Photo credit: Disney/Pixar
Recently I visited Anaheim, California for a whirlwind of a weekend. I turned in my taxi-mom of four badge and headed to California to promote the new Cars 3 Movie that is NOW IN THEATERS! During our press trip, we interviewed the cast of the Cars 3 Movie, mingled wit stars on the red carpet, and attended an amazing premiere party at Disneyland. In today’s post, we meet four of the cast members: Nathan Fillion (Sterling ) , Larry the Cable Guy (Mater), Lea DeLaria (Miss Fritter), and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (River Scott).
The room exploded in applause as the cast entered. This interview was full of laughs. I’m not surprised, I mean, Larry the Cable Guy was in this interview. If you are familiar with Larry the Cable Guy, who plays Mater in Cars 3, you are familiar with his improv. We asked about his lines in the movie and if he was able to add his own jokes.
photo credit: Momstart
Q: When you were recording, did you add any improv?
Well, I always do improv. When we did the first one, I remember when I first did it, my opening line that I ever did in Cars was “my name’s Mater, like Tomato, without the To,” and I went “Hey. My name’s Mater, just like To-mato, without the To!” And he was laughing. And I said, “Well, can I do it another way?” He said: “No, do whatever you want, as long as you’re staying close to the script” and so that’s when all of the “dadgum” and “gee!” — that’s when all of that stuff coming about. So, yes. There was a couple of parts in there. There was a few parts where Mater was supposed to be doing something, like he was supposed to be singing a song, and we added a couple of things, but we didn’t know if he liked it. And they said, “Look, we need to come up with something else. Just come up with something else, and next time we tape, we’ll do those,” so I went home and I wrote a bunch of limericks. But for the most part, generally, when I’m doing my lines from them, I’ll do it just like the line, a couple, or three times, and then I’ll do it “hey, let me try this one.”
I was not surprised to hear that answer at all. Larry is hilarious and so is Mater. They are the perfect match for that part. I couldn’t think of a better actor to voice the role of Mater. While were on the subject of Larry the Cable Guy…who just happens to be one of my favorite people ever… we also asked him where he came up with his name. I had googled this previously but I like his personal answer much better.
Q: Larry, can you share how you came up with the name “Larry the Cable Guy”?
I sure can. I was doing standup, and you always go on stage, and you’d try new stuff out. And I’m a big rodeo fan, and I used to watch mesquite championship rodeo on Sundays. I’m a country kid, so I grew up in a small town in Southeast Nebraska. And I did this rodeo cowboy, got kind of a laugh. And so the next day I changed it to a cable installer, and it got a big laugh. And I had a buddy of mine who had a morning show, and he said, “you’ve got to call our morning show, that’s funny. You should pretend you’re the cable guy.” And so I called up. And I remember the first time — the first thing I ever said on the radio. I called up and I said, “Hey, Ron & Ron, what’s goin’ on, fellers. What’s goin’ on, fellers.” And they go, “Well, who is this?” It’s the cable guy. Y’all said y’all wanted that hookup down there, didn’t you? And they said, “Well, what’s your name?” And I didn’t really know. And I’m going, “Uh…Larry!” Oh. It’s Larry the Cable Guy? And it just caught on, and I started calling as Larry the Cable Guy, and then I got syndicated over in Orlando, which syndicated me into Tulsa and to Baltimore. And I was a standup. I was still doing standup. But I was doing these calls while I did standup. I ended up getting syndicated, around the country, on 27 radio stations, getting up every morning, doing radio calls.
So, that’s how it all began with Larry the Cable Guy. His real name is actually Daniel Whitney. And most kids know him as the lovable and hilarious Mater!
photo credit: Momstart
Lea DeLaria, who voices the new character Miss Fritter, had just returned from New York City. The evening before this interview, she was across the country in New York promoting a popular television show she is in. I’m sure it was quite a late night for her and that jet lag had set in. But, you could not tell during this interview. She was upbeat, spunky, and a ton of fun to interview. He energy continued during the red carpet and premiere party as well.
Q: Why did you want to play this part?
Why would I want to be Miss Fritter? Have we seen her? She’s awesome. I mean, come on. Her stop sign is a buzz saw. She’s terrific. Also, I grew up where they do stock cars. I grew up where demo derby was a big deal. I grew up in a really small town on the very tip of Illinois right by Kentucky. So that was like, Friday night entertainment for me. So the idea of being the queen of the demolition derby? Awesome. And they let me say the high school that I went to. A shoutout to that. That’s the side of the bus is the high school that I went to. Which is, the people of Belleville, Illinois, tiny little town, they’re gonna go nuts when they see that. It’s kind of awesome. And so when they came at me and said “do you want to do this?” I was like, “Yeah. I have a really good idea of how to play her.” And they were all in and, so was I, so, it was awesome!
Miss Fritter loves her wild life at the demolition derby. She is a large school bus that can be quite intimidating to the other cars. She is wild and crazy. Her stop sign is a razor blade! She starts off as quite the intimidating bully, but in the end I really fell for this character.
We also asked Lea if she had input on her character:
Miss Fritter, if she was here, I would say, she captures my essence. Completely!
photo credit: Momstart
Nathan Fillion plays the voice of Sterling. You may be familiar with him from tv. He even had some roles on daytime soap operas in the past.
Q: Who are some of your mentors, either professionally or personally?
Bob Woods, who played my uncle on One Life to Live. I wouldn’t be — I wouldn’t have moved to Los Angeles without his sage advice!
Q: How has social media changed what you do?
Engagement is a fantastic word. Because it’s a way to engage with your fan base, that doesn’t revolve around work or any publicity due. It’s stuff that you’re entirely in control of, so you can personalize it as you wish. You can share, you can be personal with it, you can share your private things, or you’re just — you’re entirely in control. But it is one-on-one. There’s nothing in between you and the fand at that point, so you can engage with your fans, one-on-one, or just kind of get a general idea of what everybody is about, but I love that word.
Many of the Cars 3 cast were very active with us on social media throughout the week/weekend. Many were willing to have conversations via Twitter, which is really something special. Not many celebrities have the time to interact the way these guys did.
photo credit: Momstart
Isiah Whitlock Jr. gave us his take on the movie. Many of the cast members did not see the movie in full until the premiere or just a few days prior. So, it was fun to see the movie for the first time with many of them. Isiah did get to see it a few days prior to the premiere and he said:
I found it very emotional. I found myself tearing up a little bit, you know, and kept saying, “Okay. Think about something else. Think about something else.” Don’t start crying, you know. But you know, when they deal with change and aging and things like that and moving on, you know…That’s like my career! I brought my sunglasses with me, so I could put those on, and pretend like I was just sitting cool in the movie theater, you know. But I did see it, and I found it just extremely emotional. I think the story’s going to be powerful.
If you all are familiar with Isiah, you may know his signature line. I will keep this post PG and not mention the word, but I will tell you that he does not use his signature line in this PG movie! During the interview, however, when Larry was explaining how his name came about, Isiah said “Maybe I should change my name to…..” his signature line!
Cars 3 is in theaters everywhere NOW!
Check out my Cars 3 movie review too. Then, take the whole family to see it!
Disclosure: I was provided with a trip to the premiere to help facilitate my posts. All opinions are 100% my own.