After making his mark in Spider-Man: Homecoming, opposite Tom Holland, and more recently, in Greg Berlanti’s teen dramedy Love, Simon, teen actor Jorge Lendeborg Jr., now stars in Paramount Pictures’ action adventure Bumblebee.
The film opens up a new era for Transformers by combining the trademark battling robots, fast cars and thrilling action with the unexpectedly tender relationship between Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) and her new Autobot friend.
In the film, still struggling with the loss of her father, Charlie has no time for or interest in the sunny disposition and positive attitude of her next-door neighbor, Memo. Played by rising star Lendeborg, Memo thinks Charlie is the coolest girl in the world. Charlie barely notices he’s alive.
Finding an actor who could bring Memo’s nuances to life was tricky, says director Travis Knight. “Jorge is an intuitive actor, and he’s got this dazzling megawatt smile. He sees beyond what’s written on the page to find depth and dimension in the character. He’s so likeable and endearing that he brings Memo to life in a beautiful way.”
The actor found that he had a lot in common with his character. “He likes action figures and sci-fi,” Lendeborg says. “And sci-fi is my favorite thing. I would say he is much like me, so it was pretty easy to translate that to Memo.”
The things that make Charlie unique are exactly the things Memo loves about her. “He likes that she is her own person,” explains Lendeborg. “She doesn’t try to fit in. She’s unapologetically herself. He tries to talk to her, but she has no time for him.”
But once he learns about Bumblebee, Charlie has no choice but to keep him close to make sure her secret doesn’t get out. The first scene Lendeborg filmed was Memo’s discovery of the robot in the Watson garage. Like Steinfeld, he says that no amount of watching the previous five Transformers films could truly prepare him for that day.
“You’ve just got to imagine there is an actual robot there,” according to Lendeborg. “But it’s like anything else in acting: You have to make that leap.”
Now playing in Philippine cinemas, Bumblebee is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.