Russell Brand is not content will just taking the live action movie world by storm but he is now trying his hand at animation.
Hop sees him lend his voice to the character of the Easter Bunny alongside James Marsden.
- In HOP you play E.B., a teenage rabbit anointed to succeed his father as the next Easter Bunny. However, E.B. is a rebel and wants to be a drummer in a rock band. Do you view yourself as a rebel?
I was a rebel when I was younger. I wasn't rebelling against any parental thing. Today, I guess I still am a rebel. The sure way to get me to not do something is to ask me to do it. I am probably the most vulnerable person in the world to reverse psychology (laughs).
- Did you like the fact that in voicing E.B. you were not in front of the camera? You were tucked away in a sound booth and it was all about your voice.
I still do the physical stuff when I'm in the booth. When you have as gifted a team as what you had in making HOP, you know the animation is going to be incredible so you give it all you have.
- How physical do you get in the booth?
I jump around. It's hard not to. Especially when there is a scene where E.B. is running up a hill. You can't mess with the sound quality but it helps to have the movement.
Also, when they are specific with the way they want me to say a line it helps to move your hand (he waves his hand around wildly) to articulate what you are doing. It helps with the pitch and tone of what you are saying. There's different technical requirements.
- Voicing a character also has the advantage of there's no make-up or costumes to wear.
Yes. You can wear what you want. You can come to work naked if you want.
- Did the animators meet you before they designed E.B. so they could incorporate some of your features into him?
Yes they did. They film you with a little camera when you are doing the voice so they can record how you move your head and eyes.
It must make the character more authentic if there is some authenticity with how the language is forming.
- Did you notice any of your mannerisms or facial movements in E.B. when you watched the film?
No, because he looks like a hairy little rabbit (laughs). I can't get beyond that.
- E.B.'s father offers career advice to his son. Did your parents offer you career advice?
No. My mother and father were both incredibly encouraging with what I wanted to do. I'd say 'I want to be an actor' or 'I want to be a comedian' and they were encouraging.
- E.B. is a pretty bad house guest. What are you like when you're a guest at someone's house?
I'm pretty good. I was bad in the old days. Now if I am a guest at someone's house, I like to keep things clean and not leave a mess.
- Do you think doing family films like HOP will help change what some people would say is your bad boy image?
Well, I noticed the promotion and billboards for HOP have the line 'Candy, Chicks, and Rock 'n Roll' so clearly the casting of me made sense for the movie.
- You also had a voice role in Despicable Me. What do you like about working on animated films?
For an actor, there's a real freedom with the characters you play. You can play almost anything.
You could provide the voice for the Easter Bunny, a stick insect, a planet or Benito Mussolini, although with Mussolini you'd have to have an Italian accent.
HOP is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now.
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