Follow Us on Twitter

Bee Movie - Renée Zellweger interview

Bee Movie

Interview by Rob Carnevale

Renée Zellweger talks about the differences between providing her voice for Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie and her previous experience on Shark Tale, and why she loves being an actress so much…

Q. You’re becoming a bit of an old hand at working in animation for DreamWorks, following Shark Tale. Does it get easier?
Renée Zellweger: With these guys? No way! Are you kidding me? At least when I go and work in traditional films I’m pretty certain of what it is that’s expected that day. With these guys, there were curve balls and fastballs coming from everywhere. You have to bring your A game with this team. You just do. There’s no slacking, showing up and just not really…. I had to be prepared to not read the lines that they’d given me the night before to memorise and prepare.

It was funny, it was a different thing than I had expected. You feel really exposed. I didn’t expect that. I thought it was going to be really liberating, just us with a microphone and that’s the trick – it’s just you and a microphone and if you can’t do it, it’s just that you have no talent. But the first experience I had with Jeffrey [Katzenberg] on Shark Tale was delightful, so much fun. It was my introduction to that world and very educational. It was a great bit of fun. But this was completely different – four years of hard work [laughs].

No, it was wonderful because we were in the room together all the time, so it was ever changing and always evolving because Jerry [Seinfeld] can’t help himself. He comes up with all these ideas and has to throw them out there and see what works. He still does it, in fact! I understand he’s still changing the film even though it’s already out there.

Q. What were the benefits of working with someone in the recording booth – because that’s fairly unusual for animated movies?
Renée Zellweger: You can deviate from the script because it’s his ideas and he’s coming up with them – and they just come flying! It beats just reading from the script. Very selfishly, it was a great time. Jeffrey [Katzenberg] probably would have preferred that we did it alone because it would have been much less expensive in terms of studio time wasted while we indulged our own laughter. But it was a great time because of it.

Q. What do you love most about being in films?
Renée Zellweger: Um, the boys [laughs]. I mean this year alone I starred alongside Clooney and look at the line-up in this. But seriously, it’s the work. I love the work. I don’t know what that says, because if you knew what the day entailed you’d think I was absolutely insane. They usually start at 4am and they don’t end until right around that time the next day. But I love it. I love the day on the set, I love the collaboration, I love watching the thing come together with the collaborative effort behind it, and I love the creative opportunities I have with people that I meet. I learn a lot – I never stop learning and I think that’s probably what I love most about this work.

Q. What’s next for you?
Renée Zellweger: I think it’s Leatherheads first with George Clooney, which he directed and produced. I have so many under-achievers in my life! [laughs] Then there’s Case 39… I’m probably boring you to death with this information. And then there’s Appaloosa that I finished just a few days ago with Ed Harris, who also wrote, directed and produced.

b>Read our review of Bee Movie

b>Read our interview with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Simon J Smith