Pacific Rim: Gorman's Gottlieb Is a 'Man With a Mission' in Uprising

In Pacific Rim, Hermann Gottlieb was one half of an iconic duo. Now, in Pacific Rim Uprising, the beleaguered scientist is a solo act. When Uprising picks up, Newt Geiszler has moved on to the private sector, leaving Gottlieb behind at the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. Left to his own devices, Gottlieb has become a man on a mission, motivated by the experience of drifting with a kaiju in the first film.

Speaking to CBR, Pacific Rim star Burn Gorman offered some insight into how Gottlieb's life has evolved in the 10 years between the first film and Uprising. He also explained why Gottlieb has become "a man obsessed," teased his reunion with Charlie Day's Newt, praised the film's young cast and more.

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CBR: Will we see Hermann fly solo in this film?

Gorman: Yeah, I think it's fair to say that Hermann is a man with a mission. He is the top scientist in the research division, in terms of that nobody else can work with him, but he's got a big budget and he's a man obsessed and really affected from last time, from drifting with the kaiju. The fact that Newt is now off making money, wearing ridiculous suits… I mean, I don't think Herman approves, but he certainly misses him. So when they get back together, it's a really exciting, exciting thing for him, because he's missed him.

Do you believe that reunion will be a moment that resonates with your fanbase?

Well, to be honest, it was a bit like life imitating art, because I haven't seen Charlie [Day] since the last film. We were in touch, but -- you know -- so actually getting back on set with him and getting into the costumes and the same ridiculous haircut there that Herman has, it was kind of like getting into an old comfortable pair of shoes. It really was. This film is very, very -- it's paced extremely well. From the beginning, as it starts, you hit the ground running and there's an incredible momentum to the film, so I think fans of the other one will… It's a great feeling when we see the two back together again, yeah.

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Does Hermann have anything to do with these new Jaegers popping up in the trailer?

Possibly! He works very, very hard and he doesn't have much else to do, so he may dabble now and then. He's somebody who really is interested in getting the best out of what they've got. He's terrified of what might happen if the kaiju come back, so let's say he's a man extremely motivated, yeah.

What has it been like for you to work with all these up-and-coming cast members?

Oh, it's cool. If you think that Cailee [Spaeny]'s now 19 years old and she's a pro, a consummate professional, so relaxed… To be honest, it was a bit like a family, and I'm the sort of crotchety old uncle who gets drunk and dances with grandma at the wedding, but these young actors all bring their own energy to it. They're actually really, really good actors. So it was a pleasure working with them, to be honest. And that's actually quite a big part of the film: this youth, this energy, this budget that they've got. Really, the sky's the limit. It's very exciting.

What was it like to find out you were coming back for the sequel?

I was filming a revolutionary war drama, that is now finished, on AMC called Turn, so I was dressed in a ridiculous powdered wig, astride a horse somewhere, and they said, "Oh, Pacific Rim is going again" and I raised a little fist. I'm so pleased to be back, yeah.

Arriving in theaters on March 23, director Steven S. DeKnight’s Pacific Rim Uprising stars John Boyega, Rinko Kikuchi, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian, Adria Arjona, Karan Brar, Ivanna Sakhno, Zhang Jin, Zhu Zhu, Burn Gorman and Charlie Day.

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