Today we’re getting to know Marlin and Nemo – Albert Brooks and Hayden Rolence. Photo Credit Sara Lundberg / BudgetSavvyDiva.com.
Albert Brooks and Hayden Rolence – Marlin and Nemo Interview
Remember when Finding Nemo hit theaters 13 years ago? There are tons of Nemo fans still watching, with little ones finding Nemo every day. Now, the two main characters of Finding Nemo, Marlin and Nemo are back for the sequel, Finding Dory. It was a pleasure to sit down and talk with Albert Brooks (voice of “Marlin”) and Hayden Rolence (voice of “Nemo”), while in L.A. a few weeks ago.
It’s always fun to get to chat with cast on any film but I’m always amazed and in awe when speaking with kids. These kids are just amazing. So talented, funny and adorable. They have these huge roles and can act these parts but yet they’re still kids.
Albert Brooks was hilarious. Love listening to his voice and picturing Marlin. It was so special to be able to see Albert and Hayden together. I could tell that they’ve developed a special relationship while working on this film. Take a look into how the interview went.
Marlin is such a worrier as a father, can you relate to that at all being a parent or do you have a different style?
Albert Brooks: Well when my children were younger I worried more. Now, I worry less and I pay more. I’m a worrier but not as much as Marlin, nobody can worry as much as Marlin.
Was it easy to slip into the role again?
Albert Brooks: I’m telling you it happens in about twenty seconds. Because the character itself, 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 can do it. It’s like no time passed. But if they’re going to make a third one, they better hurry up because he [pointing to Hayden] won’t get a job and I’ll have to have a wheelchair.
Hayden, were you a Nemo fan?
Hayden Rolence: I was a very big Nemo fan, even before I knew that I was going to be the voice of Nemo, I was still a really big Nemo fan.
What was your favorite part about being able to voice Nemo?
Hayden: I love being able to meet everybody else that worked on the film. I just love being able to meet everyone.
Hayden, what was the biggest challenge?
Hayden: The biggest challenge was probably knowing that he was art- that Nemo was already a character and knowing that I wanted to do him justice. I didn’t want any disappointment.
We said that he did a fabulous job, and Albert agreed.
Hayden, what did you think about the red carpet experience last night?
Hayden: This was my first premier, so I was really excited but I was also a little bit nervous. Again, because I wanted to do Nemo justice and I was just really excited to see the movie for the first time.
Albert: No other premiers are like that, trust me – they never take over whole streets.
What did you think the first time you saw the movie?
Hayden: Last night [the premiere] was the first time I saw it. I was really just really excited to see the film and I just knew all the hard work it took to get to where I’m at right now. I was just really excited and astonished.
Albert: Yeah, because you don’t know- obviously you can have as much input as possible when you’re doing a voice, but there’s a thousand people up there, the credits are longer than most Pixar movies. You have no idea what the finished product is going to look like.
It’s sort of this magic trick. [Laughing the whole time he’s telling this story] I was sort of surprised at what I bought into. I mean, I’m watching this octopus drive a truck, and I’m going “look out!” and then I’m going, why am I saying “look out”, I know what’s going on – it’s just crazy, you just start going no-no-no turn left and I like that part of this movie too.
You learned a little bit. You learn an octopus has three hearts so that teaches you something, that means that Pixar can deduct this, call it education It’s a whole tax scheme. [He laughs]
What are you hoping families walk away with?
Albert: I’m not a big message person because I think that you sort of fail if you try to do a message. This really is a movie that you can take kids to and you’ll sit through and enjoy. It’s, it’s funny without being sarcastic.
And it’s heartwarming without being schmaltzy and I think people will be surprised that there’s more maybe more feeling than they thought. I’m not saying oh I hope people take away, people they can just take away the popcorn [laughing]. I don’t like to tell people what to do emotionally. I came out with more emotions than I thought I would. And so I think that’s a good thing.
Aside from the emotions that surprised you, was there anything else in the movie that surprised you once you saw it on the big screen?
Albert: I was worried just as a participant when the movie went through a lot of changes. And I was worried initially four years ago well, how are you going to do the memory thing over a whole course of a movie?
And because 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. 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.
About recording and Hayden as “Nemo”
Albert: Hayden did a great job. That’s a tough thing, because you come in and people say, well – does he sound like him, and it’s hard to do that. And I thought you did great.
I mean it, because it fit in, you can think about it. You did it naturally and 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, he’s forty now. [He was being funny, as the original “Nemo” Alexander Gould was born in 1994.]
Did you do any sort of preparation, did you watch Finding Nemo?
Hayden: I did watch Finding Nemo a lot, just to get myself prepared for trying to make my voice sound like Nemo. I live in Illinois so I had to send in a tape, rather than …
Albert: Oh, is that how you did it?
Hayden: Yeah [laughs] I had to send in a tape, so I was able to just watch the movie, then practice the scene, and watch the movie and practice the scene. And I did that over and over again. And then finally I was able to make my voice sort of sound like Nemo.
Hayden, what was your reaction when you learned that you actually got the job?
Hayden: I was actually at school when my parents got the call from my agency, and my parents told me that I had an audition that day. My dad got out the camera and then they told me the news. And I was sort of in disbelief at the beginning, I’m like you guys are joking with me right [laughs] but then once I realized that that they weren’t actually joking with me, I was like astonished. I couldn’t believe it.
Albert: I love it. Why don’t you run for president? [laughter throughout the room]
What were your thoughts when you heard that they were making a Finding Dory and that you would be doing your role again.
Albert: You know, it was so long between the two, I had given up on that. Listen.
Ellen campaigned for this on national television for ten years. So I would see it occasionally and I’d say, good, you know. Let’s berate them into doing this [laughter] but I just want the product to be good. The thing about Andrew Stanton is he, out of all the animators there, I think if he thought he couldn’t do it, he just wouldn’t do it.
And he hasn’t made a Wall-E sequel and he’s not a big sequel guy. […] So I felt that I didn’t know exactly how, but I felt that he would figure it out. But, I just want it to be good…
Hayden, was there a scene where you taped the voice over and then you saw it on screen last night and you were just so surprised that it could be transformed into that?
Hayden: Yeah, that was sort of the entire movie because 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 really excited and I was just in disbelief like, 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 [he laughs].
Albert: That’s it- it’s a trick.
Albert, what do you think makes the relationship between Nemo and Marlin so special?
Albert: In the first movie the idea of a father losing a son, you know, 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 and Marlin felt secure now about his kid.
I like this blue tang, but I don’t know, do I want to risk my life and then he sees how important it is to the kids. 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 a little more – maybe warmer. Because he wasn’t so panicked. […]
If it means that much to you, let’s do it. It’s sort of the opposite of any emotion that father and son had in the first movie. It was don’t do anything. I don’t care what it means to you. So I guess it was a little bit of letting go.
Hope you enjoyed getting to know Marlin and Nemo like I did!
Finding Dory is in THEATERS NOW! Have you seen it yet? Take the kids. You’ll all love it!
what an amazing opportunity for you. Great interview and very interesting. I loved Nemo and can’t believe it’s been that many years since it was out! I missed Dory but need to watch it with kiddo soon!