Maya Hawke Explains How She Brought Anxiety to Life for Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’

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Maya Hawke Explains How She Brought Anxiety to Life for Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’

Inside Out 2 dives into the turbulent world of adolescence with a fresh batch of Emotions! While Embarrassment, Envy, and Ennui join the crew, it’s Anxiety who steals the spotlight. This jittery but well-meaning Emotion takes center stage as we revisit Riley’s mind, now grappling with the complexities of being a teenager.

Related – Inside Out 2 Headquarters Opens Its Doors for Fans to Make Core Memories

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In a revealing interview, Disney chats with Maya Hawke, the voice of Anxiety in Inside Out 2. Hawke delves into her process, from channeling her inner voice to breathe life into the character, to the message she hopes audiences will embrace from the film.

Q: Voicing an emotion, rather than a character, can be difficult. What did you bring to your performance that helped you create Anxiety for Inside Out 2?


A: The little voice that I hear in my own head — the one that tells me to worry if my shoes are wrong or if I’m going be late to the airport or say the wrong thing — whatever that voice is that’s in my own head, I just tapped into that and let it come out of my mouth instead of keeping it in my brain.

Q: How did working with Disney and Pixar help you create Anxiety?

A: I actually saw the drawing of Anxiety while I was in the audition process and I just thought, “I HAVE to play this part.” And it was incredibly rewarding to see the end result. In fact, some of the hand gestures and little movements that I did during the voice recording made it into the way the character was animated, which was just the coolest thing to see.

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Q: Did you do any outside research into anxiety, which helped you with the performance?

A: I have anxiety, but I don’t have debilitating anxiety or medical grade anxiety. I do have, like, a character within me that frets and worries, and so I was really able to play with that character that I’ve had in my own life, let her free, and give her free reign in this role, which was really cool.

Q: Did you do any outside research into anxiety, which helped you with the performance?

A: I have anxiety, but I don’t have debilitating anxiety or medical grade anxiety. I do have, like, a character within me that frets and worries, and so I was really able to play with that character that I’ve had in my own life, let her free, and give her free reign in this role, which was really cool.

Q: You’re a film lover, so is there a Pixar film that really stays with you and impacts you as a creator and lover of cinema?

A: I love all of the Pixar films, they’ve all been super important touchstones in my life, but if I had to choose one, I’d probably choose The Incredibles.

Q: What do you hope audiences take away from both Inside Out 2 and Anxiety?

A: This movie is just a force for good. It’s like a double rainbow. It takes so many tough emotions that everyone experiences, not just teenagers, and actualizes those emotions in a way that makes them feel less alienating or stressful. I could not be more grateful or proud to be part of this incredible movie alongside this insanely talented, amazing cast.


Are you going to see Inside Out 2 this weekend?

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Sara is a travel agent with Destinations to Travel, a Disney Earmarked agency. She lives in Alaska with her husband and 3 kids. Due to her extreme dislike of winter, she travels often to warmer destinations during the colder months. She visits the Disney parks and resorts frequently with her family and loves helping other families plan magical vacations. Contact her here for help with your vacation!
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