Q&A Interview with Matt Lucas for “Gnomeo & Juliet” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
May 22, 2011 by Dennis Amith
With the upcoming release of “Gnomeo & Juliet” on Bli-ray and DVD on May 24th, J!-ENT will be featuring Q&A interviews with a few of the talent who lent their voices or music to the animated film.
In this fourth Q&A, we feature Matt Lucas, an actor, writer and comedian best known for his BAFTA award-winning series “Little Britain.” Lucas and comedic partner David Walliams have been awarded multiple BAFTA Awards, and the two have been voted GQ Comedians of the Year. They wrote and starred in “Little Britain USA” for HBO in 2008. Lucas lent his voice to Summit’s animated feature “Astroboy,” and portrayed the Tweedles in “Alice in Wonderland” for director Tim Burton. In “Gnomeo & Juliet,” Lucas lends his voice to Gnomeo’s impetuous best friend Benny.
Who do you portray in “Gnomeo & Juliet”?
I do the voice of Benny, who’s Gnomeo’s right-hand man. He’s a small character that doesn’t feel small—in his mind he’s big. He’s a very good-hearted character, but he’s quite impetuous. He’s quite childlike in a way. He doesn’t always think before he acts. But he’s very spirited, very warm and funny. Just not quite as intelligent as he would like to think.
Are you a fan of the garden gnome?
My mother and stepfather have a couple gnomes. I don’t mind the gnome. They’re kind of fun. People have them in their gardens, so it’s almost a ‘what if these gnomes could talk?’
What did you think of the animation process?
In animation, you don’t record with the other actors. It’s really the job of the director to have the great overview. In some ways it means you can be a bit more indulged in a vocal session because you are on your own. You can be a bit more experimental. I think it would be nice to be able to do a few sessions with other actors. But the caliber of talent in this film—they’re such big stars—you probably can’t get them altogether in one room. I don’t include myself in that. I’m available. Give me a bell, I’m around. Trust me.
I was excited to hear I was working with Kelly [Asbury]; he’s directed things like “Shrek 2.” He’s great, because he knows what he wants, but he allows you a lot of freedom to improvise and have fun. Then they go away and rewrite the film a little bit based on the way we performed, which is a very organic way of working. When the gestation of the film is so long you do have time to keep shaping it, keep changing it, keep building it.
GNOMEO & JULIET on Blu-ray™, Blu-ray 3D™ and DVD May 24, 2011
The greatest love story ever told, starring…garden gnomes? In the upcoming “Gnomeo & Juliet,” Shakespeare’s revered tale gets a comical, off-the-wall makeover. Directed by Kelly Asbury (“Shrek 2”) and showcasing both classic and original songs by Elton John, the film features the voices of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt as Gnomeo and Juliet, who have as many obstacles to overcome as their quasi namesakes when they are caught up in a feud between neighbors. But with plastic pink flamingos and thrilling lawnmower races in the mix, can this young couple find lasting happiness?
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