You may have read my exclusive interview last week with Owen Wilson, Kerry Washington, Armie Hammer, and Cristela Alonzo. This time around we got to interview Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Lea DeLaria & Isiah Whitlock Jr. Now, I am a huge huge huge Nathan Fillion fan, so this was a bucket list item for me. I can tell you he’s as charming and dashing and good looking in person as you all think he is.
Cars 3 opened this last Friday and asked the age old question: “Do you go out on top or fight to the end?” To help us answer that question, we talked with Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Lea DeLaria & Isiah Whitlock Jr. about a whole host of things. Larry the Cable Guy even wore sleeves for us! (Interesting tidbit of information that I learned from this interview is that Larry the Cable Guy’s real name isn’t even Larry! It’s Dan! He’s was doing standup and is a huge rodeo fan, so he did a rodeo cowboy thing and it got a laugh so the next day he changed it to a cable installer. A friend of his told him you’ve got to call his morning show and pretend you’re the cable guy, and he did. They asked his name and he just came up with the Larry on the spot and it just caught on. He got syndicated in Orlando, Tulsa and Baltimore (ended up on 27 stations) and was still doing standup. I was still doing standup. But I was doing these calls while I did standup. When they added Larry The Cable Guy to the billboards for his comedy shows, he started selling out, so he started doing his whole show as Larry the Cable Guy. It totally happened by accident!)
I adore this picture from our interview, because it just shows how much fun we all had. I swear we laughed more than we did asking and answering questions! For example,we asked if they were able to improv much.
Larry the Cable Guy told us:
I always do improv on it from when we did the first one. I remember when I first did it, my opening line was “my name’s Mater, like Tomato, without the To,” and I went “Hey. My name’s Mater, just like To-mato, without the To!” He was laughing and I asked, “Well, can I do it another way?” He told “No, do whatever you want, as long as you’re staying close to the script” and that’s when all of the “dadgum” and “gee!” — that’s when all of that stuff coming about.
There was a couple of parts in here. There was a few parts where Mater was supposed to be doing something, but he was supposed to be singing a song. They said, “Look, need to come up with something else. Just come up with something else, and next time we tape, we’ll do those,” so I went home and I wrote a bunch of limericks. For the most part, generally, when I’m doing my lines all free from them, I’ll do it just like the line, then say “hey, let me try this one”, and that’s generally the one where they go, “Oh, that’s good.”
Nathan’s answer of course had us rolling in the our seats:
It’s so weird. Because when I improv, they always go, “That’s great, stick to the lines.”
Nathan also plays Sterling who he’s described in the past as charming. We asked about charming since a lot of us would have used a different word to describe him.
I always find that charming, I think, is one of the more misleading directions when you’re reading a screenplay, or a script. People see “charming” and they go skeevy, and they go a little weird. Charming people are not so much interesting as they are interested. They’re saying, “Hey. You are great. You are wonderful. You are the best.” In this case, as a businessman first, I think he puts Lightning McQueen into a “you are the best, you are the greatest, but I do have an ulterior motive.”
We also asked why he chose this role:
What called me to this is an opportunity to work with Pixar. I’m gonna — not going to lie to you guys. I’ve been to the Pixar facility twice. I’ve seen every Pixar movie. I’ve seen the Pixar documentary four times. I am into Pixar. Nothing happens in a Pixar movie by accident. They tell the story, one pixel at a time. It’s very, very careful filmmaking, and it’s very methodically planned out, and you — to be a part of it, you know you’re going to be a part of a story well told, and it’s going to be beautiful, and it’s going to last. Over and above anything else, I will do anything for Pixar, and, point of fact, I actually did some janitorial work for them two weeks ago. I’m not picky.
This is why I love Nathan. He’s as much of a geek as the rest of us. He’s also super funny. I know if Pixar called any of us up, we’d be all over it.
Lea also told us why she got involved:
Why would I want to be Miss Fritter? Have we seen her? She’s awesome. I mean, come on. Her stop sign is a buzz saw. She’s terrific. Also, I grew up where they do stock cars. I grew up where demo derby was a big deal. 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 that’s the side of the bus. The people of Belleville, Illinois, which is a tiny little town, they’re gonna go nuts when they see that. It’s kind of awesome.
We asked Isiah about his thoughts on the film:
I found it very emotional. I found myself tearing up a little bit, and kept saying, “Okay. Think about something else. Think about something else.” Don’t start crying. I was glad I brought my sunglasses with me, so I could put those on, and pretend like I was just sitting cool in the movie theater. I think the story’s going to be powerful.
I so agree with you Isiah. You definitely go through the gamut of emotions in this one. Now, I got to throw a question out there about how social media has changed the landscape of promoting. Larry the Cable and I had been talking over Twitter before our interview when I asked what questions I should I ask him and he responded with :
how do I stay so attractive and fit.
— Larry The Cable Guy (@GitRDoneLarry) June 6, 2017
Yes, about died laughing too when I saw that. Larry told us:
It’s a good way to talk to your fans. As a comedian, I have a Facebook, but my Facebook has over five million people on it, and I always keep that updated. I always keep stuff funny on it. You want people to come to your Facebook. It’s become your new website. Everything is on Twitter. I love Twitter, because Twitter is not as many people, and you can communicate with everybody. I have almost 500,000 (followers) on Twitter. If you check it like I do all the time, I mean, when the kids go to bed, when my wife goes to bed, that’s when I pretty much just hang out on Twitter and talk to people. It’s fun, you know. It’s manageable, and you can talk. You can pretty much answer everybody. I think it’s awesome. I think it’s really cool that you can actually get responded to by a celebrity. Back in the day, when I was coming up if I could actually go online, and my favorite baseball players or my favorite actors would actually send me a response, I would be a fan for life. I think that’s the cool thing about social media, and I always try to stay engaged, as much as I can.
Nathan’s response echoed Larry’s:
Engagement is a fantastic word. It’s a way to engage with your fan base, that doesn’t revolve around work or any publicity due. It’s stuff that you’re entirely in control of, so you can personalize it as you wish. You can share, you can be personal with it, you can share your private things, or you’re just — you’re entirely in control. But it is one-on-one. It’s — there’s nothing in between you and the fandom at that point, so you can engage with your fans, one-on-one, or just kind of get a general idea of what everybody is about, but I love that word.
Lea also chimed in:
I feel the same way these guys feel about engagement with my fans. I mean, I’m a little — but I’m not 110 years old, so I’m more over at IG (Instagram). I go on Twitter more as an afterthought, and it is — it totally is, I mean, you can go on social media, and see how it tears down. My fan base, because of Cars and Orange is now a much younger base than I used to have. I’m a lot older than people realize, so they’re on Instagram. I reach out a lot on Instagram, I post every day, I try to respond. Especially, they direct-message you — like, direct-message you, so only you can read it and no one else on Instagram. Just in terms, politically for me, as an openly gay activist, I get a lot of people that direct, that DM me, about problems, you know. Which I take very seriously. And I’m the same way.
I try to keep up on it. I can’t do it every hour, every half hour. I actually have someone now who helps me with my social media, because it’s just gotten a little out of hand. But I think that it’s the best way to reach people, and also, it’s a great way — Twitter is a great way to keep up with the president.
We also asked if their cars looked like them:
Nathan told us: “The eyes are dead on.”
Lea told us: “Miss Fritter, if she was here, I would say, she captures my essence. Completely.”
Isiah told us: “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.”
Lastly, Larry the Cable Guy told us: “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.”
As you can see, we had an amazing time with this interview! Go see Cars 3! It’s out!
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