Noel Fisher

Noel Fisher & his Teenage Dream

The Ninja Turtles are back. They’re bigger, and better, and here to save America’s most famous city, New York, from irreversible destruction.  For a particular Canadian boy, this is a dream come true. Vancouver native, Noel Fisher, comes to the silver screen like he’s never done before. He’s green and well over seven feet tall. That’s right, Fisher plays one of the turtles in this summer’s blockbuster, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and he assures us, playing this character is not something he’s taken lightly.

“I grew up with Ninja Turtles,” he says of the world famous reptiles. “The animated show in particular was a big part of my childhood, and the first movie especially was a turning point for me [Laughs].  I have a lot of hours logged in my backyard pretending to be a ninja turtle.” Learning how to be a Michael Bay Ninja Turtle required several hours logged elsewhere. Luckily for the Shameless star, it was one of his favorite parts of the shoot.

In order to pull off these larger than life sequences, producers hired a special team of professionals to train the turtles (I mean the actors) where they would undergo hours of training, three to four times a week. “They’re called 8711, and they’re unreal. They’re so good at what they do. Almost every big action movie you see, it’s probably these guys. Even their name is dope. They sound hardcore, and they really are,” he says to me. “We all really wanted to be as familiar with our weapons and knowing how to use our bodies as much as possible. Because, you know, they’re ninja turtles. A big part of it is “ninja,” and I’m very far from a ninja.”

When you have Jonathan Liebesman (Battles Los Angeles, Wrath of The Titans) sitting in the Director’s chair, it’s safe to say that hyper-real action sequences will not be kept to a minimum. “I definitely had a stunt double. You don’t hire 8711 and not have stunt doubles. What’s cool about the technology used in the film is you don’t have to have a stunt double that necessarily looks like you. It can just be the person who is the best at what you need them to be doing for that particular character. Something that I think people are going to like about this version is that they gave all the turtles their unique fighting style. Mikey’s (Michelangelo) got a little bit of beat boy in him. It shows. So, they have him doing some of that in the fighting style. The technology really allows you to have the opportunity to give a more unique flavor to each turtle.”

If a beat-boxing Michelangelo doesn’t have you racing to theaters, the film’s all-star cast will.  Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and William Fichtner are just a few of the faces you’ll see throughout the film. And that’s not even including the ninja turtles themselves. Rounding out the rest of the turtles is Alan Ritchson as Raphael, funny-man Johnny Knoxville as Leonardo, and Jeremy Howard as none other than Donatello.

Despite his own star power, Fisher couldn’t help but geek out when learning whom his cast-mates would be. “As soon as I found out William Fichtner was going to be in the movie, I was really, really excited. He’s one of those guys that have been in everything, and he’s great in everything.” As for Will Arnett, ninja turtles isn’t the first thing you think of when mentioning the actor, but Fisher assures us he couldn’t fit more in place within the world of the film.

“I’m a massive Arrested Development fan. Will, he plays one of the funniest characters I’ve ever seen.  It fits right in because he brings a good balance. The world is so fantastical. You’re dealing with these huge talking ninja turtles. And he’s able to bring that factor of what’s even happening right now. That kind of general attitude that one would genuinely have.”

For one special scene, production shut down [the] world famous Time Square. “I bet the logistics in doing that must’ve been pretty intense,” says Fisher. But being the home of hundreds of Hollywood films, the empire state welcomed such a mighty request. “Filming in the city was great. For many reasons, it was the perfect place to film.” Fisher says New Yorkers weren’t very privy to the madness-taking place around them during production. In fact, they welcomed the weird, like only New York knows how.

“It was kind of funny actually. We were walking [a]round in really, really odd outfits. These grey leotard type things, with all these triangles on them. White make up on with over 100 dots on us. So, we looked very bizarre, but it’s New York. No one cared. I remember specifically, we were walking down the Financial District one day going to set. We’re passing by a lot of people, and we maybe got, like, three double takes out of all the people we passed. It’s New York.”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seems to have all the ingredients for massive summer success, and Noel Fisher is backing me up 100 percent. Producer/Director, Liebesman, have modernized and gone deeper into all aspects of the characters that audiences like. They’ve expanded on everything, and thanks to motion capture, audiences world round will actually see what the turtles are doing. “Mikey, he’s the same. Fun, loving and laid back, even in these high-stress level situations that they happen to find themselves in. He’s protective of his brothers too. All those human character traits, they play with that, and they really make it a part of the turtles.”

It’s one thing to hear this from an actor who has starred in the film. But it’s different when said actor is a fan himself. He too is rooting for a great turnout. Not only in the box office, but to true ninja turtle fans worldwide.

“The action’s gotta be real. It’s gotta be gritty, and maybe even dirty. While also making sure you’re keeping that heart that ninja turtle fans love so much and that has been such a big part of the franchise.” And there you have it; spoken like a true fan. Or beat-boxing towering mutant ninja turtle. Whichever works.

words by DIO ANTHONY

photos by TEREN ODDO


photography TEREN ODDO




photo assistaint ASHLEY & RAHIL


special thanks ASBURY PARK DENIM

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