I can’t believe that I was invited to the Zootopia Event in Florida just over a week ago. Disney World hosted the major press junket where the voice actors came so we could interview them. The morning of the interviews the early birds who like to exercise actually ran into Jason Bateman on the treadmill. I was not one of those bloggers. I was ordering my breakfast at the time he was working out. But I must say his working out is working for him, he looked good.
During the interview he was full of energy and excitement for Zootopia and his character Nick Wilde. Jason has been in cartoons before but this is his first animated film so he was asked to describe the difference.
You know, the other animation work was really so quick. This is for all intents and purposes my first and it’s a really interesting process because you know, as an actor you can say your line and then you’ve got your face and your body language and everything to kind of contribute to the whole thing. Um, with this, obviously you just have your voice to use and then you hope that the animators that you pass that line reading off to are going to make the character do something that either supports what you’ve done or offset it or juxtapose it.
Cause it’s kind of a cocktail to make somebody laugh with something. You don’t realize how many little components there are. I mean, I don’t mean to sound like some kind of a comedy scientist but we all do it, you know. When you tell a joke or a story there’s inflection and then there’s facial gestures and it’s a pretty strange thing to just hope that the rest of the recipe gets cooked in the right way. And there’s not much of a fear that that sounding like Disney animation.
So it’s an exciting thing to be a part of.
Everyone should know that Zootopia is a FAMILY of all ages movie so Jason’s character was a little more “clean” than some of this other works. Well he said it was a little different but he was still himself. He is a sarcastic interesting character.
I’m not a big fan of uh, of seeing a lot of acting, you know? Like I mean, I think that’s the goal is to, is to not act, right, to look natural so I try to use as much of me as possible in any part that I play plus that I’m also pretty lazy so, um, uh, any character I play is always inside my skillset, sort of my goal post.
If I read a script and there’s a character that is so far from me that I would have to do a lot of acting to play that character, then just kind of by definition I probably shouldn’t play that character because then you are going to see acting, you know? So there is quite a conniving, sarcastic fatigued part of me. But my mother is British so she kind of taught me that kind of sense of humor, that dry, reactive sort of sense of humor.
So, uh, hopefully I know how to kind of, you know, use it in a good way.
He was kind enough to also share some of his views on being a parent.
……. if you mean the fact that they’re concerned of their daughter going to the big city, yeah, I mean of course. ……if you’re like me, you hope and pray that you’re not going to be the kind of parent that when they are allowed to and should leave the house that you are going to be paralyzed with this fear that ugh.
So I’m — you know, I’ve got, what do I have, I have another nine years left, at least with Francesca, to get myself ready to be confident that she’s got a good enough decision maker on her shoulders to go out there and navigate, you know, the inevitable challenges that — I mean, think about all the stuff that you guys have been exposed to that your parents never dreamed that you would be and you being good people didn’t really willingly get into dangerous situations but it just happens.
Um, and so, I’m really trying to be okay with the fact that I can’t keep her in a bubble and I can’t control her her whole life. And so, the only, the only kind of peace that I can give myself is that….. I’m confident that she knows how to make good decisions so that’s my job. So, I will keep working hard to, you know, build her as good a car as possible so she can drive through it okay, you know?
He also agreed that he looks a little like Nick and that he’s excited to sit next to his daughter and see if she recognizes his voice and how she responds to that. Zootopia is in theaters March 4th.