Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by directing duo, Chris Miller and Phil Lord, starring Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Neil Patrick Harris, and Mr. T. hits theaters Friday, and although it may look like “kid’s movie” due to it’s brightly-colored animation, don’t be fooled, it’s a smart, entertaining movie about when excessive consumption gets taken to the extreme! In the movie, Bill Hader voices the character of Flint Lockwood; the geeky, but kind of cool, aspiring inventor that causes havoc in his small fishing town.
Recently, we sat around a round-table to interview the always hilarious Hader and talk to him about bringing the character of Flint Lockwood to life and how much more difficult voice-over work was than he expected.
Check out what he had to say below…
Did you know of the book when you did this movie?
Bill Hader: When I was a kid, that book was in every classroom. I really loved it.
Did you wonder how they were going to put a story in it?
BH: It’s funny too because you see a lot of people — I’ve read online and stuff — they’ve seen the trailer and go, “That’s not the book,” and I’m like, “The book’s — if you actually just did the book, it would be a two minute movie.” [Laughs]
BH: I just knew Chris and Phil — their stuff from” Clone High” was really funny. They showed me the part where Sam is walking on Jell-O and it was really cool. And The storyboard scene of when Flint is throwing snowballs at people, I was like, “Aw, man!”
Is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs your first animated film?
BH: No, I had done some anime stuff before, but I always did different voices and stuff. This was the first time they wanted my normal voice. I didn’t know how to do that, we had to scrap my whole first day of work because they wanted my voice that was really tough. Also, it is so insanely draining — you scream for four hours into a microphone and then you think you’re done and their like, “Now we need efforts.” (Panting and grunting sounds)
Did you and Anna Faris work in the same room?
BH: We did that like two days and that was good.
Did you get chance to ad-lib things?
BH: I don’t remember doing a ton of ad-libing; I mean the script was really funny. Their vision was super specific. We thought it was going to be easier than it was.
Do you think of the character you play in this movie the same way you would for other movies?
BH: There’s an emotional thing to it. There were scenes in it where I’d approach it like an actor, it’s not all yelling and screaming. Other animated movies I’ve done, it’s like, “You’re a British guy,” or whatever and all you kind of do is that. I remember doing a scene where Flint is in the trash can and the guy is talking me through saying, “You’re really sad man.” They were really good in walking you through it and saying, “No, no, this is like a real moment, not a funny moment.” Then I saw that scene in the movie, and my wife — I think because she knows me — got really sad. He’s throwing himself away. You do really have to think about it. The only kind of research I did, I remember I read a couple interviews of Tom Hanks about Toy Story and kind of how he approached that and in one of those interviews I read, “It’s really hard; it’s really exhausting,” I was like, “God, I’m not a pussy.”
What was the biggest thing you learned in this project?
BH: I learned that I can gasp for two minutes. Like the scene where we all gasp — you have the ability in movies now to splice takes together and you could make food fall the sky, but apparently you can’t make a gasp for two minutes and Phil (Lord) and Chris (Miller) were like, “Yeah, give it to us — two minutes,” and I was like, “I’ll die.” So I’d sit there for a while and be like (gasping sound). Try doing that for as long as you possibly can and then you’d be done and be all light-headed. And they’d say, “No, it’s not what we want, it’s more from the belly.”
What are you able to relate to the most about this movie?
BH: The thing that I can relate to the most is having that thing that in your little community makes you weird or people don’t really get it. That makes you unique and you should just commit to it 100 percent, and enjoy it and I think that’s a cool message — except if you’re a serial killer, right? [Laughs]
What food would order to fall from the sky if you were going to be able to do this?
BH: I really got to think for a second, you put me on the spot. Momofuku pork buns!
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs hits theaters on September 18
Check out the trailer below…