Q & A Session with Seth Green (of “Mars Needs Moms”) (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
August 7, 2011 by Dennis Amith
Seth Green is known for his wild and crazy antics as producer of “Robot Chicken”, playing the role as Scott Evil in the “Austin Powers” films and playing the werewolf Oz on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. But he has also done his share of work on animated series such as playing the character Chris Griffin on “Family Guy”, Etan Cohen on “American Dad!” and Todo 360/Ion Papanoida for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.
But this time around, Green took part in the motion capture for the main character of 9-year-old Milo in Disney’s animated feature “Mars Needs Moms”.
The film is directed by Simon Wells (“The Time Machine”, “The Prince of Egypt”, “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West”) and produced by filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future” films, “Cast Away”, “Monster House”, “Polar Express”).
The film also stars Joan Cusack (“Toy Story” films, “Say Anything, “Working Girl”) as Milo’s mother, Dan Fogler (“Take Me Home Tonight”, “Kung Fu Panda”) as Gribble, Elisabeth Harnois (“A Single Man”) as Ki and Mindy Sterling (“Austin Powers” films, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”) as the Supervisor.
With the August 9th release of “Mars Needs Moms” on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and DVD, J!-ENT will be showcasing Q&A’s with the talents of the film and also including producer Robert Zemeckis.
We kick off with actor Seth Green who talks about his experience working on the film.
How would you describe your character in Mars Needs Moms?
SETH: I play a 9-year-old kid called Milo in Mars Needs Moms. Milo is a very typical 9-year-old. He reads comic books and he loves zombie movies, but he’s not into eating his vegetables. He hates broccoli!
What happens in the movie?
SETH: There’s a lot of action, comedy and adventure in Mars Needs Moms. It’s a really cool story that ends up on Mars after Milo’s mum is abducted by aliens. It’s up to Milo to save the day!
Did you have fun playing a 9-year-old kid?
SETH: I had a great time on the set of the movie, but it was challenging to play a 9-year-old. I’m much older than that in real life!
How did you shoot the movie?
SETH: The movie was shot using ‘performance capture’ filmmaking. That’s the same way that films like The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol were made. The actors performed the entire movie wearing skin-tight suits in a massive, empty room with hundreds of cameras recording the action.
Was it hard work shooting the movie?
SETH: I spent 85% of the time flying around the set in a harness, which was a bit of a challenge.
Was it tiring work?
SETH: Absolutely, but I loved it and I volunteered to do everything. There was a lot of running, jumping, falling, hitting and spinning around. I haven’t been that energetic in a very long time.
What did you get up to when the cameras stopped rolling?
SETH: We had so much fun on the set. Whenever the cameras stopped rolling, you’d usually find [co-star] Dan Fogler and me practicing kung fu on each other. Or I’d be making up songs and dancing around the place. You can see some of the fun on the DVD and Blu-Ray extras, too!
Is that your voice coming out of Milo’s mouth?
SETH: No, it’s not. I’m in my 30s, but I’m playing a 9-year-old boy, so we got a real kid to re-record my dialogue. It sounds much better than my old voice!
What’s the best thing about working on a performance capture movie?
SETH: You don’t have to sit in a makeup chair for two hours when you film a movie like this. You have loads of dots put on your face, but that’s it. The wardrobe is the same every day, too. It is amazing!
Have you met any other actors who have worked on performance capture movies before?
SETH: I met Jim Carrey when I visited the set of A Christmas Carol a few years ago. He was really excited about working with performance capture because he loved the way that there was no wardrobe involved in the movie. You just have to wear the same outfit all the time.
How quickly is the technology improving?
SETH: It’s improving all the time. The crew said to me that the best, most flawless, perfectly rendered shot on A Christmas Carol couldn’t hold a candle to the worst shot on Mars Needs Moms because of the way the technology has advanced. I was amazed.
Is Mars Needs Moms a movie for adults or kids?
SETH: It’s a movie that both kids and adults will be able to relate to. It’s got something for everyone because it’s funny, it’s sad and it’s full of action.
Who is the villain in the movie?
SETH: The villain in the move is a Martian called The Supervisor. An actress named Mindy Sterling plays The Supervisor – and she’s amazing. The Supervisor is really evil, but she’s really fun to watch on the screen.
Are there any friendly Martians on Mars?
SETH: Oh, sure! There’s a Martian named Ki who helps Milo on his adventure. And there’s also a Martian named Wingnut who is the leader of the Hairy Tribe Guys. There are loads of friendly Martians, but you just have to find them.
Why exactly does Mars need moms?
SETH: The Martians on Mars have no ability to raise their kids, so they kidnap mothers from Earth to do the job for them. I guess we have the best mothers in the universe down here, so they come along and take them away.
What’s your mom like?
SETH: My mom is amazing! She’s an artist and she is very inspirational. She’s always supported my dreams to become an actor and she’s taught me so much about life. She would take me to museums and she taught me about different painters and sculptors even before I could speak. I love her immensely.
Why should families get Mars Needs Moms on DVD and Blu-Ray?
SETH: Because it’s a really fun adventure! The main character is a kid who goes on an incredible journey. He gets caught up on a rocket ship and ends up on Mars. How crazy is that? Mars Needs Moms is the adventure of a lifetime. Trust me, you’re going to love it!
MARS NEEDS MOMS is Available August 9th on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Hi-Def, DVD & Digital Movie Download!
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