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INTERVIEW WITH JAMIE CHUNG AND GENESIS RODRIGUEZ

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Disney and my travel and expenses were paid for to attend this event. As always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you’re a big fan of the Disney animated film Big Hero 6 then you are going to be excited about this post. While on my travels to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 Red Carpet Event, I was given the opportunity to interview Jamie Chung the voice of Go Go Tomago and Genesis Rodriguez the voice of Honey Lemon. When they entered the room Jamie was wearing a stunning leather skirt and heels and Genesis was wearing a beautiful dress. Both beautiful and stunning they sat down to speak with us about their roles in the movie Big Hero 6.

Jamie chung

The Interview:

 

Q    :    What was your favorite part about playing the Character that you played?

JC    :    I think the favorite, in particular with this Character, Go Go doesn’t say a lot at the beginning of the film, but when she does say something, it’s very on point and it’s quite sassy and you know, she’s described to me as the Female version of Clint Eastwood.  It was just fun to like sass it up, and literally if I said a line with too much of a smile, the Directors Chris and Don say, No, No, No, No, No, a little bit meaner.

GR: For me, it was having to be so positive all the time.  I really feel like I was acting a Fool and I was getting paid for it. It really is just the biggest blessing to have this cast, warm and loving characters because you’ll never get to play that kind of part in a live action thing.  So, to be honest, I can speak for the both of us, we’ve been huge Disney fans all of our lives and you know, we’ve been Princesses and I literally would comb my red hair in restaurants as Ariel.  It’s like a dream come true to be able to play these strong female characters and bring that down to future generations.

Q    :    I have a question about Honey Lemon’s Character because she looks Caucasian, right, but then there were moments in the film where she had a Japanese accent to me like especially when she said Hero, when she said your name, it sounded very Japanese.  And I just, you know, the — the setting was a — was a mix of San Francisco and Japan and I was wondering if there were, if that was, if she had a Japanese background as well.

JC    :    So Honey Lemon,  is very Filipino and Hiro is a Latin pronunciation. That’s the correct way of pronouncing it either way.  But , then the beautiful thing about, it is we come in all colors and so my Mom was Honey Lemon.  She’s Blonde.  Yes, she’s weird but really a natural Blonde, lighter eyes. It’s wonderful that it’s not like a stereotype of any sorts and it just happened and nobody kind of talks about it so it’s great.

Q    :    Had you voiced an Animated Character before?

JC    :    Oh I mean nothing on this caliber. You know, once you’ve done a Disney Animation Film, it’s like kind of the top of the top, you know what I mean?   You’re good, but I did do a Cartoon for a different Network and it was a half hour, and everyone got fired, like the Cast, the Writers, everyone.  That was kind of the worst experience.

Q    :    Did you like having a strong female movie character?

JC    :    Absolutely, I mean, you know, talking further on stereotypes, what I love about this film is that there is no stereotype.  It kind of breaks all of those boundaries in terms of being a nerd, and being not cool, like this is the absolute opposite of that.  In terms of strong female characters, like Honey Lemon and Go Go are so different from each other and yet they both represent strength in their own way.  And you know, what Disney’s great about is not like a cookie cutter example of like this is a strong woman.  It’s that they both come in different shapes and sizes, and different shades and what not, and that’s what I love about this.

Q    :    A couple of my Readers have asked, when you’re in Studio and you’re doing your voices, are you very animated while you’re doing it, like everybody’s listening to it in their heads and jumping around or is it very calm when you’re doing it?

GR    :  I heard this story of a famous Voice Over Actor and he prefers to lay down and say all of his lines.  I don’t know how that’s possible because if we are super like literally, I have do the motion and I think Jamie is the same way, like you have to do the motion and get that sound out like it’s weird.  I mean, and it’s so hard to do because you have to stay still.  But it’s like Nick is nowhere and you’re falling 6 feet and you’re landing on the floor, like that noise, like that’s when you’re falling. It’s really hard to do.  You have to use your imagination but it helps you.  I couldn’t not move. And  Energy!I can’t imagine not saying my lines without moving.  So immediately, when I started with a hand like Oh My God, Come on, start.  So there’s definitely lots of hand movement.  Probably like 4 feet away from anything around me.

Q    :    What did you like wear?  I know when you talk to some Actors but did you wear heavy shoes to get into these Characters?  Did you do something like that?

