Cars 2 Interview
Cars 2 Interview
John Lasseter has been at the head of ground breaking animation studio Pixar for 25 years, while Michael Caine and Jason Isaacs are both British film stars that have been part of the industry scene with over 90 years of acting experience between them. Having starred in the likes the Batman trilogy and the Harry Potter series respectively, they now have put their voices to the face of the digitally animated vehicles in Cars 2.

Recently in London to talk about their experiences putting together the highly anticipated sequel, the director and stars of Cars 2 spoke about the technological advances in the animation world, their passion for cars and their acting history.
First of all John, 25 years of Pixar, congratulations, did you ever think you would achieve that landmark so seamlessly, so effortlessly and with so much success when you started out?

John Lasseter

It takes four years to make one of our films. Our goal is to have one movie a year but it’s taken us about ten years to get there because we didn’t want to have a drop in quality. So we’re always so focused on our films, and having fun doing it because I believe if you’re having fun it’s going to appear on the screen. In 1986 we formed Pixar and we were a technology company initially and in 1991 we made a deal with Disney to do our first feature film which became Toy Story. And from 95 on when Toy Story came out, we were pretty much known solely as an animation studio. But I was the only traditionally trained animator working with computer animation and there was only four of us out of 40 that started Pixar that were part of animation, so it was interesting to see that Pixar kind of at two faces.
If they want me to go down and lick the windows clean with my tongue, I’m in...
Jason, I believe when you were doing the voice, or rather voices for this film you were also working on something completely different so you’ve had quite an interesting process to go through?

Jason Isaacs

I was filming something else in Los Angeles and the phone call came and said “Listen, John Lasseter wants …” - I said “I’m in, even if it’s a little part, I’m in.” They said it’s for Cars 2 and I said “Well, if they want me to go down and lick the windows clean with my tongue, I’m in.” I’m a massive fan of all their films, in particular John’s films and for all the technological background I think he’s a master story-teller and that’s the most important thing.

I’m only fleetingly in the film, luckily playing a brilliantly realised character, Sidling the jet and I’m thrilled to do that but I knew I’d only be there for moments. But instead, all the story boarders were there and this uncontainable enthusiasm was in the room and people just couldn’t help but share the story. Now I knew I was a fan of Pixar but to experience it first hand and see how they just were bubbling over with passion, they wanted to show me stuff that wasn’t drawn, stuff that was already drawn, the models. I thought, now I can see why the films are so great - it’s not just attention to detail as a work of craft, it’s an act of love, really giving these stories to the world.
Sir Michael, since you are obviously an icon, you’re in a happy position where you can pick and choose the films you want to do, what was it about Cars 2 that got you excited and wanting to do it?

Michael Caine

[Laughs] What happened to me was, at quite an old age I suddenly had three grandchildren. And I thought, they’re never going to see me in any movies for years, you can’t go see Harry Brown until you’re 18. And I wanted to do something and quite out of the blue I was called about Cars 2, so I was interested and I rented Cars 1 and I was absolutely stunned because I was thinking of a cartoon and for me that was Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and Bambi and Snow White.

I saw Cars 1 and I was absolutely astonished by what they done in there and I couldn’t figure it out. I’m not one of those old dodders who doesn’t know anything. I know all about computers and all that modern technology. But when John explained about ‘digital non-linear’, I suddenly went all hazy cause I had no idea what he was talking about. I have no idea how they do what they do, but the picture I saw yesterday was much more advanced than Cars 1 and I sat there in absolute astonishment. And also there was the 3D, I had never seen a film in 3D before.

But there was other things that made we want to do the movie, apart from my grandchildren. He told me I was going to be a spy. I started out in my career as a spy in the Ipcress File. And then he said the storyline is all about cars, and I did this film early in my career called The Italian Job, and it was all about cars. And I thought – actors are very superstitious - that’s a good omen. And I said to John, “What’s my name then?” and he said Finn McMissile and I thought that’s a great name. Then I thought what sort of car am I going to be? And he said, “A 1966, pale blue Aston Martin,” and I thought that’s the coolest car I’ve ever heard of.
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Content updated: 26/02/2020 10:09

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