Jason Lee Chats with Role Mommy
Rolemommy sat down with Jason Lee reprising his role as Dave, father to the Chipmunks and Chipettes in ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED opening in theaters this Friday, December 16th to discuss weight loss, filming and giving your kids a little space.....
RM We really enjoyed the movie, how did you feel about Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked? Was it different than the others?
Jason reveals "This one, I think it's the best one personally. I think it's very focused. It's sharp. It's tight. I think Mike Mitchell did a great job as a director. Certainly I had the most fun. The second one, Alvin and the Chipmunks The Squeakquel, I could only do a little bit in the movie. The first one, Alvin and the Chipmunks, was great. Now, the relationships are solid with the boys and Dave and everything's just kind of tight and in. And it's been years of doing this now, so everything just worked for this third one, I think, in a slightly elevated way."
RM Do your children ever ask you where the chipmunks are, or do they have any issue with that illusion?
Since Jason's son is now 7 years old but in the past he didn't want to ruin the magic of moviemaking, "When I was filming the first one, Alvin and the Chipmunks, my son very much thought they were real and so I tried to keep him away from the set. But, the couple of times that he did come to the set, I would have to say, "Oh, the chipmunks are on a break," or "They've gone back to the hotel or something to get massages." Well, now he knows it's all computer. My daughter (age 3) probably doesn't care one way or the other."
RM: When you did the first one, Alvin and the Chipmunks, did you envision that you'd end up doing three, or did you have any idea?
Jason was honest, "No. No, because some movies work and some don't. You really never know. And then, the second one and then they said there would be a third one, and there probably will be a fourth one, I think."
RM: Do people ask you to do the, "Alvin?" They do but does he oblige?
Jason laughed, "I do. Yes. It's strange, because it's just me yelling Alvin. It's not like Homer Simpson. The guy who plays Homer's voice, who puts on the voice. It's just me yelling Alvin, right? It's certainly really adorable when the kids recognize me on the street and say, "Are you Dave?"
RM: Without sounding insulting, we asked Jason if he lost a lot of weight when you were in Up All Night. Did he just grow or does he have some sort of new routine?
Not insulted at all (Phew!), Jason let us in on his little secret, "Yes, I changed my lifestyle. I gave up a lot of things and started exercising. I used to smoke cigarettes and, we all like our wine and beer and things like that. I gave all that up and I just got on a very strict diet and started exercising, cycling and running. And I dropped about 35 pounds. Just trying to be a little bit more fit and healthy. I'm 41 now and I have kids and I want to keep working. And I like being able to be fit enough to be diverse as an actor."
RM: With your year old, how much room do you give him?
Jason reveals, "I think the greatest success I've had as a parent is treating my kids like they're my friends, in that I kind of look at it like they're just like us but smaller, and they have points of view, feelings, opinions. They have things to say. They get upset and frustrated just like we do when things don't go our way. My son is very mature for his age and he's very much his own little dude. And he comes to me and says, "Dad, I'm having a hard time with this." And I say, "Okay. Well, let's talk about it." I think if you open up dialog with your kids it does enormous things versus sort of just treating them as kids. And all of those weird things that have trickled over from generation to generation from my mom's era, which was kids are to be seen and not heard, all that weird stuff that still has trickled over into this generation even. I try to do everything but that. And as a result, we feel like we're a part of a family, a group. And it's not like we're up here and the kids are down here. And it's done a lot for their character, absolutely.
Well we think that Jason Lee did a great job once again as Dave Seville in ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED opening in theaters this Friday, December 16th. It's rated G and fun for the whole family! For a sneak peak, check out the trailer below...