Jack Reynor (Midsommar) has made a statement concerning his role in Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) wherein he played a part in a ‘problematic’ relationship. Critics and fans wanted answers from the actor who has now spoken out.
For those who haven’t seen Age of Extinction, Reynor portrayed Shane who was in a relationship with Tessa (Nicola Peltz), Mark Wahlberg’s on-screen daughter. One of the issues raised in the film as part of the plot was Wahlberg’s character (Cade) disapproving of the relationship as when he meets him, he finds out that he is 20 whereas his daughter is only 17 years old.
There’s no real reason why the writers decided to keep the two with this age gap aside from the sake of one poorly-landed joke, it would seem. To add insult to injury, Shane explains to both Tessa’s dad and to the audience in turn about why their age gap isn’t a problem at all. When Cade threatens to get the police involved, Shane reveals that the relationship is protected by Texas’ Romeo & Juliet law wherein the relationship is legal so long as they ‘have a pre-existing juvenile foundational relationship’.
Reynor says, “That wasn’t something that came up until we were in production. Initially, it wasn’t really in the script. Realistically, I was 21 years of age, making this huge franchise film, and doing what I was told, because that’s kind of what you do when you get on one of those films. When you look at the culture of it now, especially given the advent of the #MeToo era, yeah, it’s definitely a problematic joke, but I’m not the writer of the film. I was a 21-year-old actor coming in from independent Irish cinema, and it didn’t really feel like my place to comment on what these guys wanted to do. It’s their film and their responsibility, really.”