Shrek the Third interviews
Mike Myers Interview by Chad Michaels
Did you feel comfortable coming back to this all over again? And how soon did you know after the second one you'd be coming back for number three?
Mike Myers: I'm so happy. I love the world so much. It's such a fun world and I get to see my old friends. And it's an odd experience though, because you are in this booth. So, it's kind of like being a combination, like being a goal judge in hockey and in the witness protection program. You are in this thing and you don't really get a lot of feedback. You see the people in the booth and occasionally they go, 'Let's try another one.' So, I have developed imaginary friends. I have this imaginary eagle that sits with me and I talk to her. And if it's a particularly good take, she goes 'Caw!' [Laughs.] And if it's a great take it does three Caw's. And I go, 'What's that? I was pretty good in that one.'
Do you have input in terms of the overall direction of the movies?
Mike Myers: No, and nor would I want to. Every time I meet with the people, the team, Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is just a great artist in his own right and Chris Miller and Aaron Warner and Andrew Adamson. When you meet with them, their world is so complete and their ideas are so great, the dialogue begins because you are never shown a script. This is the entire script. They don't even know what it is. You only record like a little bit at a time, so you start to ask questions, because as Antonio was saying, he's like, 'Well, how big is the cat?' He didn't even know when he first started. So, the dialogue begins with clarification. 'Am I scared at this point? Do I know this person?' All that stuff.
And what happens is I end up asking the 4-year-old questions. Like, it's like, 'Do we have the airplane tickets?' 'Oh! The airplane tickets.' That's sort of the way, and I know that I have asked a hard question because they get quiet. So, I go, 'In the end, blah, blah, blah, blah.' And they go, 'Ah, we'll get back to you. Let's go on to the next line.' And then they come back and they have answers and that's kind of the thing. 'Cause I'm not in the room when they are writing it. But, it's been a great experience. These guys are just really committed to it being excellent and quality. I feel like I'm on a Stanley Cup winning team. These guys, Jeffrey is literally tireless. No aspect of it isn't improved. I think this is the best of the three. I think the animation has gotten better, the story is better, all the characters are great. And it's a great message, well told. And the music is great. Because I normally create the stuff I do for me and Antonio has directed twice and produced and stuff, I think we were talking before is that what we love is just being able to come in and play the characters.
There will undoubtedly be a 'Shrek 4.' When it comes around to recording for that movie, would either of you be interested in recording together such as the cast of 'Surf's Up' did in order to allow for more improvisation?
Mike Myers: No, I like this process, because I start to fall in love with Puss and I fall in love with Donkey and Fiona. And when I get there, it's like a radio play. I mean I like them all. In fact, I may have fallen in love with Antonio. Who hasn't? But there is something great, because in the process they don't even know what the script is and they are constantly evolving it.
Shrek has a lot more to ponder in this movie. When you saw the script did you think, 'Oh, great, more stuff to chew on' for Shrek?
Mike Myers: Oh, yeah. I feel extremely well served in terms of stuff to play. In the first movie, it's getting over the self. He has to learn to love himself in order to be loved. He has to learn to love himself in order to be in a marriage. And in this one, he has to learn to love himself in order to step into fatherhood or be the king of a country. And that inner conflict if you will, you may feel free to slap me if I cross the line of pretension. [Laughs] For me, I approach this as a dramatic part with some comedy and I get to really believe. And that's me happiest – having to believe. I like making stuff, so it's just believing and making. That's the fun part. So I was really happy. And that unity of 1, 2 and 3 is what I'm blown away most about.
Rupert Everett Interview by Chad Michaels
What was it like to return for the third time?
Rupert Everett: It’s great! It’s the best job to have, to be honest; I feel it’s like a golden handshake ‘cause I’ve half retired. It’s a job that you can do all over the world wherever you are. You could be in Poland and they’ll hook you up via satellite to the studio in LA. It’s state of the art. You’ve seen it. It’s beautiful looking, the sea tones, how they’ve done water, the skin tones, the magic hour, how they’ve shown the sun rays – it’s just sensationally beautiful and in that respect, it’s really a pleasure to take place in. Every time you go back, they’ve done something else, and they’ve got such an attention to detail that it’s a brilliant job. It’s not an impossible job, maybe if you were an actor starting out, maybe you’d be nervous ’cause you’re on your own acting – you don’t have anyone to go to come up with a performance straight away. There’s no rehearsal, and you don’t investigate who your character is. You have to come up with it and that’s like riding a bicycle. Once you learn how to do it, you can do it. At that point, it’s a great job. It’s a really great job.
How much did the script change in the years they worked on this?
Rupert Everett: They don’t change the story line, you sometimes go in and they’ve reworked something and they’ve refined rather than changed. It’s so carefully thought out. That’s what’s nice. In the old days, when filmmaking was less expensive, filmmaking was done like that, too. People would think about every frame of a movie and design and costume and everything. We can’t do that anymore, and film is so expensive, and mostly you don’t have any money for that. Occasionally, for example, Spielberg, you see a Spielberg film and the reason they look so extraordinary, I think, is because he has the money to have attention to every single detail. Most films are rushed. And this is like that – they think about everything, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of.
How was it working with the new director? Did you feel like you knew the character better?
Rupert Everett: I always feel like I know more about the character than the director, so that’s nothing new. No, he’s really nice and they’ve both been very nice directors to work with. It’s really fun working on cartoons ’cause you have to enlarge everything that you say. It’s a very good lesson for acting actually, ’cause when you look at a cartoon character acting out a scene, there’s not one emotional beat in the image that’s not – it’s all there. Everything’s a bit larger than if you were acting in a live action movie, and it’s fascinating, actually, ’cause they don’t miss out on one emotional beat of a sentence. So when you’re acting out a scene, you have to draw it out to be the same length as cartoons, and it’s very interesting for acting, I think. Cartoons can teach you a lot about acting.
When you’re in the booth, do you have the script in front of you or does the director tell you where you are?
Rupert Everett: Yeah, they show you a big storyboard of the scene that they’ve written out so you know what’s going on.
Julie Andrews Interview by Chad Michaels
Has the process changed at all in the three films, or is it pretty much been the same, just a repeat each time?
Julie Andrews: Well, no, the actual work process doesn't change, you go into a booth all by yourself, and you don't meet your fellow actors, which is sad. It's just the way animation is done. We do, thank God, all meet up later. Or when we travel somewhere together, we go on the flight together, or something like that.
But this being the third movie, you obviously both know your characters so well, can you suggest anything?
Julie Andrews: They are open to suggestion.
Do you believe in happily ever after or is that just a myth?
Julie Andrews: I do, I think I do, I think happily ever after probably comes from here first (pointing inside), and how much two people want to do happily ever after, depending as you say what it is. We're both so blessed. How could it not be happily ever after?
Is there any frustration after you've done the recording and you see the movie, and it all works, but you know you could have done something else to make it work better?
Julie Andrews: Well, if they're not quite satisfied with what you've done, you can go back in, or vice versa, you can say, 'I'd love to try that again if I could.' But they ask you to give so many variations on the same line. I don't know how much you did, but with mom they weren't sure with Harold and everything. And so we actually have no idea what it will be until you see it up there on the screen.
The death of the King is a really sensitive subject to have in a movie that 5 year olds are going to go see. Did they record it a lot of different ways because they weren't necessarily sure?
Julie Andrews: Well, a lot of my 'Harold's' they could have been a pleading or as – 'Harold, get yourself together, or it could have been any of those, and they chose the one that's in the movie right now. I don't remember which version that was.
Cameron Diaz interview