By Fred Topel | Images property of Universal Pictures
Nickelodeon superstar Miranda Cosgrove will bring even more kids into Despicable Me than the animated feature already would anyway. She plays Margo, the eldest of three girls who become adopted by supervillain Gru.
Miranda Cosgrove on Despicable Me
“I think a big part of the character is she is really protective of her two little sisters,” Cosgrove said. “In real life I don’t have any siblings. So my best friend has a little sister so I try to use her a little bit because she’s always trying to make the right decisions and she’s always helping her sister. I am like her because she’s pretty strong in the movie and she’s not afraid to stand up to Gru. I’m a little like that. Especially when I was younger, like 10 or 11, I’d always try to get my way and she does that a lot in the movie.”
Margo is a tough cookie who stands up to Gru. That’s instrumental in his change for the better. “As I was saying, when I was younger, I was a little bit tough. Everybody kind of has their parent that’s a little easier to get to take them places. My dad’s the one that’s easier out of my parents so when I was younger I used to always try to get him to take me to the movies and pick up my friends and let me have parties at my house and stuff. So I kind of used that a little bit in the scenes when I was going head to head with Gru.”
iCarly gives Cosgrove plenty of opportunity to show off her personality. Recording an animated voice was a bigger challenge. “I thought that was the hardest part, just really figuring out what the character was going to be like. The directors helped a lot. It was interesting because they did the animation in Paris so every single time I would go into the sound booth, I’d be talking to them on iChat. There’d be a five second delay so I’d say the lines and then I’d have to wait five seconds to see if they laughed, to see if they liked it. So I’d just be waiting but they helped me a lot with it because they’re really great animators. They just said, ‘Put everything into it. Just really go crazy and have fun.’ It was nice because they let me improv’ a lot so they’d say, ‘Do the line three times the way it’s written, and then just go crazy and do one for yourself.’”
Through that process, Cosgrove became Margo. “Margo’s younger than me. I think she’s supposed to be 11 or 12. Like I was saying about my best friend, how she has her little sister, I tried to use her a lot for the character just because I’ve always thought she was really sweet the way she is with her sisters, or her little sister. But yeah, I just tried to be really authoritative I guess because she has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders even though she’s really young. She’s kind of like the mom of the two little girls.”
It worked, as Cosgrove observed when she saw the movie. “I just saw it for the first time about a month ago and there were a bunch of kids in the movie theater with me and then their parents. It was just a really fun place to see it for the first time because I got to hear all the kids laughing. I think their parents when they came in, they were happy to see a movie with their kids but I don’t know how much they thought they were really going to love it. Then they were crying and stuff by the end so it was really fun.”