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Shrek 2 - Dame Julie Andrews Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. You've been in animated features before, but this is the first time you've done the voice. How did you cope with that very significant difference?
A.
Well, I wasn't sure, having never done an actual animated character before... I mean, Mary Poppins had animation, but I wasn't a character in it. I just wasn't quite sure, when I began, because most of the recording is done solo - you're doing it in a booth, all by yourself, and you don't get to meet your fellow actors.
So I was unsure as to whether I should try and make my voice sound slightly animated, or should I make my voice sub-normal, or over-emoting. Eventually, they just said, 'please be yourself, that's what we wanted'! [Laughs]. So eventually I found my level.
It was a great pleasure. But I think I've done more work for the film, travelling for it, than actually making it.

Q. Is there an element that the animators incorporate characteristics, or expressions, from the actors?
A.
They do film you while you're recording, with a little camera that's just catching the lifting of an eyebrow, or a smile of some kind... yes.

Q. Did you have any idea how your character would end up looking, and was it a pleasant surprise to find out that you were taller than your screen husband?
A.
I did spend one day working with him [laughs, in regard to John Cleese] and of course, he does tower over me. But it was fun, and of course we all saw our characters on storyboard.
I have to just say, in reference to Antonio saying that he didn't do it for his children, it's done wonders for my standing with my grandchildren.

Q. In your stage career, and working with so many men, who were the ones who turned out to be real princes amongst men, and who turned out to be frogs? And did you ever dream that you would become a dame of the theatrical world?
A.
No, I never did, it's all been the most incredible good fortune to me, and every step of the way has just been a miracle.
And I absolutely refuse to kiss and tell. But it was a nice question, though.

Q. Do you have a particular scene that you absolutely love?
A.
I love it when donkey is sitting in the back of the wagon, being as bored as he can be.

Q. Is your experience of Hollywood as shallow and two-faced as the land of Far, Far Away might suggest? Or does it not go far enough?
A.
I think it's alright, and I think Hollywood will stand very well. I think there is an enormous amount of very, very hard working people there. The actual endeavour, if you go into a studio, the people who work, and do the actual craft of film-making, is really hard work, what they do.

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