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James Marsden on Kitty Galore

Published July 29, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros Pictures
The stars of Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore are, well, cats and dogs. They have famous voices though, because they speak English and do all sorts of spy moves. James Marsden is the top dog, and that pun is totally intended.

James Marsden Talks Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore

“I play Diggs,” Marsden said. “He’s the German Shepherd. He’s a dog that worked for the police force but was rejected from the police force because he had difficulty following orders. A lot of raw ability and talent but unfortunately his ego eclipses all of those natural abilities. He’s hired or recruited by this separate group of dogs to thwart Kitty Galore and ultimately has to team up with cats which is the end all be all. That’s not happening but he has to overcome his own sense of pride to work together. I like his confidence and his boldness. Again, doesn’t really know about teamwork so much but he’s very comfortable in his own skin.”

We’ve heard lots of voice actors talk about the process of being alone in a booth, trying to find the voice of the character. This was the first time for Marsden. “It was an interesting process. When you’re in a film or doing television and you’re in front of the camera, you have a tool box. You have your expressions in your face, your body language. This experience for me was challenging in a sense that you really do rely on your voice to convey emotion, to play a scene. It was definitely a journey. Early on we had some just sort of scratch track sessions where we were just sort of finding the voice of the character. It was important to find the voice that matched the physicality of the dog, to match the energy that was needed for the animators. All of that was very new to me and it was a big learning process for me.”

Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore

The biggest adjustment might have been playing for a scene much bigger than the little booth he was recording in. “It was a great sort of journey where we went many times all over the place to try to find the voice of Diggs. For this type of movie, you’re in a dark room with a microphone sitting in front of you and not a lot of imagery to go along. We just had Brad the director saying, ‘Say that again but remember that what you’re yelling at, that you can’t see right now, is actually 50 meters ahead of you so you need to be a little louder.’ You put a lot of trust into Brad and he is the guide. It was unlike any experience I’ve ever experienced before and it was very gratifying to see the final picture of all these puzzle pieces coming together. It’s great, you don’t always have that luxury on film sets to be able to play and go here and there. You’re not burning film. You’re just burning time in the studio I guess.”

Still, it’s quite a sweet gig. “It’s the fact that you can just sort of roll out of bed. Vanity gets set aside. You really don’t have to worry about going through the works. I mean, I’d be lying to you if I told you that wasn’t a part of it. That’s definitely one of the fun elements of it is that you get to go and really focus on one tool, your vocal performance. I don't know, voice work specifically, usually it’s not that big of a time commitment. You can go in for a couple of days or a couple of months here and there and just go in and play. I like being able to go in and just play. Again, you don’t have that luxury on film sets, or television sets. Time is money and time’s money in the studio as well but you really do, one of the great things about getting in there and working with Brad is we just would run the gamut. What didn’t work would be set aside and what worked would be enhanced and embraced and then given to the animators. You don’t get that sort of safety net a lot of the times when you’re working on a film set. It’s about we need the shot before lunch, we need this, the lighting setup’s got to be this. It’s all you when you go in and give a vocal performance. And there’s a playful element to that that I like and would love to continue doing voice work.”

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore opens to theaters on July 30th.

For the trailers, posters and more movie info, go to the Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros Pictures

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