Cars 3 Press Conference

Prior to the “Cars 3” premiere on Saturday, the cast and makers of the film sat down to discuss the latest installment in the series, including the development of new characters and refreshing familiar ones. Present at the conference was director Brian Fee, producer Kevin Reher, Owen Wilson (Lighting McQueen), Cristela Alonzo (Cruz Ramirez), Armie Hammer (Jackson Storm), Kerry Washington (Natalie Certain), Nathan Fillion (Sterling), Lea DeLaria (Miss Fritter), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (River Scott) and Larry the Cable Guy (Mater).

“Cars 3” Premiere: Anaheim, CA, June 10, 2017

The first question dealt with why the film franchise has remained popular since its debut more than a decade ago:

Brian Fee: “I think it’s the characters. I think there’s an appeal and there’s a realism. I think people relate to the characters. When you walk away from a movie, if it meant anything to you, if  you cared at all, it’s probably because you related to the characters…. The “Cars” franchise has a lot of that.”

Owen Wilson: “I think it’s also the animators did a pretty good job. I know when they first animated the cars … there’s something that’s kind of human, or inviting, about the expressions. So I think that helps to make the cars more relatable and lifelike to people.”

L to R: Kerry Washington, Armie Hammer, Cristela Alonzo, Owen Wilson

Next, they discussed how “Cars 3” introduced more strong female characters in leading parts:

Cristela Alonzo: “Cruz Ramirez is a great little character I loved playing. What I liked about her is that she’s very good at what she does, but at the same time she still has doubts about herself regarding the same skill that she uses to coach the cars to become the best they can be.”

Kerry Washington: “I do think it’s fun to see women in the film who are brave and smart and courageous and also teachable, women that balance having extraordinary talent and intellect but also are humble enough to learn the lessons that they have to learn by the end of the film, to learn that you have to step into your greatness.”

L to R: Lea DeLaria, Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy

Some of the actors discussed more broadly what makes Pixar movies so compelling for audiences of all ages:

Nathan Fillion: “Here’s my theory: nothing happens by accident in a Pixar movie. They tell a story one pixel at a time. By the time it gets to the point where I’m sitting there in front of the microphone, all of the hard work has actually been done.”

Lea DeLaria: “I just love Pixar. It’s magical. And every time I’ve seen any Pixar movie I’m beyond excited to watch it. I’m always there the second it opens. It just transforms us all back to our childhood. I’m just a kid screaming and laughing.”

Isiah Whitlock: “I’m always amazed at how they’re able to cross the line and humanize some of these characters. At first, when I would watch it I would get  a little scared because I would forget that it was animation, I would forget that they’re cars. You start to really care and you have these emotional feelings about a lot of the characters…. I’ve seen that in every Pixar movie.”

L to R: Kevin Reher, Brian Fee, Kerry Washington

Finally, the producer and director discussed bringing some notes of nostalgia to the film, particularly Paul Newman as Doc Hudson:

Kevin Reher: “You know we were really lucky John Lasseter had ran on “Cars” to keep the mic open … and we had all these wonderful things. And the Newman’s Own Foundation was so terrific in supporting us and knew that we were trying to be as respectful as possible with Mr. Newman’s performance.”

Brian Fee: “We had hours of voice on tape to comb through and find what was going to help us tell the story…. I feel extremely fortunate that we got the right things, we got exactly what we needed. And we’re just lucky at the end of the day.”

Maggie Sharpe

Maggie is a high school math teacher in South Los Angeles. She is a huge fan of comic books, Star Wars and all things Disney.

Leave a Comment