Now that Cars 3 is in theaters, I hope you’ve already taken your little racers to see the movie. Then you’ll know that it’s all about learning to believe in yourself, having and trusting a mentor, and accepting change.
We sat down with Nathan Fillion the voice of “Sterling”.
Larry the Cable Guy the voice of “Mater”.
Lea DeLaria the voice of “Miss Fritter”
And Isiah Whitlock Jr. the voice of “River Scott”.
Each of these actors have amazing backgrounds and acting careers under their belts and it was fun to listen to them as we interviewed them at the Cars 3 Press Junket. Here are a few of the highlights from the interview.
Because there is such an underlying theme about mentorship in the movie, we had to know who their mentors were….
Cars 3 Mentors
NATHAN : Bob Woods, who played my uncle on One Life to Live. I wouldn’t be — I wouldn’t have moved to Los Angeles without his sage advice.
LARRY : You know what’s crazy? That’s my mine too! [Everyone Laughs]
NATHAN : So odd. [Everyone Laughs again]
ISIAH : I had a mentor in college, and he was not………. he had seen me in a play in college, and he was kind of like this nutty, crazy professor that everybody kind of stayed away from, but this guy said, he pulled me aside and he says, “look, you know, I saw you in a play last night.” And he says, “I thought you were great. You got to get out of Minnesota, man. You got to go to New York, and you got to start knocking on doors.” And I thought, knocking on doors? What? Just going around to people’s apartments? Just knocking on doors? I took him literally. And then he said, “look at all of these monitors.” He said, “Someday we’re going to be able to talk to people and do our banking and”……. and I said “This guy is really nuts.” But the one thing that he told me came true.
But the one thing he told me, he says, “If you really want to be a great actor, you’ve got to start studying psychology. You’ve got to know the human condition. You’ve got to know how people tick, and how you can figure out all of these characters,” and so I thought, Okay, I’m gonna try that. And I studied psychology for about two years. And I just play a bunch of characters who’ve got problems.……But it was some of the best advice I had ever gotten. And when people talk about mentorship, I always think about this one, this guy, because it’s………………..I really did sort of learn about the human condition, and what makes people do what they do, and how they believe that, you know, they’re right in what they do. So, that was some of the best advice I’d ever gotten in my life.
Later I know that Larry said the Jeff Foxworthy was a mentor to him. He mentioned that while telling us how he got his name Larry the Cable Guy, because guys that’s not really his name.
Q : Larry, can you share how you came up with the name “Larry the Cable Guy”?
HOW DID LARRY THE CABLE GUY GET HIS NAME?
LARRY : I sure can. And in all seriousness, I know I said Bob, but mine would’ve been Jeff Foxworthy. I have known Foxworthy for 30 years, and he really gave me awesome advice about the business, and how to be kind to people, and be kind to your fans, and so he would’ve been my mentor. But, how I came up with the name Larry the Cable Guy is, I was doing standup, and you always go on stage, and you’d try new stuff out. And I’m a big rodeo fan, and I used to watch mesquite championship rodeo on Sundays.
[Everyone Laughs] I’m a country kid, so I grew up in a small town in Southeast Nebraska. And I did this rodeo cowboy, got kind of a laugh. And so the next day I changed it to a cable installer, and it got a big laugh. And I had a buddy of mine who had a morning show, and he said, “you’ve got to call our morning show, that’s funny. You should pretend you’re the cable guy.” And so I called up. And I remember the first time — the first thing I ever said on the radio. I called up and I said, “Hey, Ron & Ron, what’s goin’ on, fellers. What’s goin’ on, fellers.” And they go, “Well, who is this?” It’s the cable guy. Y’all said y’all wanted that hookup down there, didn’t you? And they said, “Well, what’s your name?”
