Bill Hader is a huge fan of Disney-Pixar animated hits. Such a fan that he weaseled his way into a tour of the studio in order to snag a role in the upcoming movie Inside Out, which hits theaters June 19.
The actor explained the bizarre way he connected with the film’s directors, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera, back in 2010 in order to land the voice role for the character Fear during a press panel in Beverly Hills on Sunday with the cast.
“It was great. I kind of stalked them at Pixar. I went to them. I said, ‘I want to take a tour of Pixar,’ ” the Saturday Night Live personality, 37, recalled.
“I’m a giant fan,” Hader added with a laugh. “And so I just said, ‘Can I just please take a tour?’ And went around and met Pete and Jonas.”
But the favor was reciprocated when the production team asked Hader for a tour of the SNL digs in order to research for a sequence in the movie.
“There’s this scene in the movie that deals with a live television element. [They said], ‘We’d like to come to SNL.’ And I was like, ‘Come to SNL!’ And they hung out at SNL for a week for reference for that sequence.”
He continued, “And so they let me come and hang out at Pixar as a thank you, and then [they asked], ‘Do you want to play Fear?’ And I said, ‘Sure.’ It worked!”
The Parks and Recreation alum, 43, was one of the last to join the troupe of emotions and said it didn’t take her long to be completely hooked.
“I honestly believed that from the minute they told me the idea, I was like, oh, this film is going to be the best Pixar movie ever made, and it’s going to make the most money. And it’s going to win an Oscar,” she told the crowd. “That’s what I thought from the minute they told me, I was like, this is the best movie ever made, and it will be the only good movie I’ve ever been in.”
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As for Black? He was the first to be cast. And the 66-year-old actor was wooed and spoiled by the animation hub in the process.
“They sent me a box of stuff with a letter in which they said, ‘I may not know who Pixar is’ – which meant either that they were crazy, or they thought I was just some sort of a recluse,” Black joked. “And so they said that they had this role of Anger. Well, that fit and I leapt on it.”
Inside Out is a coming-of-age story that follows five emotions inside of an adolescent girl’s mind as she is forced to move cross-country with her parents. It also stars Mindy Kaling as Disgust and Phyllis Smith as Sadness.
• Reporting by SCOTT HUVER