GR    :    What’s weird is that I did, the audition exactly like Honey Lemon and I hadn’t seen the Character at all.  I took a very bold Fashion Choice.  I did Socks in Heels and I did like an Undershirt and then a Dress over it.  And I don’t do that like at all but I wasn’t, I don’t know why I went like that and then I saw Honey Lemon and the way she dressed and then this is freaky.  I couldn’t have land it better.

JC    :    It often helps.

GR    :    It helps yeah.

Q    :    How did you prepare?

GR    :    There’s really not much you can prepare because they improvise and you don’t have any idea what the story is about.  So, I think we both did read.

JC : I did, I auditioned, yes.  But it was a constant progression and change and so every day, it’s like the new version, and you go through all your lines of a new version.

GR    :    I think the most important thing is to be unique because once you’re in the room, you can really go and figure out where it’s supposed to be and say OK, you’re onto something and then you kind of go with that role and it’s like a speed bump, you know.  So that’s the only thing that you can do and you know, you have to be able to play.  You really have to just tap into your inner kid and make that voice.

JC    :    It may sound pretty strange but it’s just your voice but it’s so much more than that, like I would stretch.  I would  physically warm up, you know warm up my voice.  I would stretch like we’re going to run a Marathon.

Q   :    Did you add your own personality to the Characters?

JC    :    I think the interesting thing when you add a voice to it, personality to it because it really does come alive.  And if you look at each Character and compare them to the person that’s playing them, like they embody that — that Character, like Genesis to me is Honey Lemon, you know.  It’s, you know, her own personal attributes are what kind of gives this Character life, and I think that’s what they did with Casting.  They wanted the Characters to kind of represent the Actors that are playing them.

Q    :    Did you see each other a lot?

GR    :    About a month ago.

JC    :    At the first Cast Dinner when the film was done.

GR    :    Yeah, when it was finally done, but I think Disney does such a good job at hiring, honest honorable people that have to portray these Characters that they’re perfect at what they do, and they hire really special people. Everyone that was cast was just adorable and so much fun, and we immediately clicked.

Q    :    Were there any particular things that you know, were put together, and were they all voiced separately?

GR    :    I think Ryan Potter who plays Hiro, I think he had done things with Maya Rudolph together.  They were able to do like openings together but Maya was on very strict time restraints. But I think they got 20 minutes together, more than any of us.

Q    :    What’s your favorite scene in the movie with your Character?

GR: She has the best line in the Movie.  I think which is “Woman Up.”

JG: I think the most interesting would be when they all have their new gear and they’re testing it out and kind of feeling it out and all trying to take them out.

GR: My favorite too is when you get in the car chase.

Q    :    Other than your Characters, who’s your favorite Character and not Baymax?

GR    :    Fred is hysterical.  What’s funny is that —  T.J. is such a great Comedian.  He’s like totally Fred too.

JC    :    I liked Wasabi. I feel like I have a lot of resemblance with because I’m looking at these phones  I want to line them up.  He was a worry wart and he cares about safety of everyone.

GR    :    And his scream!

Q: There are so many emotional pulls in the Movie. Was there anything in particular that really triggered you?

JC    :    The first time I didn’t cry because I was absorbing everything and very aware and thought last night when I watched it with my nephew and my family and everyone, I let myself go and the moment where he goes, I can’t leave you Baymax, I’m like, I’m just about to cry right now because it was so good.

GR    :    I cried 3 times and I’m not gonna say the last two because I don’t want to spoil it to the Readers but the first time I cried apart from the fact that I’ve seen the Disney logo because that’s so surreal for me ,so I cried when the Movie started.  It’s like scenes when he sees his reflection like he’d be with his Brother.

JC    :  It’s so funny and what I love about them is they’re not afraid to you tell a kind of untold story that’s like tragedy.  You know, it’s like real life issues. Disney is not afraid to address to the younger generation.  I think it’s what they do because in the end, everything is gonna be OK, you know, like it’s OK to be sad.  And it’s OK to be happy.  And then it’s just like the process of overcoming grief.  It’s really important.  And it’s always kind of a diffused like message and it’s always there but you know, kids get it.

GR    :    It’s a lesson about doing the right thing.

Q    :    Do you think that doing the Movie anyway changed your perspective on certain things?  Going forward, does it want you to be better?

GR    :    Oh yeah.

JC    :    In terms of like sending the right message, you know, it is a Superhero Movie but it stresses the importance of education and science and I love that the message that it sends is that, intelligence and smarts is not sex biased, no more is it race biased.  You know, everyone’s equal.

Check out my interview with the Directors of Big Hero 6 and the Cast of black-ish. Follow Big Hero 6 on Twitter and Facebook. Big Hero 6 hits theaters November 7th.

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