This Finding Dory interview with the voices of Nemo and Marlin reveal all the reasons why Finding Dory is NOT Finding Nemo. My exclusive Hayden Rolence & Albert Brooks interview is sponsored by Disney as part of the #FindingDoryEvent. All opinions are my own. May contain commissioned links.
Hayden Rolence & Albert Brooks Interview | Why Finding Dory Is NOT Finding Nemo #FindingDoryEvent
When Albert Brooks walked into the room, I actually closed my eyes. No, I wasn’t sleeping. I was listening for that distinctive voice. It was 100% Marlin. This Hayden Rolence & Albert Brooks Interview was so much more than just a walk down memory lane. I was sitting with the dynamic duo that began the whole Finding Dory journey, and I learned so much more.
Find out how Hayden Rolence handled the pressure of filling Nemo’s “shoes,” how Albert Brooks got back into the role of Marlin, and how Hayden and Albert revealed 7 reasons why Finding Dory is NOT Finding Nemo by any means.
Hayden Rolence & Albert Brooks Interview photos courtesy of Sara Lundberg of BudgetSavvyDiva.com
13 years is a long time to wait for a sequel. And just like everybody else, Albert Brooks was skeptical about Pixar pulling it off. Marlin was worried.
It was so long between the two, [LAUGHTER] I had given up. Ellen campaigned for this on national television for ten years. So I would see it occasionally and I’d say, “Good. Let’s berate them into doing this.” [LAUGHTER] But I just want the product to be good. And the thing about Andrew Stanton is, out of all the animators there, I think if he thought he couldn’t do it, he just wouldn’t do it. He hasn’t made a Wall-E sequel. He’s not a big sequel guy.
The movie went through a lot of changes. And I was worried initially four years ago. How are you going to do the memory thing over a whole course of a movie? In Nemo, the Ellen character is a sidekick and you can make that about jokes. But you don’t want to do that same joke for an hour-forty. So I was always raising my hand going, but you’re not going to make that the same joke. So those devices of the flashbacks and making it more of an issue, that I thought they did great. And I had not seen how that was done. Quite frankly I didn’t even know about the flashbacks. So that was a surprise and I thought it worked great.
Getting Back on the Bike
How easy was it for Albert Brooks to slip back into the role of Marlin the clownfish?
I’m telling you, it happens in about twenty seconds. They didn’t age the character. So if it’s a year later, you start. You’ve created the character. As long as you’ve got your wits about you, you can do it. It’s like no time passed. But if they’re going to make a third one, they better hurry up [LAUGHTER] because he won’t get a job and I’ll have to have a wheelchair.
Filling Nemo’s “Shoes”
Hayden Rolence had a tall order to fill. Voicing a fish that has already “been done” was not an easy feat for this 12 year old boy. But for a kid with a big Disney dream, he wasn’t so worried about the voice as much as…
The biggest challenge was probably knowing that Nemo was already a character and knowing that I wanted to do him justice. I didn’t want any disappointment. I did this alone. I had nobody else working with me besides the people who were trying to get my voice to sound like Nemo. I was just in disbelief. “Okay, how are you guys going to make it like I’m talking to people in this movie if I’m not talking to people?”
Hayden did a great job. That’s a tough thing, because you come in and people say, “does he sound like him?” It’s hard to do that. I thought you did great. You did it naturally. You always get some judgment if you’re doing a voice that someone else has done. But if the original Nemo did it, it really would have sounded odd.
How did Hayden prepare for the iconic “Nemo” role? Practice, practice, practice!
I did watch Finding Nemo a lot, just to sort of get myself prepared for trying to make my voice sound like Nemo. I live in Illinois, so I had to send in a tape. I was able to just watch the movie, then practice the scene, and watch the movie and practice the scene. I did that over and over again. And then finally I was able to make my voice sort of sound like Nemo.
Change in the Marlin & Nemo Relationship
One of the most subtle changes in Finding Dory is watching the interaction between Marlin and Nemo. While the Finding Dory newbie may not notice, those die hard Finding Nemo fans will certainly appreciate the growing father-son relationship.
In the first movie the idea of a father losing a son, it’s a nice father son story at any juncture. It’s a worried father and I liked where it had sort of mellowed, that Marlin felt secure now about his kid.
[In Finding Dory,] I like this blue tang, but do I want to risk my life? [LAUGHTER] Then he sees how important it is to [Nemo]. So he does it for the kid and it’s a different kind of relationship than the first movie. I sort of thought Marlin was a little wiser and warmer because he wasn’t so panicked.
As a mom of 2 small kids, any bits of education thrown into a Disney movie is a BONUS for me. I loved how Disney so easily integrated MORE fun facts about ocean animals into Finding Dory. From beluga whales’ ability to use echo location to understanding what “undertow” is, the educational value is seamlessly woven into the story. Albert Brooks noticed too.
You learned a little bit. You learn an octopus has three hearts so that teaches you something.
A Different Disney Pixar Moment
I just saw the movie last night for the first time and I’m still thinking about it. The best one image of the movie were the Shells. It looked like another planet. It had so much emotion in that one image. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was gorgeous. I actually am sitting in the audience and she’s swimming through that murky water and I’m wondering, “well they left the action, where are they going?” That one visual image, I thought, was the most beautiful thing in the movie. And a couple of my jokes [LAUGHTER]
There’s humor. There’s warmth. There’s something about Finding Dory that goes beyond the emotions you’ve felt at a Disney Pixar movie before. Even Albert Brooks was surprised.
It’s the ultimate children’s movie but it’s enjoyable. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie like that for a while. It’s funny without being sarcastic. And it’s heartwarming without being schmaltzy. I think people will be surprised that there’s more maybe more feeling than they thought. I came out with more emotions than I thought I would.
I did too, Albert. I did too.
I could have listened to Marlin and Nemo talk all day. I definitely had a nostalgic moment in this Hayden Rolence & Albert Brooks interview. Have you been following along the #FindingDoryEvent journey? From walking the red carpet to exclusive interviews and insider info, catch up here:
- Finding Dory Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
- Walking the Finding Dory Red Carpet
- Ellen DeGeneres & Ed O’Neill Interview
- Kaitlin Olson Interview (Destiny)
- Finding Dory Merchandise
- Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Interview
Be sure to see Finding Dory, now in theaters everywhere!
Why do you think Marlin & Nemo are so essential to the Finding Dory story?
I was invited to attend an all-inclusive Disney press trip in exchange for this post. But don’t be fooled, my love for Disney runs deep. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more exclusive Disney movie insider info, recipes, crafts and travel.