Available exclusively on Disney+ Friday is “Luca,” a summer adventure on the Italian riviera that sees two sea monsters emerge from the sea to discover the joy of life on land. Prior to the film’s Jun 18th release, some of the cast and creative team gathered on a virtual press conference to discuss the childhood summer inspiration for the film, friendship and making a movie about banishing doubt.
On the panel was Enrico Casarosa (director), Andrea Warren (producer), Jacob Tremblay (Luca), Jack Dylan Grazer (Alberto), Maya Rudolph (Daniela), Jim Gaffigan (Lorenzo) and Emma Berman (Giulia).
The film’s director drew inspiration for the film from summers in his childhood home of Genoa.
Enrico Casarosa: “I was a shy kid, a little bit sheltered by my family. And when I met my best friend at 11, kind of my world opened up. He was a bit of a troublemaker; he didn’t have a whole lot of supervision. And so, in those special kind of summers when you’re growing up and kind of finding yourself, I was kind of following him and getting dragged into troubles. And it really made me really think about how much we find ourselves with our friendships, or how much friendships help us find a bit who we wanna be… So, I kept on thinking about the literal and the metaphor of someone who pushes you off a cliff.
Andrea Warren: “We do think a lot about the messages that are in the film. And, you know, for me, that notion of the meaning of friendship, you know, really resonated. And I think they are a few really beautiful themes in the film. One being sort of ‘Silencio Bruno’, and how we all have these inner critics. And how you sort of overcome that sense of doubt. And Enrico and I keep saying you surround yourself in life with some Albertos. I hope that some of those messages, you know, really reach the audiences, and especially reach kids.”
The voices of the film’s three children– Jacob Tremblay as Luca, Jack Dylan Grazer as Alberto and Emma Berman as Giulia–in the film talked about how they relate to their characters.
Jacob Tremblay: “When you get to meet him at the beginning of the movie, Luca, he’s a bit more of a timid kid. He really wants to be able to explore the human world, but his parents have a lot or restrictions for him. But he meets his great friend Alberto, who helps him kind of step out of his comfort zone. I think it’s something to do with his curiosity and, he wants to explore what’s off-limits.”
Jack Dylan Grazer: “I think it’s one of the most crucial things you could ever learn in your life. It’s just the elimination of doubt. I got rid of my Bruno eons ago. I haven’t had a Bruno for years. I myself have always been a really impulsive decision maker. Like, I don’t like to think about how there’s two ways that things could go. There’s it’s terrible, or it could be wonderful. And I choose not to think long enough about how terrible it could be. And it might end up being terrible decision, but I’m hoping for wonderful.”
Emma Berman: “Like you said, she’s a very strong character. She’s determined, and she’s hardworking, and genuine, and intense. But she’s also awkward, and quirky, and goofy. And I had a really fun time playing her because I relate to her in a lot of ways. That we’re both passionate about what we do, and we’re also very, like, excited and joyful people.”
Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan discussed how the movie’s ode to childhood summer crosses generations.
Maya Rudolph: “I did a lot of summer camp, and like those are the most heavenly, sweet memories…. But those friendships that you make, that’s the familiarity of this movie that feels so sweet and so instantly connective as those friends that I made at camp that we don’t live in the same city. We don’t see each other during the year. And then you have those people that you just hook into and you love-you fall in love in the most lovely possible way. Cause you see those things in each other, and it’s just kinda like your summertime romance.”
Jim Gaffigan: “I think that what’s so interesting about this movie and the notion of summer is it made me realize we have, as adults, we have such an expectation of or a pressure surrounding summer, like enjoying summer. And I think some of that’s established as kids, really, having this idealized summer. And I feel like in this movie there is capturing that truly romantic notion of summer being about freedom. And as adults we kind of chase it–we chase it in these two-week windows of vacation or a long weekend. And so I thought that was really moving how it kind of stirred up that memory.”
“Luca” begins streaming on Disney+ Friday.