CBM INTERVIEW: The Thing - Michael Chiklis

He's buffed up and rock hard! Michael Chiklis has shed his Shield for an orange, rock-covered super-suit. Check out our interview with the blue-eyed THING! Yancy Street will never be the same...
ComicBookMovie.com: Thanks for talking to us. You'll be speaking to some hardcore comicbook fans today.

Michael Chiklis: (Laughs) Are there any other kind?

ComicBookMovie.com: In the interviews I've seen, you always are the most animated of your costars, and seem to know more about the comics than the rest of them; were you a big comics fan in your youth, and have you kept up reading comics?

Michael Chiklis: Quite honestly, I thought I was a comic book fan until I went to ComicCon last year. Then, I realized I am but a novice. I pale in comparison. You know, I was just a kid who liked comics. At 12, 13, 14 years old I really loved the Fantastic Four and there were several others that I really dug as well. I was really into SpiderMan and Thor was great, one of my favorites, I loved Iron Man. So yeah, there were several that I really, really enjoyed but then when I hit about 14 or 15 and discovered girls--they sort of became the priority.

ComicBookMovie.com: Yeah, you have to give up some of the geek to get the girls. Damn them!

Michael Chiklis: (Laughs) Yeah, and then when I went to ComicCon it was just an eye-opener for me, it was just like, WOW! Some of these folks really put the FAN in fanatic. Just watching Emperial Storm Troopers walk past; folks are into it. It was a little daunting actually, because it made me go, well, you know what, I've got a major responsibility here to these fans. And I guess I would be the most animated because I am probably the most animated by nature, you know, I'm kind of an excitable boy by nature.

ComicBookMovie.com: Did you find yourself educating your costars on the Fantastic Four and their characters, and how did they take that if you did?

Michael Chiklis: No, because I've learned not to do that type of thing. I let them do their own due diligence, which they did. I just let them do their thing and I did my "Thing" as it were. (Laughs)

ComicBookMovie.com: What did you find most admirable about the Thing?

Michael Chiklis: Well, I'll tell you exactly what I admire most about Ben Grimm, his strength of character, and that he's a reluctant hero, a guy that is much more concerned with doing the right thing and not the rewards of it. I just think that those are admirable qualities in anybody; to do something heroic and then, not want the spotlight for it, not expect a pat on the back for it. The fact that he's the character that is trapped in a body that he doesn't want to be in and that he's willing to give up such great strength to be himself is sort of an incredible, admirable quality. I don't want to give away anything, so let's just put it this way, I admire his selflessness.

ComicBookMovie.com: Speaking of the big orange suit, were any of your team mates jealous, did any of them want to try on your suit?

Michael Chiklis: (Laughs very hard) Not hardly! You know, the expression on their faces when they saw me in the suit for the first time reminded me of when I got my shoulder dislocated in high school football. I knew I was badly injured when the lineman who hit me knocked my shoulder so that it hit the top of my head--try to do that. You can't, trust me.

ComicBookMovie.com: Are you worried at all about any of the fans reactions to this suit? I'm hearing and reading both positive and negative from the fans. What are you hearing about it?

Michael Chiklis: Well, um, I'm hearing a little bit of both, but the wonderful news is that the people who have seen the movie have pretty much, uniformly been very positive, and if you read the bloggers this morning there are people who have actually gotten into some screenings and they're actually speaking very positively about the movie.

ComicBookMovie.com: That's good news.

Michael Chiklis: Yeah, which is very good news. You know, listen, some of these guys are speculating about things that they haven't seen, and in fairness, I don't think that that's really appropriate. When you see the film you can speak to it and you know, trailers are trailers; they're geared to generate excitement about the movie, and they are cut in a certain way but they're certainly only a two minute taste, or thirty second taste of an hour and forty-five minute film.

ComicBookMovie.com: In the film, is there a lot of CGI needed to show the Thing's super strength?

Michael Chiklis: No, actually, no. Most of it was shot practically. The biggest CGI obviously was the other three. You know, with Ioan's stretching, obviously that was an incredibly tedious, arduous challenge for him I know. And Johnny Storm probably had it the easiest in terms of he'd do the scenes and then they'd disappear to post-production and he'd come back completely on fire.

ComicBookMovie.com: Is he the only one on wires?

Michael Chiklis: No, I did some wire work with the Thing, and with Ben Grimm in the space walk.

ComicBookMovie.com: I see that you're also on the cover of Muscle and Fitness. Did you buff up especially for this movie?

Michael Chiklis: Actually no, what I did in terms of training for this film absolutely went out the window day one. I blew it. I ran long distances, I was running 10k's thinking I needed great endurance. I should have been walking around in a wetsuit with a sixty pound backpack on my back. That would have been a lot better training for this movie.

ComicBookMovie.com: What do your Shield costars think about you being the Thing?

Michael Chiklis: They thought it was really cool, and they can't wait to see the movie! They were really happy for me. We really support each other tremendously you know. We have great fun on the show together and we want for each other to do well. And, we are all psyched that we have a good half of the year to walk away from The Shield and do other projects, and this was a great one to be involved with.

ComicBookMovie.com:Thanks a lot, Michael, I appreciate the time.

Michael Chiklis:You bet man, absolutely.

Stay tuned for our exclusive interview with Chris Evans, a.k.a. The Human Torch!

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