By Role Mommy Writer, Danielle Feigenbaum
Epic, the 3D CG adventure comedy hits theaters this Friday, May 24th! From the creators of ICE AGE and RIO (2 of my kid’s favorite movies) this film will please kids and adults of all ages! In case you missed my post from yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the premiere of the new animated film, Epic, and then attend a press junket where we were able to ask questions to the stars of the movie!
What a fun day!
First off, we met the HILARIOUS duo, Aziz Ansari and Chris O’Dowd. They play a slug and a snail in the film, and in my opinion, they stole the show. Here is a taste of how our time with them began…
Mr. Aziz Ansari: Mommy Blogger Roundtable.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: This is exciting. I’ve never done anything like this before.
Blogger: So, this is your first time at a Mommy Blogger Roundtable?
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Yes, this is. This is my first Mommy Blogger Roundtable. This is great.
Blogger: So, just we ask questions randomly?
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: It would be good if they were about the movies and stuff.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: Has this ever existed before?
Blogger: I have a question from my daughter.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: Whoa.
Blogger: What was your favorite movie as a kid?
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Oh, that’s a good question.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: That is a good question. That might be the first good question I’ve heard ever in my history of doing interviews.
What was your favorite movie?
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: I’m trying to think what I loved.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: Did they have kids movies in Ireland?
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Yes, we had movies. What did I love? Jaws? Does that count?
Mr. Aziz Ansari: Jaws?
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: It’s not a kids movie.
Blogger: A child friendly movie.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: A child friendly movie. Well, ET – loved ET.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: ET I think was the first movie I saw in the theaters. I’d just been born when ET came out, and I think my mom and dad took me to ET.
ET is great. What else did I see?
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: I guess that wasn’t a big animation time.
And here are my questions to them:
Role Mommy: How much of what you guys did in the film was improv? You have such a good rapport together.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: There are a few things here or there, but generally, what you see is a scripted.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Yes. You’re a tiny piece of this massive thing. People are drawing it just for so long, they don’t draw it any more probably. But I think by the time it gets down to it, you kind of just do your bit, which is mostly scripted.
Role Mommy: Were you together when you did the voices?
Mr. Aziz Ansari: This is something people are very interested about. We’ve been asked this a few times.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Yes, and what we were wearing.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: No, you went to the stock questions.
We did our first big session together, which was where we did like a lot of the stuff, and then he was shooting a film in Ireland, I believe.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: That’s right.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: And I was filming in Los Angeles, so we were not in the same area. But, we were lucky enough to do the one major big session together, which was fun.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Yes, it was really good. And that kind of gave us the idea of what the chemistry would be and what the dynamic would be and all that kind of stuff. So, it was good but, I had to go back to Ireland and shoot something, and it was great. And Chris (the Director) was kind of enough to of come over and record some of my stuff there, which was fun.
Here is one of my favorite parts of the interview:
Blogger: What did you think when you first found out? Did they just say, would you like to play a snail, or would you like to play a slug, or did you kind of sign up for the film and then find out?
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Well, I auditioned for the part of Queen Tara, and it wasn’t until a couple of weeks in that they recast, got Beyonce and decided to go a different direction.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: Sorry, Chris, they’re going in a slightly different direction.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Yes. I thought it was kind of a cool idea to play a snail because there aren’t enough on screen, you know?
Mr. Aziz Ansari: Snails are very under-represented.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Which is snailist, frankly.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: Yes.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Don’t be snailist, yes.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: I mean, I watched Iron Man 3 the other day and there’s not one snail.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Not one, not one.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: Not one snail or slug in this world.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: It’s a pretty snailist movie.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: You’ve just got to focus on the human characters. Star Trek – same thing.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Nothing, yes.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: It’s really a little discriminatory. That’s why it’s good EPIC gives snails and slugs a fair shake.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: And you watch the way that the landscape will change. There’s going to be a lot of mucous based things.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: Iron Man 4, one of the characters is gonna be a snail, yes.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: That’s right.
