‘Transformers’ Star Don Jeanes: I Didn’t Even Tell My Mom About Secret Role

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There’s a shroud of secrecy surrounding Transformers: Dark of the Moon, just ask Don Jeanes, who plays the legendary Neil Armstrong in a role so hush-hush that he didn’t even tell him mom he was cast in the movie.

The actor is the central figure in the film’s first teaser trailer, and he appears alongside Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel and Patrick Dempsey. Without letting loose any spoilers, Don shares some on-set secrets with Celebuzz!

Did you watch transformers when you were a kid?
Are you kidding? Yes, of course! I was so excited for the first one; I went to see it the first day in the theater … the graphics are so cool. To see those robots come to life like that.

Which one is your favorite?
Wow! Nobody’s asked me that. I should pick another one, but I’m going to say Optimus Prime. Come one! It’s the voice. It’s just like, you wish that was your cool Dad. He’s so cool. I don’t know if I even like his semi-truck status, but he’s just badass.

If you could transform into anything, what would it be?
Probably a jet plane. Then I could fly to wherever I wanted. That would be awesome. I’d just be like, do you guys want to go to Paris?

Did you work with any of the Transformers?
I can’t say too much about it, but you’ve seen the trailers, that’s the majority of what we’re doing. There’s another scene in there that gets into more to the plot points of the movie. [It] was just absolutely amazing to see all of those life sized robots. They’re life-sized! Even inside the ship, they’re life sized! The work that they do with special effects and building the set is absolutely amazing.

Speaking of secrecy, did you hear that one of the Glee extras was fired because they tweeted the ending of the season?
Oh I can believe it. I actually didn’t tell my Mom or my brother, at first, about my role. I heard a story of some guy on Indiana Jones who Facebooked the plot line and they fired him, cut his role out, changed the script. I was like, this is not going to happen to me. I was naturally so excited when the trailer came out.

Is it hard for you to keep a secret like that?
When so much is at stake, it wasn’t very hard for me to keep that secret. It’s something I’ve been working so hard for, for so long, there was just no way I was going to jeopardize it in any way.

You also have two other projects coming up. Can you tell us a little about those?
Sure. Alpha Planet is out, you can look that up online (on RenBot.com). That is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller. It’s about the nuclear holocaust that’s happened. All of humanity was taken up to a ship where they drift for 200 years looking for another planet to inhabit. 

The Ascension is a story about an archaeologist who finds these artifacts and he performs this ritual, opening up this portal to a dark world and releases the dark lord. Mysteriously, some suicides happen around this small town and he’s trying to release himself from this and really take over the Earth. I, and some other loved ones of the suicide victims, team up and try to keep the dark lord from taking over the Earth. We’re saving the world.

Tell us something we might not know from your typical bio?
When I was young, I grew up in Texas and I rode bulls. I grew up on a ranch until I was seven years old. My grandfather’s been a cow rancher all his life, my dad was a cow rancher until his passed away. Long line of cowboys. I have a cousin named “Blue Jeans” who’s a professional rodeo clown. I grew up with a buck and barrel in my backyard just practicing.

So you would clean up at the saddle ranch on sunset then?
You know what? There may be some videos floating around of me, really, really handling that bull.

Do you have any celebrity crushes?
I’ve gotta tell you, after I saw the SNL short with Natalie Portman, I fell in love with Natalie Portman. Then she went and had a baby with another man, and what am I supposed to do about that. She’s beautiful. She’s just a wonderful, small, little, awesome person. I love her choices in acting. She’s very intelligent. 

What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
My grandfather, 30 years he’s been raising cattle. He loves those cows. He was telling me ‘don’t get married to those cows’. It’s like, even though you love it, it’s a revenue stream. Everything that you have, you can’t get married to it. That and that 10 years starting off as an actor is a good start. Give yourself 10 years and maybe you’ll do well.

See Don is Transformers: Dark of the Moon, out July 29 — and be sure to follow Celebuzz on TwitterFacebook and Tumblr for more movie news and interviews!