If you’re a fan of the Transformers franchise and are planning on watching the latest instalment – Transformers 5: The Last Knight – keep an eye out for a local face on the big screen.
Holbeach actor, writer and director Steph Genovese landed a small speaking part in the summer blockbuster directed by Michael Bay, and shares a scene with acting royalty Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Steph, who’s previously appeared in Sky series Fortitude and the 2015 movie Pan, was put up for the part by his agent and attended an audition for the then-secret project.
He got a call to say he’d won the role of ‘Large Submarine Man’ a couple of months later and would be filming in Southampton, but still didn’t know anything about the production, which also stars Mark Wahlberg, other than its code name – E75.
He spent two days on set alongside Hopkins, filming his scenes on a decommissioned submarine in a museum.
Steph’s role sees him taking a group of children on a tour of the vessel , before being urged to get out of the way by the Hannibal Lecter star, who rushes through, yelling it’s about to explode.
“I’m looking at some dials when he comes through and tells me to get out, I reply with a couple of words and then run,” says Steph, who is known locally for setting up the Holbeach Film Company, which produced feature film Dishonoured.
“His actual line to me was supposed to be ‘get out of here, it’s going to blow’, but he kept changing it every take and basically asked me if I minded if he was rude to me. That was just great – Anthony Hopkins asking if he could call me names!
“We did five or six takes and every time we broke for the cameras to be re-positioned we chatted about various things – he asked where I lived, and knew Lincolnshire because he knew where Skegness was. Working with him was a fantastic experience.”
Taking photos alongside leading stars is a no-no on set, but Hopkins insisted Steph snap the pair together so he could prove to his wife they’d shared a scene.
“I happened to say to him ‘my wife will never believe this happened’ and he asked me if I had a camera on me. I wasn’t going to do it, but he said he’d stick up for me if we got caught, so I took three or four snaps on my phone. It was fantastic.
“I love these films and am very impressed by all the technology that goes into making them.”
Another highlight was getting to sit in the yellow Bumblebee car which features throughout the franchise.
As for the future, Steph has recently completed filming on new Netflix series Black Mirror, and has another exciting film role coming up next year.
He’s also busy with his own production company, which is currently working on feature Forever Your Rose, after which he plans to produce a horror movie.