Travel consideration provided by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Birds of a feather usually flock together – but sometimes, the best of friends can be found in the most unlikely pairings. And that’s exactly what happens in Storks when an ambitious stork named Junior (Voiced by Andy Samberg) unwittingly finds himself on the adventure of a lifetime with Tulip (Voiced by Katie Crown), an orphan girl who is the only human living on Stork Mountain.
Last month, I attended the Storks press event in Los Angeles, where I had the chance to screen the film and sit down for a Q&A with the cast. As the movie unfolds, Junior and Tulip’s differences cause them to butt heads repeatedly, going back and forth with a constant banter. This comedic chemistry is due in large part to the filmmaker’s choice to record in pairs as much as possible and encourage improvisation. I asked Samberg how this approach helped build that rapport.
Beeb Ashcroft: How much of the characters’ riffing together was improvised in the film?
Andy Samberg: I wouldn’t venture to say a percentage, because at a certain point it all kind of bled together, but there was a lot of it in the booth.
And it was an interesting process because Nick [Stoller], he’s the writer also, so he’d be pitching ideas, essentially writing and rewriting the movie right into our ear, and then we would just repeat it immediately. “Oh, it’s something like this,” and then we’d sort of put our own little spin on it.
But I always hesitate to say improvised because I feel like that takes power away from the writer. And that happens so quickly and easily in our business, I don’t like to do it. But there was definitely a lot of collaboration and stuff that came up on the spot while we were recording that ended up in the movie, for sure.
Storks is a breakout role for voice actor and comedian Katie Crown. Initially cast as a scratch actor in the film, this was an opportunity to show off her talent to a larger audience. Crown elaborated on the process of recording animation and noted that she gets some of her lively performance by physically acting out certain motions in the studio.
Beeb Ashcroft: Do you act things out [when recording] to get the right feeling?
Katie Crown: Yes. I find that even when I’m not thinking about it, I’ll realize that I’m moving my hands or I’m doing something or doing the motion that we’re talking about sometimes, without realizing it, that’s what happens to me.