“Cars 3” opens in U.S. theaters on June 16, 2017. While we are waiting not so patiently, I have to tell you about my interview with Owen Wilson, Kerry Washington, Armie Hammer, and Cristela Alonzo. I have literally never laughed so hard interviewing actors before!
This interview was beyond fun. As you can see, they had as much fun as we did! For those of you who know Armie Hammer, he is a totally super nice guy. However, in Cars 3, he is not. He is Jackson Storm, and he’s kinda a swarmy jerk. When we asked him how hard it was being like that, he told us:
I had good strict parents who always told you to be nice to everybody. I get in the recording studio, and they are ‘no, we really want you to kind of really jerk it up and be like the biggest jerk’. It was fun getting to do that, but in like a safe environment, where you are not actually offending anybody. Scary enough, it came too easy.
Now, we, of course, wanted to know how they got involved in the project (because who wouldn’t want to do a Pixar film!).
Cristela’s story is a great one:
I was on my way to do a stand up tour in Canada, and I got a call from my agent asking me if I wanted to go to Pixar. They didn’t tell me anything. I’m like well that’s a random question, but yes. I had no idea I was being considered for anything. It wasn’t until they gave me a tour and then they sat me down in an office and broke down the Cruz character. Immediately, I thought wait a minute, this is a job interview — I would have dressed up better for you. Honestly I’m glad no one told me, because I would have been very nervous. It allowed me the chance to be myself and not have any time to work on fake me.
Kerry’s answer made us all break out into laughter:
I got a call much, much later. There was a role to play – a super know it all, bossy pants character, super arrogant, so would I be willing to go way against type. I was honored to be a part of it and excited to do something that my kids could watch.
For those of you who don’t know, Kerry is on Scandal and she plays a bossy pants character that at times can be super arrogant. Owen has a fun story too:
I met John Lassiter, and he was sitting next to me. He had a dinner and was telling me about the idea, and I didn’t think necessarily anything would come of it. I didn’t know who he was or anything, and then it all sort of fell together and now I have this little guy [pointing to a Lightning McQueen car].
Armie’s answer had to be the best though:
I wish I had a really good story. They called me and said do you want to be in the movie? And I was like yup.
Now, my most favorite part of the interview is when we asked Cristela about Cruz, her character and how she related to her:
John Lasseter actually came into the sound booth when I was recording one day, and I thanked him for giving me the opportunity to be part of a Pixar movie. I talked about where I came from, how I grew up, and get very personal very quick. I started telling him how I just never thought I was going to be a possibility.
So many people tell you, especially in the kind of hood that I grew up with, they always tell you that you can’t do anything. Everybody in the neighborhood is very quick to knock you down a peg. John took that story and actually ran with it. There’s a speech where I get upset at Lightning, and one of the lines is dream small. That was actually a line that I told Lasseter about my family. My family always told me to dream small, because they didn’t want my heart broken.
Now, I love her even more. She reached for the stars, and she’s in a Pixar film! She also told us about how her mother and her teachers were her mentor:
I went to public high school in a very small town, and these teachers saw something in me. I will tell you my high school was 99 percent Mexican, and we used to do plays. My freshman year, we did the Diary of Anne Frank, all Mexicans. It was so weird, because we didn’t think it was weird. We just did the show and I think doing something like that actually taught me that you couldn’t limit yourself. We wanted to do the Diary of Anne Frank, and we did it, because realistically how many plays do you have for Latinos? Hamilton wasn’t around back then.
I had a teacher in college tell me that, as a Latina, I could do West Side Story and Chorus Line, and I did West Side Story and I did Chorus Line, and then I thought, well, I guess I have to retire from theatre. I don’t even think my teachers realized what a great lesson they were giving me by telling me you can actually do a play about the holocaust and be in it, and actually do it. I think that’s something, without them even knowing, in such a subtle way taught me so much.
Such a great lesson for all us. Cristela is known for her humor, but she has a big heart. We also asked Owen about the impact Lightening McQueen has made:
I think that’s the nice thing about doing something creative — make something that means something to people, or that they laugh and enjoy. That’s a great feeling.
Needless to say, this was a fun and amazing interview. We could have spent all day talking to them easily.
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CARS 3 races into theatres everywhere on June 16th!