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Transformers: Rise of the Beasts star Peter Cullen talks about his audition ‘to be a truck’

The Canadian voice actor has been the incredible talent behind Autobot leader Optimus Prime for nearly 40 years.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts star Peter Cullen talks about his audition ‘to be a truck’
Optimus Prime
  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 04.22 PM, Jun 05, 2023


Canadian voice actor Peter Cullen has been the voice of the Autobot leader Optimus Prime since the original 1980s animated series, Transformers, as well as all seven live-action movies of the franchise so far. Ahead of the release of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Paramount Pictures, released a ‘Legacy of Optimus Prime’ featurette, to discover how the voice of Optimus Prime came to life.


“When I voiced Prime for the very first time, I was living with my brother Larry, who was a marine and I said, ‘I am going to an audition; I’m going to be a truck’. He started laughing and said, ‘A truck?’. And I said, ‘This is a leader; this is a hero,’ and his demeanour just changed and he said, ‘Oh Peter if you are going to be a leader, be strong enough to be gentle. I got to the audition and I said, (changes voice to the tone associated with the Autobot leader, ‘My name is Optimus Prime from the planet Cybertron’; I had no doubt that this is what a hero should sound like and I was convinced that I was going to get that role,” said Cullen, who returns to voice Prime yet again in the seventh live-action film, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which opens in theatres on June 8.

Talking about the film, Cullen added, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts has the same ingredients that were there in the beginning. There is that integrity, dignity and courage. It’s an honour to be able to do this character. I talked with a lot of people that grew up with Transformers and I don’t take them for granted. I love you guys.”

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, directed by Stephen Caple Jr, will take audiences on a 90s globetrotting adventure with the Autobots and introduce a whole new faction of Transformers – the Maximals – to join them as allies in the existing battle for earth.