie. I'm also hoping to record more voiceover episodes as the voice of
"Jack" in the "With You All The Way" DVD series, a USO and Trevor Romain
Foundation collaboration. This series provides resources and support to
military children and their families. As for the future, we will have to
wait and see what else is in store. I hope to keep you on the edge of your
movie seats!