For “Lyle, Lyle Crocodile” star Winslow Fegley, the main reason folks should see the adaptation of the beloved children’s book is, put simply, it makes you happy.
“I guess I think that when you watch ‘Lyle,’ and when you see the movie, it’s so happy. When you see Lyle, it’s just makes you so happy,” he said. “And I feel like that’s a great reason for people to see it, like if you’re down or you’re not feeling great or you just want to feel happy for some reason, go watch this movie. It’s a really, really happy movie, and it makes you feel good watching the movie. Why wouldn’t you want that?”
Fegley plays Josh Primm in the musical film adaptation of Bernard Waber’s childhood book series. In the story, Josh’s parents (Scoot McNairy and Constance Wu) decide to move into New York City, and Josh has many reservations about the change.
“His dad wants him to to do wrestling or kind of follow his in his footsteps a little bit, and obviously, Josh doesn’t want to do wrestling,” Fegley said. “He’s bad at it ,and he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t enjoy it. “Later on in the film, when when they meet Lyle, I think Lyle kind of really brings everybody together.”
Lyle the singing crocodile (voiced by Shawn Mendes), was discovered by Javier Bardem’s character Hector P. Valenti in a last ditch effort to develop a new showman’s act. When Lyle gets stage fright and can’t sing in front of a big audience, Valenti leaves him behind in his family’s brownstone while he pursues other ways to make money and pay off his lingering cloud of debt. First Josh discovers Lyle in the attic, but soon the whole Primm family comes to love the scaly singer.
“He brings out the best of everyone, and he really brings a lot of people out of their shells. [Josh’s] dad started wrestling again. [Josh] of course figure[s] out how to be more confident in [himself],” Fegley said. “And I think that that really just brings everyone together and that allows people to just do their own thing and not worry about what other people think.”
One of the most important scenes in the film involves Fegley’s character Josh telling Lyle that he’ll love the reptile whether or not he ends up singing in public.
“I think that is a really, really beautiful scene. I love that scene where he where he tells Lyle that, because I think no matter if Lyle sings or not, he’s really helped the whole family a lot,” Fegley said. “I think he brings a lot of joy so, no matter what, Josh is gonna love him, and I think no matter what, you should love yourself.”
Fegley also shared his hope for what people take away from the film.
“I really hope when people watch this movie that they realize they shouldn’t care what other people think about themselves, and they shouldn’t worry about that,” he said. “Even if if you can’t do this crazy thing, it’s not like you’re terrible at life like I’m sure there’s so many other things you’re amazing at.”