In the first round of “Finding Dory” press conferences, it was incredible to hear from such seasoned Pixar crew as producer Lindsey Collins and Academy Award winning filmmaker, and this movie’s director Andrew Stanton.
For the second panel, there was yet another amazing panel! In attendance were: Albert Brooks (Marlin), Hayden Rolance (Nemo), Eugene Levy (Charlie), Ty Burrell (Bailey), Kaitlyn Olsen (Destiny), Ed O’Neill (Hank), and of course Ellen DeGeneres (Dory).
Hayden Rolance, although playing the returning role of Nemo, is a new cast member to this film. Rolance recounted that it felt unreal, having already been a fan of “Finding Nemo,” it felt like a dream come true to get to play a role he never imagined possible to play.
No stranger to these movies, Albert Brooks stepped back into his role, Marlin. He said since the crew on these films are so amazing, along with the incredible writing, it was a breeze re-visiting a role he hadn’t played for 13 years. It was as if no time passed at all. Brooks also said he can easily relate to Marlin, as they have some similarities. Having been a writer for some many years, he said that he has to naturally be very analytical and aware of his surroundings. So in that regards, he can relate to Marlin’s over awareness. Unlike Marlin though, he said he tries not to sweat the small stuff.
Eugene Levy plays the new role of Charlie, Dory’s father. Levy has played many movie fathers, saying that those types of roles really resonate with him, since family roles seem quite tangible and real. He feels he can pour himself into those types of roles and really have fun with them. Levy found the “” script particularly touching not and emotional. Even though often he did his voice recordings alone, it felt doable to still perform his role to its fullest potential, since the writing and directing were so superb and dug into the layers of each character.
Kaitlyn Olsen plays whale shark Destiny, and Ty Burrell plays Beluga whale Bailey. These two play tank neighbors in the film, and both had a blast getting to do comedic acting for a Pixar film. Olsen described their roles as having a brother and sister relationship; their characters annoy each other, but they ultimately love each other. Burrell had a similar fun experience. When he originally came in to record, he had over-thought and over-prepared, feeling a little nervous about making a good impression with Pixar. Director Andrew Stanton, however, instantly helped him feel at ease and assured him to just be himself so that himself and the character would naturally mesh together. Burrell said everyone at Pixar was so down-to-earth, creative, and talented. He feels a major part of the reason why Pixar films are so incredible and unique is because Disney and Pixar address serious topics in their films that kids ask questions about, but often aren’t discussed. It helps inspire conversations between kids and adults on explaining more complex topics in life.
Ed O’Neill plays the octopus Hank. He described his role as being the “Dory” of the sequel, since he was the sidekick for this film. Since Ellen campaigned on her show for so long to have a “Finding Nemo” sequel created, O’Neill joked that he will for years to come be a recurring guest star on her show to campaign for a third movie, “Finding Hank.”
After years of joking about a “Finding Nemo” sequel, she was ecstatic when she got the call that one was finally being made, and was surprised to hear it would be centering around Dory. She loves playing this character since she is so genuine, yet has so many layers. DeGeneres tries to be like Dory as much as she can be in her own life; full of kindness, non-judge mental, no resentment, and full of optimism and a can-do attitude. She loves that Dory believes anything is possible, and that no one is wrong with anyone else, regardless of their flaws. With “Finding Dory,” DeGeneres enjoyed exploring the layers to Dory in this script. She felt the writing was so real and emotional, which made it easy for her to feel in-touch with her role in the sequel.
It was a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime experience to hear the actors and creative team behind these classic films talk so in-depth about “Finding Dory”, and got me even more excited to see the film! You can catch “Finding Dory” in theaters June 17th.
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