Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. What did you respond to most about playing the lion?
A: He was a New Yorker, that was what I responded to
most. He was a New Yorker who was sort of an actor, I looked at
it that way; he did a show in the zoo every day, and loved the
adulation of the crowd. It was very much about performing. So
that was really how I approached the character.
Q. Did you ever imagine yourself playing a lion as part
of your career?
A. I can’t say that I did. I didn’t ever.
I enjoyed it, but it’s not something that I ever thought
Q. Did you have much of a say in the way your character
A: They showed us pictures before we started. They already
had the idea of what the animals were going to look like. They
showed us storyboards and everything. I like how Alex looks, he
has nice hair, it needs to be blown out but once that’s
done it has a nice texture. And then it kind of frizzes out once
he’s in the jungle. Which is what happens with that kind
Q. Can you talk about the special relationship between
yourself and Chris? You've wanting to work together for some time,
Stiller: That must have been a joke we made that got
out on the internet somewhere.
Rock: We’re going to remake The Last Boy
Stiller: I think there are some nuances that
Bruce Willis missed.
Rock: I’m going to play Damon.
Stiller: We got back at least 15 years, maybe
a little more. We’re the same age, both from New York.
Rock: We did Saturday Night Live, though at different
times. We almost wrote a movie together.
Stiller: We spent time in a hotel room a long
time ago writing that movie. We’re not going to say any
more about that. There was a third writer, and when we discovered
he carried a gun in his briefcase everything fell apart.
Rock: He’s not making that up. We have
a decent relationship.
Stiller: We’ve known each other a long
time and when we run into each other we have fun seeing each other.
We don’t hang out together, we live in different cities.
It’s one of those nice things. But that contributed to the
relationship on screen, because we weren’t ever in the same
place. So it was helpful to somehow have some reference point
in your head of who you’re talking to.
McGrath: When Chris came on Ben said he’d
always wanted to do a movie with him. We had to tell him that
we’d be recording them both separately and they would see
him at the premiere.
Q. Are you the sort of person
in real life who prefers home comforts to being out in the wild?
A. I like to spend time in a comfortable home environment,
especially with having children, young children, it’s good
to be home with them. I do like to travel too, though, so I guess
I’m sort of an enigma.
Q. How did your kids view Madagascar. Are they your harshest
A: I have a daughter who’s three, and we have another
child on the way. We’ve actually been playing the sound
of the movie up against my wife’s belly and the signs are
very good. There’s a lot of movement.
Q. Did you observe animals as part of your preparation?
And if you could be reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?
A: I studied the MGM lion, for his roar. The reality
is you don’t have to worry about that, these are animals
but with human personalities, and since it doesn’t exist
yet, I just worried about the character Alex was, and obviously
the animators are going to take care of that. That’s the
way I approached it.
If I came back as an animal – I don’t know. I like
whales. I like maybe the blue whale, that’d be interesting.
Q. When you saw the video of yourself doing the vocals,
were you ever surprised to see how animated your vocal performances
A: I definitely realised that, just from hearing playback
of it sometimes. Obviously the microphone doesn’t pick up
gestures, and I noticed in the movie they did put in a lot of
hand gestures, probably to help my voice.
I didn’t like to ever see video, even when they had behind
the scenes footage, I don’t like to look at that. When you’re
doing it you really want to get outside of thinking about what
you look like, because most of the time you look pretty silly
if you’re having to do the sound of falling down a hill
or talking with sand in your mouth, or something like that. You
want to let go of that.
Get to know Alex the Lion:
Real™ High | Real™
Medium l Real™
High l Windows™
Medium l Windows™
David Schwimmer interview
l Special feature
Chris Rock interview
Jada Pinkett Smith interview