For their fifth fully animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.
Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan and Albert Brooks. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch. www.thesecretlifeofpets.com
Recently I was able to sit down with cast members of The Secret Life of Pets to discuss their characters in the animated film and dig a little deeper into their personalities and what they enjoyed most about the film. For most animated films the actors rarely work together and the whole process of doing the voice overs can take a few years. It is with such anticipation to finally see the film put together and every character comes to life.
Eric Stonestreet plays the voice of Duke an addition to the household who wants nothing more than to be the top dog and is somewhat of a bully. When asked if he related to his character, he absolutely agrees with it. Growing up on a farm in Kansas, he has been around animals his whole life. But when it comes to Duke he is a little standoffish and is protecting something. We don’t know what it is yet. Just as people are a little apprehensive so are animals. we tend to put up a front in certain situations. Eric mentions that he relates in the kind of way where you want to protect yourself a little but and hide what’s sometimes going on behind the scenes. But most importantly Duke is fun and lovable just like him, more of a lap dog.
Just like Eric would prepare for scenes on Modern Family he does the same for reading his lines in The Secret Life Of Pets. He familiarizes himself with the character and wants to know what the objectives are, what are Duke’s intentions and his wants. As for memorizing lines he prefers to read both parts instead of just his lines. His favorite scene which I’m sure you will love too – takes place in the sausage factory.
Eric is so fond of pets and said such kind words about them “Make sure if you’re going to get a pet and an animal, that you have the right space for it and the right time for it. And maybe it will inspire you to go rescue an animal or get an animal. All dogs and all cats, whether they’re bred at breeders or found at pounds, they need homes.
Next up we were introduced to Lake Bell who plays the voice of Chloe the cat. What spoke to Lake regarding Chloe was her dry sense of humor, her sarcasm and being part of a comedic animation movie.
Just like Chloe lives in an apartment building Lake Bell did too with an eclectic group of neighbors. However you look out for each other because it is your mini community. In suburbia, you have your streets but in apartment building you have your floor. She is hoping that kids and adults enjoy the movie but as a take away they the sophisticated humor as well as the silly humor. There is a strong message of friendship and community as well as adventure.
Check out a glimpse of Chloe’s mannerisms and her overall attitude.
Kevin Hart’s character Snowball looks so cute and cuddly but don’t let him pull the wool over your eyes. Snowball is the leader ready to start a revolution while all about recruiting and adding to his team of the flushed pets.
Kevin mentions that what he loves most about Snowball is the he is a variety of things – he is basically against people and fusses at them often though his anger is justified- he doesn’t like people because he was hurt. He gave into the whole person and pet reality and then someone abandoned him- this is where his anger stems from.
When Kevin was approached for the film it was role of a “villain” and then his manager Dave Becky showed him a picture of a Bunny that was real cute. “He’s like–his eyes are like watery. And he was like, “What do you think?” And I was like, “I didn’t know they are–villain. That’s a bunny.” Then, he sent me the next picture, and it had the bunny grabbing his ears, and his teeth were out. And I started laughing. I started dying laughing.”
As for Kevin, being part of an animated film was on his bucket list. The beauty of entertainment is that when you are at his level of success you can control what you want to do.
One thing that Kevin said during our interview that really stood out to me was “You have to be secure that the decisions that you’re making are the right decisions for your character because if you at any point in time have any insecurity, then you’re going to digress. You don’t want to doubt yourself for what you’re doing” You don’t have to be portraying someone to think this way it should be part of our human nature.
I was able to see a sneak peek of the movie prior to interviewing the cast. I hope you will laugh as much as I did during the movie. My nieces give The Secret Life Of Pets two thumbs up.
If you have pets and what to see who they would love animated then check out this new app!
Download the new PetMOJI app to create an emoji of your favorite furry friend! Currently available on iOS, the app features sticker packs and a custom keyboard.Customize your own PetMOJI avatar by selecting a dog or a cat, then choosing features for your pet: a body, a snout, eyes, ears, and a tail – plus patches, patterns, and colors. Available for iOS, Android coming soon.
To celebrate The Secret Life of Pets coming to theaters, we have a prize pack for one lucky reader.
One (1) winner receives:
- $25 Visa gift card for a day at the movies
- T-Shirt, Tennis Ball, Buttons, and Key Chain
Open to US mailing addresses only
Prizing and samples courtesy of Universal Pictures