'Cars 2' features an eclectic ensemble of actors voicing a bevy of international automobiles. One such star is the acclaimed British stand-up, Eddie Izzard, who voices the devious Miles Axlerod.
Moviefone spoke with Izzard about trying to sound not-so-sneaky when voicing a bad guy, the film's message about alternative fuels and the 'It Gets Better' project.
Moviefone: My friend said your character's voice tipped her off to his true intentions. Were you going for that as a voice actor?
Eddie Izzard: Really? I tried to do the exact opposite. She must think that I'm a mis-trustworthy person. Because this character is someone who is trying to put forward something and be kind of brash and 'This is a new thing and this is how we're doing it!' But I was trying to tap into myself if I'd been that person, but if she thought it was sneaky then I got that way wrong! [Laughs] I tried to sound like someone who really believed in what they were doing. You know, it's funny, I just watched the movie last night and there's a part that takes place in Paris and I'm living there now doing stand up there and in the movie, I could see the animated version of where I live like, 'Oh! I live there!' and now it's a cartoon. Amazing.
'Cars 2' has kind of a neutral message about alternative fuels. What do you think of the message?
It's very neutral. At the end you're not sure if Allinol is good or is it bad? But then is it only bad when bad guys are shining infrared cameras on it? You know, I don't think [director] John [Lasseter] wanted to be very heavy-handed with a message, more than, let's say, start a dialogue about alternative fuel. If you go back to 'Cars 1' during the race, when McQueen goes back for the older car and helps him instead of winning the race? I mean, that's the message. It's first and foremost about friendship.
What's your favorite Pixar movie?
I love 'The Incredibles.' I think it has very human and relatable characters. I mean in the beginning when he's trying on the suit and then it doesn't fit or he can't get the microphone to work, that's just brilliant. It's stuff as you get older, can really relate to.
Have you heard of the 'It Gets Better Project' and would you be interested in participating?
No, what's that? [Ed. note: We explained it to him here.] Oh, I would be very interested in that. I used to get into fights all the time dressed as a woman, into fist fights. I remember around when I first came out [as a transvestite] I was in the women's room because I wanted to change from a dress to men's clothing and I thought, well I'll go into the women's room and then when I come out, I'll be dressed as a man. When I came out of the bathroom there were these five young girls watching me and they followed me outside and were yelling, 'Why were you wearing a dress?' and they chased me. So I turned around to them finally and I said, 'You want to know why I was wearing a dress?' and as soon as I confronted them, they scattered.
Do you think it's important to confront bullies like that?
Yes, you must confront them. What I like to do is yell back something like 'Merry Christmas!' 'Happy Easter to you too!' It confuses them.
I think in America, there are parts of America in the middle that people just avoid, right? They go to either side, to either coast and never have to pass through the middle. But if you live in the middle part, you can't know what the coasts are like and it's hard to see the future.
Would you make a video for them?
Yes, absolutely. I'll Google it. Tell them to get in touch with me.