Blogger: A slug.
Blogger: Are you opposed to escargot?
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Yes. Well, anywhere that we get mentioned, I don’t mind, even if it’s being eaten. That’s fine. I just want to get out there.
Mr. Aziz Ansari: A lot of pressure.
Mr. Chris O’Dowd: Nobody can stand up to the heat.
And here we are with two of the funniest guys I have ever met…
Next we had the pleasure of speaking to the Director of the film, Chris Wedge, and two of the main characters, Colin Farrell and Amanda Seyfried.
Role Mommy: When you’re creating the characters and you have the actors in there, how does that work as far as they don’t look like them, but you can tell that their facial expressions, there are things that you can say, oh, that looks like them!
Mr. Colin Farrell: Which scene, which number?
Blogger: I don’t know. I think you just look like them. Then, you have Beyonce, you can see their selves come through, the expressions.
Ms. Amanda Seyfried: Well, it’s the way the characters move. I mean, MK walks with her shoulders kind of slumped forward a little bit. And, I don’t know. There’s just a stride that everybody has.
Mr. Chris Wedge: The animated characters are collaborations. They come from a lot of different places. So, we write them, and we design them, and we have animators. But, we get voices from human beings that can create a performance for us.
Every time we record, there’s a little camera watching these guys, watching their faces as reference for our animators. But, often, the animators don’t ever look at it because so much of the performance comes through in what they hear.
Mr. Colin Farrell: Yes.
Mr. Chris Wedge: So, this part is just what you hear, really. But, it inspires a lot of what you see. I mean, we didn’t make these guys jump onto anything and ride it around or do anything crazy.
Ms. Amanda Seyfried: No.
Mr. Colin Farrell: I just rolled around in the forest before I went into work just to get in the mood.
Mr. Chris Wedge: It’s weird. His fingers were always dirty when he came in. But, you get all of it from performance.
Blogger: What was your favorite movie when you were a kid?
Mr. Colin Farrell: Star Wars for me. I had all the figures and collected all the figures and loved those films, yes, very much so.
Blogger: Still going strong.
Mr. Colin Farrell: Yes, yes.
Mr. Chris Wedge: Yes, I guess.
Ms. Amanda Seyfried: Sonic the Hedgehog.
Mr. Colin Farrell: Wow, wow.
Ms. Amanda Seyfried: And I was Sonic, so I got to fight evil myself, which is exciting.
Mr. Colin Farrell: Hey, is that fast food joint anything to do with that Hedgehog?
Ms. Amanda Seyfried: I don’t think so.
Mr. Colin Farrell: No?
Ms. Amanda Seyfried: Sonic Burger? No, probably not.
Blogger: How did you get the images to look like that? I haven’t seen 3D like that. You could tell from the very first scene it was going to be something different. It was beautiful imagery.
Mr. Chris Wedge: Well, thank you.
Blogger: The color was so saturated and it was just so beautiful. Is there something different that you did?
Mr. Chris Wedge: Well, a difference is in the technology that we use. We’ve been working on this stuff for 25 years, and so there are physicists at Blue Sky that work on the physics of light.
Ms. Amanda Seyfried: So crazy.
Mr. Chris Wedge: And a lot of it, I have to say, it comes from the art direction. The idea for this movie, I wanted to make a very romantic fantasy film. And so, I went back to the illustrations and paintings of NC Wyeth was the main one. He painted one single beautiful image for Treasure Island or Robin Hood or Sea Hawk, and that incredibly nuanced textured artwork is what I wanted it to look like a storybook.
Blogger: It’s beautiful. It grabs you from the second that it does come on the screen.
Mr. Chris Wedge: Well, thanks.
And here we are…
So, as you can see it was a pretty “Epic” day! Stay tuned for my movie review with a sneak peak at the film.
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By Role Mommy Writer, Danielle Feigenbaum