Do you ever have a celebrity who you feel like could be your best friend? Someone who you watch on T.V. or movies and you just love their personality so much that watching them feels like hanging out with an old friend? Well that is how I feel about Ellen DeGeneres! So when I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with her and Ed O’Neill after the premiere of their new movie, “Finding Dory”, I was beyond excited. I get to share with you my Finding Dory interview with Ellen Degeneres and Ed O’Neill, on their roles as Dory and Hank.
Finding Dory, opening nationwide June 17th, is the long awaited sequel to one of my all time favorite Disney and Pixar films, ‘Finding Nemo’. In this tale, Dory, the forgetful blue tang fish (played by Ellen DeGeneres) remembers that she has parents and wants to be reunited with them. She sets out to find them along with Marlin and Nemo, but ends up separated and taken to a Marine Institute where she meets some new friends, including my new favorite character Hank the octopus (played by Ed O’Neill).
Along the way, Dory encounters many challenges that test her resolve to her life motto “Just keep swimming”. Ellen shared how Dory’s motto has been her life motto in so many ways too (although she didn’t realize it until working as the voice of Dory).
She said, “My life has gone through a lot of different twists and turns, and I did just keep swimming. I didn’t realize that that was what I was doing. But I just kept moving forward, and I just kept doing what I know how to do, which is make people happy and make people smile and make people laugh.”
Just Keep Swimming
Ellen hopes that the message to “just keep swimming” inspires viewers to be optimistic, to never give up and to always look for another way. She says “no matter what your situation is, it can get better. Everybody starts from a different place, and some people start with a lot more odds stacked against them. But there’s a way out. There’s a way to… use whatever you do best to help you.”
Ed O’Neill recalls that there is a part in the movie when “my character [Hank] says ‘there’s no way out’, and she [Dory] says, ‘there’s always a way out,’ and [Hank] says, ‘There’s no way out,’ and then you say, ‘Well, what about that?’ And it’s, ‘Oh, there is a way out!’ It’s the same thing, you know… There’s always some other option.”
Perseverance is a skill that Ed developed while working on the set of “Finding Dory”. He shares how when he first signed on to work on this project, he thought it would be a one day cameo part. He said, “I had done sort of a cameo in Wreck It Ralph, and so when they called me and said, ‘Oh, they want you to do this thing, this sequel to Nemo,’ I said, ‘Okay, well, what is it?'”.
He continues, ” ‘Oh, it’s an octopus’. I said, ‘Oh, okay, you know, can I see it, is there anything written?’ No, there’s nothing. I said, ‘Well, why would I sign onto nothing, I don’t even know what it is.’ [they said] ‘It’s Pixar. It’s from Finding Nemo’… I said, ‘Okay, I’m in.'”
He said that because that is all the information he had about the project, he assumed it would be a one day job, but it turned out to be 3 years worth of work.
He also describes the perseverance needed because of the great amount of energy and frenzy needed for the voice of the character. He recalls “you look in the booth and you hear, ‘Oh, Ed, that was great… Um. Next one, maybe amp it up a little more.’ Four hours, you know?”
As our interview with Ellen and Ed ended, Ellen made one of my personal dreams come true… I got to dance it out with Ellen! Ellen said that when she came in Ed had even mentioned that he hoped that we would get to dance. She said “Are we all dancing? Oh, we’re dancing it out!”
So now I’m leaving you to dance it out, and just keep swimming your way to “Finding Dory” in theaters June 17th. Stay tuned for more Finding Dory interviews!
I received an all expense paid trip, for the purposes of scoping out Finding Dory. All opinions are my own.
Interview photo credit to Sara Lundberg / BudgetSavvyDiva.com.