What Did Owen Wilson, Kerry Washington, Cristela Alonzo, and Armie Hammer Really Think About Cars 3 #Cars3
*I received an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the coverage of several press events for Disney. All opinions are 100% my own and I only recommend events and shows that are a great fit for my readers.
I was given the great privilege of interviewing the talent from the new Disney/Pixar animated film Cars 3. I spent last weekend in Anaheim, California, learning all about how Cars 3 came to be. I stayed at the beautiful Anaheim Marriott and visited Disneyland a LOT! During the press junket day, I was able to sit down with Owen Wilson (voice of “Lightning McQueen”), Kerry Washington (voice of “Natalie Certain”), Cristela Alonzo (voice of “Cruz Ramirez”) & Armie Hammer (voice of “Jackson Storm”) to get their take on Cars 3. You are going to love what they had to say!
I have done many celebrity interviews. Many of them are with one celebrity at a time, but this one was with four at one time…..it was AMAZING! I love interviewing actors with their peers because you get to see a side of them that you may not get to see otherwise. Just like anyone else, actors tend to open up a little more and get a little more relaxed when they feel comfortable. When actors are surrounded by the people who love what they love (acting), they tend to open up a bit more and have more fun. We did have fun!
Question: I have a question for Armie. Brian Fee said that you were the nicest guy in the world.
Armie Hammer: Lies.
Question: That you channeled your inner your inner jerk for this character. How hard was that?
Armie Hammer: It was funny because I had good, strict parents, always told you to be nice to everybody and all that, so then you get in the recording, but they’re like “no, we really want you to kind of really jerk it up, like be like the biggest jerk.” I, um yeah, got it, got it, got it. I tried to go, no, I mean we want more like way more. It was fun getting to do that, getting to access and do that, but in a safe environment, where you’re not actually offending anybody. It’s good.
Question: Were you really a jerk?
Armie Hammer: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It came too easy scary enough.
Question: Can you share how you became involved with the roles, why you wanted to be a part of this film?
Cristela Alonzo: I’ll tell you that I actually got a call. 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. They’re just like do you want to go to Pixar? I’m like well that’s a random question, but yes. They flew me up to Pixar. I had no idea I was being considered for anything. I didn’t know anything until I got there, and then they made me sign papers and I’m like what am I doing?
And it wasn’t until they gave me a tour and then they sat me down in an office and broke down this Cruz character, and immediately I thought wait a minute, this is a job interview, I would have dressed up better for you. I’m wearing my Target best, but still, you know, like who, what, where, right guys? So I became involved with it and I was working with the film in November of 2015.
I had no idea, and honestly I’m glad no one told me because I would have been very nervous. So it allowed me the chance to be myself and not have any time to work on fake me. I ended up getting it, and who ever thinks that you’re ever gonna be part of the Pixar world. I mean, it’s incredible.
Question: I was wondering if there are little pieces of your character that relate to the child in you.
Armie Hammer: I hope not.
Cristela Alonzo: I will tell you that the Cruz character started out as a boy, and they decided to make it into a female, a girl car. And 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 was just telling Kerry, every time a talk about anything, I try to talk about where I come from, how I grew up, blah, blah, blah, get very personal very quick. I started telling him how I just never thought I was going to be a possibility, you know.
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, you know. And everybody in the neighborhood is very quick to knock you down a peg. So John Lasseter took that story and actually ran with it. So there’s a speech where I get upset at Lightning, and one of the lines is dream small, he told me. And that was actually a line that I told Lasseter about my family. My family always told me to dream small, and it was that thing where they told me to dream small because they didn’t want my heart broken.
It was that thing where they always said you can’t have big dreams because big dreams don’t happen for people like us. So it’s that story where that speech and these stories that I started telling Pixar evolved into Cruz. It’s that thing where I try to bring that part of me into Cruz, and I think that that’s when they realized that a lot of the heart of the story came from that.
Owen Wilson: How do we follow up with that? That’s deep.
Cristela Alonzo: I don’t know. Maybe try harder.
Owen Wilson wanted Kerry Washington to tell the story about showing the movie to her daughter.
Kerry Washington: When I was telling these guys in our house, we talk a lot about owning your voice and having a voice, and kids can be literal, and so when we went to see the movie, my daughter said, that car has your voice. That’s weird. She should have her own voice.
Armie Hammer: And that was the moment we all fell in love with Kerry as a parent. How did you do that?
Question: Cars has such a mentor-mentee thread running through it. Who are your mentors, either personally or professionally?
Cristela Alonzo: My mentor is my mother, who passed away years ago, and my drama teachers in school. I went to public high school in a very mall 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. And, I know, it was so weird because we didn’t think it was weird.
We just did the show and I think that doing something like that actually taught me that you couldn’t limit yourself into doing things, you know. 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, you know. 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. You know what I mean?
I don’t even think my teachers realized what a great lesson they were giving me by telling me yeah, you can actually do a play about the holocaust and be in it, and actually do it. And I think that’s something, without them even knowing, in such a subtle way taught me so much.
Question: Armie, you have a lot of fans on Twitter. They’ve been sending me lots of questions. One woman would like to know, she said she saw an instagram that you recently took a road trip through Route 66. She wants to know what was your favorite spot?
Armie Hammer: I do it a lot. I love a good road trip. It’s really hard to pick, but there’s something so magical in the American Southwest. It’s like one of the least densely populated places on earth. And you can end up in just the most remote out of nowhere areas where nothing has changed since Route 66 was the main artery and thoroughfare of the region. So, you can end up in motels where it’s like honestly, the bed probably hasn’t been changed in 50 years, you know, kind of think, which seems pretty gross, kind of like that.
But if you think about it as like I’m really like bumping up and rubbing up against history and bed bugs, then it’s like, it’s really wonderful. Yeah. I don’t know. My favorite part the whole…
Question: Changes your perspective.
Armie Hammer: Yeah. I’m like my glass is half full of maps. I love a good road trip ’cause you just get on the road, you put it on cruise control, and you you just go. You listen to music. You listen to podcasts. You listen to nothing. You just look around. I don’t know. There’s nowhere to, like camping also, Cibola National Forest is a great place to camp. I don’t know. There’s tons of places out there.
With that, we were wrapping up our interviews with Owen Wilson, Kerry Washington, Cristela Alonzo, and Armie Hammer. It seems, from the interviews, that they all just loved being part of Cars 3 and Pixar. Stay tuned, we have so much more from Cars 3 coming your way!
About Cars 3:
Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” cruises into theaters on June 16, 2017.
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CARS 3 races into theatres everywhere on June 16th!