And I didn’t really know. And I’m going, “Uh…Larry!” Oh. It’s Larry the Cable Guy? And it just caught on, and I started calling as Larry the Cable Guy, and then I got syndicated over in Orlando, which syndicated me into Tulsa and to Baltimore. And I was a standup. I was still doing standup. But I was doing these calls while I did standup. I ended up getting syndicated, around the country, on 27 radio stations, getting up every morning, doing radio calls.
27 stations. All different times. I think I did 14 was the most I did in a day, but I’d do five days a week, for 13 years every day, doing a commentary in the n — and “get ‘er done” just started getting popular from the radio, and so then I s — everybody just started calling me Larry. And that wasn’t my name, but it was my radio name. And so it just kind of stuck. Kind of a nickname, more than anything else. And that’s how Larry the Cable Guy came to be on stage, when I was doing a show in St Petersburg. A buddy of mine owned a comedy club, I walked in, and it said on the billboard, “Dan Whitney, AKA Larry the Cable Guy,” and both shows sold out.
And I said, “What’s going on, you got a convention here or something? I can’t find a place to park.” And they go, “No. They’re coming to see you.” And I said, “Wow. I didn’t know he was going to do that,” and I went on stage, and people started going, “Get ‘er done, get ‘er done.” And I couldn’t do my regular act. And I went into Larry the Cable Guy, and [FAKE CHEERS]. And then if I came out of the act, and [MAKES A RASPBERRY]. I couldn’t follow it. And I got off stage. And the guy, Lester McCurdy, from McCurdy’s Comedy Club, said, “Can you do your whole show like that?” And I said, “Yeah. You know. I act like a redneck all day long, ’cause I is one.
It’s like what Jeff says — ’cause I is one.” And so he took my name off, and it said “Larry the Cable Guy.” And I took the stage as Larry the Cable Guy, and then I started weeding out all of the other stuff that I had and I started rebooking dates as Larry the Cable Guy. And that’s how I was born. That was it. It was all completely by accident. I never thought it out. It just evolved into what it became, so that’s how it happened.
Lea came into the interview late because the night before the Cars 3 Premiere she had her New York Orange is the New Black Premiere. Talk about jet setting, she got off the plane and came straight to our interview. We then talked a little bit about how social media has changed the way they interact with their fans. They all love social media and how on each different platform there are different ways to engage.
Nathan mentioned how he would have loved to have been able to tweet at William Shatner as a kid but that wasn’t possible then. And Larry said he LOVES to keep up with fans on twitter. So guys if you want to talk to Larry the Cable Guy get on twitter and tweet him. Oh and Lea says she likes to use Instagram. She said that lots of people DM her there and she tries very hard to answer each person. She now has help, but does as much of it by herself as she can. Then she said if you want to keep up with the president you should use twitter. Everyone in the room laughed at that one.
We also wanted to find out how each of them came onto the project and what they like about their characters.
Lea said they called her up and asked her if she wanted to be Miss Fritter and she was like YES! Of course I want to be a “terrific” school bus that happens to be from her home town school.
“I grew up in a really small town on the very tip of Illinois that’s right by Kentucky. So that was like, a Friday night entertainment for me. So the idea of being the queen of the demolition derby? Awesome. And they let me say my — the high school that I went to.
A shout-out to that. That’s the side of the bus is the high school that I went to. Which is, I mean, the people of Belleville, Illinois, which is a tiny little town, they’re gonna go nuts when they see that.”
One final thing I loved about the interview was how the actors responded when they were asked about how they liked the look of their characters.
NATHAN : They eyes are dead on. [Everyone laughed].
LEA : Miss Fritter, if she was here, I would say, she captures my essence. Completely.
ISIAH : I didn’t have any input. And because of that everybody says, “Oh, it looks like you,” and I’m like, “Well, I didn’t design that, and, you know…” but it’s loveable. [Everyone laughed]
LARRY : I had no input. I had — my teeth looked just like Mater’s, until Pixar made me enough money to make veneers. I was — this was the original inspiration. [Again everyone laughed].
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CARS 3 races into theatres everywhere on June 16th!