She’s cute she’s funny she’s on American Family and now Julie Bowen is a Planes character. Julie Bowen is funny and very energetic, I don’t know if this woman can sit still for very long, she loves to stay busy and what you see is what you get. She is a firecracker and does an amazing job playing Dusty’s biggest fan Dipper in Planes Fire and Rescue. She did force herself to sit still for about 20 minutes allowing us to interview her in her upcoming role as Dipper. Here is part of the interview with Julie Bowen.
Q : Is this your first time playing an animated character?
JULIE : Um, yeah, for a movie, yes. I did like a couple little quickie things. Cheap & Dirty, but it was, brought a lot out of it for my kids for like Scooby-Doo. Because they don’t watch, they’ve never seen Modern Family. Plus they don’t really want…you know, kids the world is about them. And according to my therapist, that’s totally normal, for awhile. So I’m like really? Everything is about them!
And, uh, they don’t want to see me on a screen that much. But they like the voice thing. So when I got an opportunity to do this, I saw how much mileage I got off Scooby-Doo. I couldn’t believe how much mileage I got from them. They were like worshipping me. So this, like I mean I’m genuinely excited to show off to my children.
Q : How is working in the sound booth.
JULIE : It’s kind of nerve-wracking. ‘Cause there’s nothing there. Also my big fear is like you’re in the booth, and then there’s a glass thing. And they’re… And this is what I’m analyzing, like. It’s really bad. Is it too late to re-cast this? And so day one I went in and Bob… Did you guys meet Bob?
Q : Yeah.
JULIE : First of all, his name is Bobs. [LAUGHTER] Second, overly Disney. Where else are you gonna go to work? [LAUGHTER] Go to Morgan Stanley. Then you’re like, Bob’s? Wait, I would say…you guys, when you’re just chitchatting, even if it’s about lunch, [unintelligible] mic open. Because I’m in here dying a thousand tiny deaths going, and they’re like- they’re like, you want pickles on it? Pickles? I’m fine. [LAUGHTER]
But once we got that out of the way then I could relax a little, because it’s just that silent alone in a room thing. And, you know, just please, please validate me. Makes me feel very uncomfortable. Yeah.
Q : How was it to do animated versus Modern Family?
JULIE : Oh. Oh. So different. So different. I am not, um, a trained voice actor. I’m keenly aware of my weaknesses, um, and that may be because there’s something that obscure or high, there’s no like, no, I think we might have seen your boob there. You know what I mean? It’s just your voice, and if you aren’t getting across clearly, the humor, the message, the- the real sentiment, you can’t deny it. You can’t go like, yeah, but she looks really big in that shot.
Or your hair looks nice, so maybe no one will notice. So, um, I was keenly aware of it. Luckily they are perfectionists and they are so pro that they very quickly figured out that the best way to work with me was just let me go. And then some poor editor had to sit somewhere going, oh my god. I mean I was leaping around, swearing. The original Dipper had quite a mouth on her. But that- but to get to the like sassiness of- of the way that she thinks, I kind of needed to spout some garbage.
Q : There are gonna be girls watching this film that are gonna come away going, yeah, I totally wanna fly planes or do something?
JULIE : No. No they didn’t. They didn’t. I was, um, shocked that they…I mean they filmed, you know, there’s always a little digital thing rolling and I was shocked to see how specific they made the plane. I mean a plane doesn’t have a lot of…it doesn’t have a front grill like cars did. Like they didn’t have even a bumper to do mouths and stuff with, or hands. Like they were really limited. And, um, they made it look really human and kind of like me.
And that, I think it’s all in the mouth, um, but no I didn’t- I didn’t meet anybody about it. Um, about that kind of a job and I only recently discovered what I’m called. ‘Cause I didn’t realize I had to be a real thing, you know. I- I- I underestimated the level of research that they had done. And I thought I was just, you know, one of those planes that picks up water. Like, noooo. You know, it’s much more than that.
Q : Do you watch the film first and then voice it?
JULIE : They draw- it- it’s kind of like what you would imagine as far as there’s like a, there’s a rough sketch copy. Like pencil drawing, um, and then sometimes it’s more, it’s- it’s more than that. It’s the pencil drawing against the backdrop because I guess the backdrops are more static, or they- those are painted in- in total, and then they…I’m not exactly sure how that happens. But what I see is just mostly some loose drawings in the very beginning.
Moving around and, and kind of marking the major things. Then I come back like six months later and they’re drawn more. And the cool thing is, six months or eight months later, they’ve taken all that spouting that I did in the booth, and running around and sweating, and they incorporate it into the character. And now they’ve started to draw her- her movement and her mouth and everything to fit that. And that was very cool to see. Somebody had to work very hard.
Uh, but then it was not until I saw this in the final film, but the last things I’ve seen have been, to my eye look finished. I’m sure a professional will have tweaking to do or something.
Q : Are you ever with other actors in the booth or always by yourself?
JULIE : No. I was always by myself which is, um…I don’t know ‘cause I don’t- I’ve done… Like when I did Scooby-Doo it was in a room with a bunch of people. But, but those are, um, serialized. You know, it’s- it’s weekly or however they do it. So they’ve got a much faster production piece. Um, I don’t think you can afford to bring one person in at a time. No, I was completely alone. But luckily, um, Dane Cook, I mean all theirs was done. It was completely done. So I could hear him, I could hear Ed Harris, I could hear all- everybody else.
Q : At the end of the day did you walk away feeling different?
JULIE : You know, I think when I actually get to see the whole movie it’s gonna be really exciting. Um, I’m not very good at watching myself, but I’m- I’m okay at listening to myself. Like I’m very excited about this. It also feels so collaborative, it doesn’t feel like I’m raising the ‘I am awesome’ flag, which always makes me cringe a little. Um, I can look at this and go, wow, I was part of something that was so awesome so it’s easy when you’re done to embrace the whole thing.
And- and I’m really…from what I’ve seen, and even though I’m a little, um, I guess they were interstitials. I wonder what they call them. Bobs direct them. But were they interstitials? They’re part of the…
Okay. It’s really- it’s really fun. They really let me be a complete buffoon. She’s lookin’ for love. I’m allowed to say that. But this is Dipper lookin’ for love. And, um, I guess they’re gonna come out prior to the movie, as part of the advertisement. So that was really fun too. Because they- I guess they probably didn’t…maybe it doesn’t count as much [unintelligible]. And then again, some poor editor had to make all this.
Q : Did you get to have like a romance all on your own?
JULIE : On my own. That’s right. That was fun.
Q : Did you get to do any adlibbing with that?
JULIE : Oh yeah.
Yeah, like a lot of adlibbing. I’m not super great at joke telling or reading a line, um. Usually I have to lay the pipe a bit, like [unintelligible]. That’s the person who gives you the story. Um, sometimes it’s- it’s not the exciting stuff, it’s not the jokes, but they’re laying it out. They’re like, you know, Luke has the flu and Alex is here, and then Phil gets to go, oh…and my butt is frozen. Or whatever the funny line is.
And this was, everybody else for the most part, were laying pipe and I had to come in with exactly this romance in my head. So really the possibilities were endless because they weren’t necessarily a hundred percent connected to what was going on. Like one thing, you know, oh, we’re gonna go here and then I would take that to, well what do you want me to tell him? It’s a date, it’s our third date? Our second date? I don’t know anything. I- I still am not sure a hundred percent what’s in there. But I’m sure it’s very, very perfect for children.
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