Sneaking a little Dweebing
HOPE YOU ENJOY IT, CAUSE I SURE FEEL DIRTY. (SORT OF IN A GOOD WAY?)
FINE TUNING CARS
(AN INTERVIEW WITH BONNIE HUNT)
She’s been a monster, a black widow spider, and soon you’ll see her as a sporty little PorscheTM 911 – but behind them all she’s Bonnie Hunt.
The versatile actress is a regular feature in Pixar’s films, having voiced characters in “A Bug’s Life,” “Monsters Inc.,” and “Cars.” And because each film takes from four to five years to make, she has come to know Pixar inside and out.
On June 9, the latest Disney*Pixar opus will hit the big screen.
Sally and her co-star, Lightning McQueen
“Cars” is the story of a hotshot race car (voiced by Owen Wilson) who’s forced to contemplate values beyond speed when he breaks down in the sleepy little town of Radiator Springs. Among the colorful characters he encounters are the dignified town mayor Doc (film legend Paul Newman) … and a spunky blue coupe named Sally. In a world populated entirely by cars, we get to see the milieus of big city, sleepy town, and speedway, with a cast of automotive characters as diverse, funny, and exciting as any human ensemble. EDITOR'S NOTE: WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT THE..OOH,HATE THIS WORD...'ZEITGEIST' THAT JUST AS WE ARE UNABLE TO AFFORD TO DRIVE OUR REAL CARS, WE GET A SPUNKY CARTOON ABOUT AUTOS?
We sat down with Bonnie to get the inside scoop on the making of “Cars” and some tips about what we’ll be seeing when the movie opens.
Bonnie was in on the process at the very beginning, she tells us, thanks to her longstanding relationship with Pixar and its president, John Lasseter.
“One night John said to me, ‘The next movie I’m writing, you’ll be the girl in it.’ This is years ago, after we did ‘A Bug’s Life.’ So right from the start, he knew I would be playing Sally, even when the movie was just a concept in his mind,” she explains.
EDITOR'S NOTE: TRIVIA BREAK ----
Bonnie Hunt has voiced characters in three Pixar features -- has any actor had a voice in all of them?
Yep -- John Ratzenberger, Pixar's "lucky charm," can be heard in every full-length Pixar film to date!
Her involvement with “Cars” continued from that early stage right through to the finishing touches.
“I have a very close relationship with Pixar – I don’t just work with them, I consider them my friends,” says Bonnie. “You record dialogue before they begin animation, and then they’ll do more drawings, work on their story more, record the other characters, put voices together, do some rough sketched animation, and then you come back. It’s a very layered process. I’m in awe of what they do. I’ve been out there many times to visit them at the studio. I’ll go for a couple of hours of recording, but I end up staying all day and visiting the animators and talking to everybody.” EDITOR'S NOTE: WILL SOMEONE GET THIS CRAZY LADY OUT OF MY OFFICE SO I CAN GET SOME WORK DONE! (GIGGLE)
Bonnie thinks that, as much as anything we’ve seen so far from Pixar, “Cars” is a movie close to John Lasseter’s heart.
“This movie is very John Lasseter!” she laughs. “He took a trip in a Winnebago with his family after his wife basically said ‘you’re working all the time, and the kids are going to grow up in the blink of an eye.’ And he stopped! So they went on a Route 66 road trip. When he came back, he decided to write about this. It’s a very personal story.”
That Route 66 experience is evident in all the loving details of “Cars,” which is packed with roadside attractions based on those you’ll see along the famous highway – with a car-themed twist.
For instance, Sally runs a motel where guests sleep in, but traffic cones.
And the Lasseter family trip may be the source of what Bonnie describes as her favorite moment in the movie: “Lightning McQueen and Sally are overlooking the interstate that cuts through the town of Radiator Springs. She talks about how fast people go, that they don’t know what they’re missing when they go that fast.”
That “stop and smell the radiator fluid” message is also the secret of the Pixar filmmaking style: take your time, make sure it’s the best it can be, and don’t rush the movie. The only drawback? We have to wait so long to see each one!
Bonnie, for one, eagerly anticipates the premiere.
“I can’t wait to watch children see the movie, and for people to see another great Pixar experience. The teamwork that goes into these films that they do is amazing, on top of the awe-inspiring technical achievements and the storytelling involved. It’s one of those incredibly unique experiences where it’s all about the talent.”