Thank you, Disney and Pixar for hosting me during the Cars 3 Event. All interview photos courtesy of Lousie Bishop/MomStart.com
Cast interviews are usually fun and high energy but the Cars 3 interview we did with Kerry Washington, Armie Hammer, Owen Wilson and Cristela Alonzo was basically nonstop laughter. Seriously. Or rather not seriously. 😉 I’m sharing some of the fun we had with you today.
How did you get cast in Cars 3?
Cristela was asked to visit Pixar but they didn’t tell her why.
I’m like well that’s a random question, but yes. They flew me up to Pixar but 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? Like I would have dressed up better for you. I mean, I’m wearing my Target vest, but still….
Kerry was asked to go aginst type… 😉
I got a call much, much later (than Cristela). There was a role to play, like a super know it all, bossy pants character, super arrogant, so would I be willing to go way against type. 😉 I said yeah, and I just, honestly I’ve been a fan of this franchise from a long time, and I just was honored to be a part of it and excited to do something that my kids could watch.
Armie was an easy yes.
I wish I had a really good story. They called me, they said do you want to be in the movie? And I was like yup. I really wish I could find a twist or like an angle in there, but it was really that easy.
Owen was passing the bread basket.
I met John Lasseter, he was sitting next to me at a dinner and he was telling me about the idea. I didn’t think, you know, 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 (Lightning McQueen).
Armie was asked about his character Sterling. “Brian Fee said that you were the nicest guy in the world. That you channeled your inner your inner jerk for this character. How hard was that?” Armie talked about having been raised by good, strict parents and being taught to always be nice to everyone. So it was fun to be a safe environment, where you could really be a jerk without actually offending anyone. In fact, he tried to be the biggest jerk, and they still had to tell him you need to be even more of a jerk.
Is there any part of you in your character?
Armie immediately exclaimed, “I hope not!” 😉 Then the cast joked about how maybe there was a little bit of jerkiness, like maybe a little trash talking in auditions.
This part of the interview wasn’t funny but important.
Cristela’s own personal story inspired the backstory for Cruz.
It’s like 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. 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’, they 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. So, you know, it was that thing where they always said you can’t have big dreams because big dreams don’t happen for people like us.
Cristela immediately lightened up the atmosphere after telling this touching story. Someone asked “How do we follow up with that? That’s deep.” Cristela immediately says “I don’t know. Maybe try harder.” And the room burst into laughter because she was totally kidding.
Did you learn anything from your character?
Kerry had a great point about how as a society we prioritize hot and new and not wise and creative. Sort of like her character, Natalie Certain, who is all about numbers predicting who will win the race.
This is probably gonna seem like a stretch, because it’s such a supporting character, but one of the things it’s made me think a lot about is sort of this disposable society that we live in, because Natalie Certain is so sure that Storm in going to win, because of the numbers, you know. She’s just so sure, and she’s certain that you can kind of discount everybody else because of the hot, new thing is the way to go. And I think we have to be really careful about that as a society, not just in our business but in general.
I heard a story recently, it’s so random but I heard a story recently about how Rutgers University paid more money than they’d ever paid to any visiting adjust speaker person ever the year that Snooki came to teach. There’s no judgment on that, but she’s a reality star and that was the same year that Maya Angelou spoke at their commencement. And it just made me realize that we can sometimes, I think, prioritize hot and new more than we prioritize wise and creative. And as a society, we need to be careful about that. Again, no judgment about her.
Kerry is an awesome parent
Kerry told this funny and awesome story about her daughter. “When I was telling these guys (the rest of the Cars 3 cast) in our house that we talk a lot about like 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 jumps in with “And that was the moment we all fell in love with Kerry as a parent. How did you do that?”
Riding Radiator Springs Racers
One last tidbit. During the interview, we learned that Owen Wilson had not yet been on Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land. Jokingly he said, “We’re saving it for tonight. I thought about (riding) it for the second (Cars film). I go, nope, not yet. Not yet.” I guess he was waiting for the Cars 3 World Premiere. I can report that he did ride it! We saw him getting on the ride as we got off at the afterparty.