While it seems like actor Josh Duhamel would have already taken on one or two live-action superhero projects in his career before Netflix's newest comic book actioner Jupiter's Legacy, the closest he came was essentially with the Transformer franchise. Now, though, he's getting his time to shine in the comic book spotlight as Sheldon "The Utopian" Sampson (even if reviews for the Mark Millar and Frank Quitely adaptation haven't been so kind). And though he seems pleased enough with the show in general, Duhamel was apparently not so enthused by having to film fight scenes for Jupiter's Legacy.
During a recent interview with press (via Digital Spy), Josh Duhamel was asked about filming the big brawl against Tyler Mane's Blackstar, and he pointed out how long it took to film that particular sequence before digging a little deeper into his particular distaste for filming superhero battles, saying:
To be honest, those aren't my favorite things to do. I'd much rather be sitting in the therapist office, talking about... you know, 'How do I get through to my 20-year-old daughter?' Because you're sitting in that suit all day long. You shoot in such little pieces that, yes, when you're doing like – [makes weird grunting noises] – you're done. Now you sit and wait another hour to do the next little piece. So when it all comes together, it's really fun, and it looks beautiful. But shooting that stuff is not the most fun, because it's just such a tedious process.
It's easy to imagine why that process might not be the most fun element of making a movie, especially if the superhero suit that an actor is wearing happens to be extremely hot or hard to move around in. Or even if not, though, filming something in such a piecemeal state has to be a drain for actors who are supposed to be "in the moment" throughout their entire performance, without viewers understanding right away that the moment when we see Duhamel's Utopian getting punched in one moment might have been filmed days prior to him getting to punch back, such is the process when filming effects-heavy sequences like those sprinkled throughout the first season of Jupiter's Legacy.
Perhaps it might be different if all of the Jupiter's Legacy fight scenes were completely practical and featured non-powered characters, since that presumably wouldn't require nearly as much prep work and delays in the moment. But because of the heightened comic book fare on display, it's pretty impossible for Josh Duhamel's Utopian to be caught up in a fight without his mega-strength, flying abilities, and other powers being put to use. Which just meant the actor was destined for quite a few slow and steady filming days throughout Season 1.
Not that Jupiter's Legacy was packed to the gills with fight scenes. And then, only one of those battles featured the major supervillain teased throughout all eight episodes, Matt Lanter's Skyfox. So Josh Duhamel definitely had more to do than just make weird grunting sounds while swinging his fists, especially since half of the storyline took place in the 1930s prior to The Union's creation.
Tying into that point of view is the fact that Josh Duhamel isn't a huge fan of the superhero genre in general. A big reason why he joined Jupiter's Legacy, which he wasn't familiar with ahead of the offer, is that his son is a big fan of superhero lore. So if you look at it from that angle, it's like it was a gift to his son for Duhamel to have sacrificed his time, energy and patience while filming Utopian's fight scenes. Okay, so that's probably overselling things a bit.
Appearing in another comic book project debuting in 2021, Josh Duhamel voiced Harvey Dent in the DC animated movie Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One, and I'm guessing doing the voice work in his casual clothing was more comfortable overall than filming a live-action fight scene. He'll soon be seen appearing opposite Jennifer Lopez in the upcoming film Shotgun Wedding, in a role previously vacated by Armie Hammer, and that also sounds like it might have been more fun to film than mid-air super-brawls.
Jupiter's Legacy Season 1 is currently streaming in full on Netflix, with many more awesome shows coming our way in the 2021 Summer TV schedule. Fans are waiting to hear whether or not Josh Duhamel will be knocking any other villains about if Season 2 gets ordered up.