Anthony Ramos Gets Nostalgic with ‘Twister’ Sequel

It’s hard to talk to Anthony Ramos without talking about the weather. As a star of “Twisters,” the highly anticipated follow-up to the ’90s box office hit “Twister,” it comes with the territory.

But while his character in the film is an enthusiastic storm chaser, Ramos is enjoying a calm, sunny day in Brooklyn. The actor, who splits his time between New York and Miami, is particularly excited about the prospect of summertime in his home borough. “There’s nothing better,” he says. “I’ve missed three or four summers now in New York.” 

For good reason: He’s been busy on set. After his breakout as an original cast member in “Hamilton,” Ramos went on to lead the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “In the Heights” in 2021, followed by last year’s action-flick “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.” 

“Twisters,” which taps into a nostalgic fan base, is a continuation of the classic 1996 film that starred Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Like its predecessor, “Twisters” is set in Oklahoma and chronicles a group of entrepreneurial tornado enthusiasts.

“My aunt, a bunch of people in my life, a random collection of people were like, ‘Yo, that’s my favorite movie of all time.’ People love the original film,” says Ramos, who adds that he hadn’t actually seen it himself before signing onto “Twisters.” For him, the main draw was getting to work with Oscar-nominated director Lee Isaac Chung, whose previous film “Minari” was an awards season indie-darling. 

A still from

Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos and Glen Powell in a still from “Twisters.”

Courtesy Universal

“He made a big movie feel small. He’s very intentional about the relationships between the characters,” Ramos says of the approach Chung brought to the big-budget set, led by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Glen Powell. “We were really locked in on building the scenes and creating a world that felt intimate — but surrounded by this phenomenon.” And while Ramos hasn’t yet seen the completed film, the clips he has previewed promise an exciting ride ahead for theatergoers.

“Especially the opening sequences — crazy, so scary. Terrifying, actually. [Chung] really found a way to capture the danger of these storms as well as the relationships between the people.”

Filming in Tornado Alley

Ramos describes the experience of shooting on-location in Oklahoma as “wild.”

“We were in the middle of tornado season,” says Ramos, whose entrepreneurial character Javi develops a storm imaging system that beckons main character Kate (portrayed by Edgar-Jones) back to Oklahoma. “We were super close to Tornado Alley. We had some moments where we’d be out there and I’d be like, ‘Yo, is a tornado about to hit right now? Like, are we out here still shooting?’ There were moments where we had to go back into the vans and take cover just in case, you know, the wind starts blowing out of nowhere,” he continues, adding that the experience lent itself well to the project. 

“I’m happy we did it out there because you can’t really fake the real thing, being out in Oklahoma really made a difference,” he adds. “It felt really authentic.” 

A still from

Anthony Ramos in a still from “Twisters.”

Courtesy Universal

As the mid-July theatrical release of “Twisters” draws closer, Ramos is bringing along an unconventional plus-one: Nancy, an inflatable cow that pays homage to an iconic moment from the first film. “I made the joke that she’s the great granddaughter of the original flying cow. Though we don’t have a cow in our movie — spoiler alert — Nancy will still be there for the premiere,” Ramos says.

Also helping him prepare for the press tour is stylist Jason Bolden. “He’s really helping me capture my style and he’s taking it to another level,” says Ramos, who marked his foray into fashion with a Tommy Hilfiger campaign and collaboration several years ago. “Jason just has a good time with the clothes and we have a good time picking what I’m gonna wear.”

Anthony Ramos at the premiere of

Anthony Ramos at the premiere of “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” held at Kings Theater on June 5, 2023 in New York City.

Nina Westervelt for Variety

Ramos’ career continues to pick up speed. He has several upcoming acting projects, including Marvel series “Ironheart,” and continues to work on writing and recording new music. He’s also preparing to make his directing debut (a commercial), and is voicing and producing an animated feature film adaptation of “Bob the Builder” set in Puerto Rico.

“You’re in it from the beginning,” says Ramos of his move toward producing. “Although [the process] takes longer, it’s really rewarding. Every win — when you find the director, when you find the writer, when you find the studio — producing makes you really appreciate it even more, just knowing what it takes to get something from zero to a hundred.”

Giving Back to Brooklyn

Ramos, who grew up in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, is also paying it forward in his home borough. He serves on the artistic advisory board for nonprofit Opening Act NY, which provides free theater programs for underserved youth, and recently partnered with the Brooklyn Borough president to fund an afterschool arts program at a local high school. In recognition of his support, May 15 this year was proclaimed “Anthony Ramos Day” in the borough. 

“It’s the first thing that the funding gets cut for,” he says of the arts. “I was an athlete, I was on the wrestling team and on the baseball team — but what made the biggest impact in my life? Doing theater,” adds Ramos, who went on to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy after high school. “Theater helped me in more ways than one. Not just discovering what I would eventually do with my life, but it gave me a place where I could express myself.”

Earlier in the day, Ramos stopped by a career day at a public school in Bushwick where he fielded questions from students. Leave it to a fifth grader to ask the hard-hitting ones.

“This one kid asked me, ‘Did anybody ever doubt you or tell you you couldn’t do it?’ And I said, ‘Yeah — just yesterday. People do it all the time. I still go through it today,’” Ramos says.

“I told the kids, find something you love and just keep doing that. You know what I’m saying? Keep, keep, keep working at it. Find something you love, continue to do it,” he adds. “Don’t worry about what people have to say.”

Anthony Ramos photographed for WWD at the PMC Studio in Los Angeles in May 2024

Anthony Ramos

Dan Doperalski/WWD

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