‘Luca’ Star Jacob Tremblay on Recording at Pixar and Bringing Improv to His Role

·3-min read

Jacob Tremblay stars as “Luca” in Pixar’s new animated feature. The coming-of-age film follows two young sea creatures and best friends who embark on a summer adventure when they explore the Italian Riviera.

Tremblay recently spoke with Variety about recording his part at Pixar’s studios in Emeryville, the message of the film and how director Enrico Casarosa inspired him to improv.

More from Variety

How much fun was it to be able to go to Pixar and record your part for “Luca?

It was so awesome because I was able to go into the studio, and they have all the decorations there and all that stuff which helped bring out your creativity.

This is ultimately a story about friendship, what was it about the story that resonated with you in light of the pandemic when we haven’t been able to see our friends?

A movie like this is important because people can watch it and kind of connect with the characters. They can remember all the good times, all the good summers before. Even adults can remember their childhoods.

What was it like going through the animation process of voicing Luca and then seeing yourself come to life?

I was able to see the concept art and everything. And I have Funko pops of the characters.

What was your inspiration for tapping into Luca?

I listened to Enrico because it’s based on his childhood. It was interesting hearing his story and stories about growing up in Italy.

He’s also an amazing director and open to anything — especially any ideas I had. I had to do a lot of improv, and he let me bring a lot of that into the experience. So it was really just a lot of fun to work on.

Do you have any fun stories about recording in the studio or Pixar?

I have a weird skill — I can burp on demand. Not small burps, I mean really big ones. There’s actually a scene in the movie where Luca burps and we were recording it. I said, “If you want, I can burp.” I was able to give them some cool sound bites, and they ended up using my burp in the film.

Are you a water baby or a sea creature?

Living in Vancouver, we have the ocean, mountains and beautiful lakes here, too. I think I’m a hybrid. I guess I’m more of a lake person though. I do love skiing in the mountains, too, because I love skiing and biking.

Now that you’re a part of the family, you could potentially be an easter egg down the line, but what are some of your favorite Pixar films?

I think my favorite would have to be “Cars” just for the nostalgia. I had a bunch of “Cars” merchandise. I even had a Lightning McQueen Power Wheels car, and I would sit in it and drive down the street.

What was your favorite scene to film?

The action sequences. Those were fun to do because you had to do the effects of breathing and panting. So that was a lot of fun. I think I got so carried away, I’d get lightheaded at times.

If there’s a message that you want people to take away from watching “Luca,” what would that be?

The biggest message in this movie would just be, don’t be afraid to try new things.

Do you have a favorite Disney/Pixar song?

I really like the soundtrack to “A Goofy Movie.” I love the song when Goofy and Max are on the road trip and also when it’s the last day of school. I really just love that movie soundtrack.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.