Simulant star Robbie Amell discusses new Sci-Fi film, working with Simu Liu and Sam Worthington, an alternate ending, and more in this interview.
There is nothing quite like a good Science Fiction movie that will have you on the edge of your seat the whole way through. That is exactly what Simulant does as it keeps you guessing until the very end.
Set in the near future, Evan, an android simulant, is created for Faye to replace her dead husband. To fully realize all his human traits, Evan enlists Casey, a brilliant global hacker whose mission is to remove all restrictions governing simulants’ thoughts and capabilities. In doing so, he unleashes an A.I. uprising, triggering a government manhunt led by Agent Kessler who will take extreme measures to eliminate the rise of the android machines.
Robbie Amell stars as Evan. Mama’s Geeky caught up with him to talk all about this new Sci-Fi film. He talks about working with the incredible cast, an alternate ending to Simulant, and what it was that made him want to be a part of it all.
Robbie Amell Talks Simulant
Mama’s Geeky: What drew you to this role, because it is similar to other roles you have played before, but different.
Robbie Amell: I’m the guy that gets killed and comes back as an A.I. I’m cornering the market. I love Sci-Fi. I’m a fan of Sci-Fi. I watch a lot of Sci-Fi. I’ve now produced Sci-Fi. I’ve starred in Sci-Fi. I like to think that I’ve got a good grasp on Sci-Fi in general.
I liked the script I spoke with with Director April Mullen and I liked her take on it and on the character. We were on the same page. My first question was how robotic should this guy be? And she’s like, not at all. I was like, great, perfect. I don’t want to play a robot. I want to play a person. Evan is just a guy who’s in a really, really tough situation.
But, also the cast. Getting to shoot opposite Sam Worthington and Jordana Brewster, and Simu Liu was a dream come true for me. I’m a big fan of all of theirs.
Mama’s Geeky: What was it like getting to work with them?
Robbie Amell: My first day was Sam’s last day, because we’re kind of in two separate movies. So anything you see with me and Sam was my first day of filming and his last day of filming. If you think about the movie, I got thrown right into the gauntlet, in the freezing cold, in a barn, head to head with Sam. For somebody who is the lead of the biggest movies in the world, in cinematic history, he could not have been cooler. He’s very down to earth. We chatted about our families, the characters, the dialogue, we made a little bit of adjustments. He’s a very, very, very cool guy, and working with him was awesome.
Robbie Amell: I got to have a little bit more time with Jordana. I’m a huge fan of Simu Liu. I geeked out a little bit. My first question was like, How did you shoot that bus scene in Shang-Chi? And the answer did not disappoint. It was like two months on a soundstage with a hydraulic bus and it was just wicked. I was like, Oh, damn, that’s a dream scene.
With Jordana, I mean, I came up on the Fast and Furious movies. So being opposite her and talking to her about about that world… She had finished Fast X and was talking about what the what the movie was and I was like, Don’t even think about giving me any spoilers! But it was awesome. It was everything I hoped it would be. All three of them were just awesome people.
Mama’s Geeky: What do you think it is about Simulant that sets it apart from other Sci-Fi films?
Robbie Amell: When you have movies that have been done, like Blade Runner, and like Ex Machina, and if you’re going to talk about A.I., and simulants, and humanoids and anything like that, you’re going to have crossover with those movies and other franchises. If you do something really well, there’s going to be things in it that are pulled in from other movies. I liked that about it. I was like, Okay, this has a little bit of a Blade Runner feel, this has a little bit of an Ex Machina feel.
Something I think is cool about our movie is there weren’t any heroes or villains. It is just these simulants that are trying to live their own version of life. And I thought it was kind of interesting that the Sims at times felt more human than the humans do. They want to be happy and they want love and they just want the things that feel like they’re important in life. And the real people were a little darker.
The sad truth is that’s life. Things get sad and things get dark. I thought the script was interesting because it was polarizing, and not everybody’s going to agree on the outcome of the movie. Not everyone’s going to agree about the decisions made in the movie. From day one April and I didn’t agree on whether we would use a simulant or not. I was like I would probably use one if I lost somebody I loved quickly and didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. If I had this version of them, I would probably do it and I would probably regret it right away. I wouldn’t be able to pull the plug I would be stuck in Jordana’s character’s world. And I totally sympathize with that. I thought that was really interesting.
Warning: Spoilers for the ending of Simulant ahead.
Mama’s Geeky: I have to say, the end of this film is absolutely terrifying. I loved it.
Robbie Amell: Originally, the scene was written where I walk over to the side of the pool, and I leaned down, and I pull her up. Then we’re talking and I drop her on her chin on to the pool. I was like this is cool, but this is a way bigger stunt. And April was like, I want you to walk into the pool with your clothes on. I was like, That’s horrifying. I’m like, everyone’s gonna know I’m about to do something. And she’s like, I think we can do it. And I’m like, Look, you’re the one watching the dailies. If you think we’ve earned this great, but if it just makes me look like a crazy person, it’s gonna be a bummer.
Be sure to watch our full interview with Robbie Amell to learn more about the filming of Simulant, as well as his Prime Video series Upload. Simulant is streaming now on DirecTV, but we recommend seeing it on the big screen when it hits theaters on June 2nd.
Set in the near future, Evan (Robbie Amell), an android simulant, is created for Faye (Jordana Brewster) to replace her dead husband. To fully realize all his human traits, Evan enlists Casey (Simu Liu), a brilliant global hacker whose mission is to remove all restrictions governing simulants’ thoughts and capabilities. In doing so, he unleashes an A.I. uprising, triggering a government manhunt led by Agent Kessler (Sam Worthington) who will take extreme measures to eliminate the rise of the android machines.
Simulant is streaming exclusively on DIRECTV now, and comes to theaters and On Demand June 2nd.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.