Meet the Press: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy in ‘Shrek Forever After’

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LOS ANGELES – On Friday, May 21st, the rest of the film industry will turn green with envy as “Shrek Forever After” is released. The fourth installment of the mega-popular animated series features Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas, as well as new voice talent from Jon Hamm, Craig Robinson and Walt Dohrn.

On May 14th the cast got together for a news conference and discussion, moderated by Ryan Seacrest (who also has a small part in the film). The following are the highlights from that free form presentation, celebrating the franchise and all things Shrek.

Domestic Orge: Fiona (Cameron Diaz), the Babies and Shrek (Mike Myers) in ‘Shrek Forever After’
Domestic Orge: Fiona (Cameron Diaz), the Babies and Shrek (Mike Myers) in ‘Shrek Forever After’
Photo Credit: © 2010 DreamWorks Animation, LLC

Ryan Seacrest: I guess we’ll just start with the group and maybe Mike, you can start with the first question and that is looking back at all the years of the Shrek films, what’s been one of your favorite moments of the past ten years?

Mike Myers: When Jeffrey [Katzenberg of DreamWorks] said would you like to be in an animated movie, I said yes and he said it was called Shrek. I said that’s the worst title I’ve ever heard in my life and I didn’t know what it was going to be and then in the process, the first time I saw it with an audience and the line, “but you are beautiful to me,” and the whole heart of it that I just was blown away that an animated movie could move people and that it was something that people would be invested in emotionally and I think that’s been the most satisfying thing for me.

Seacrest: And Cameron, we talked about when you were on Idol, the emotion in this one. It goes back to the roots of the beginning of it, doesn’t it?

Cameron Diaz: Yeah, I think that sense you get to see true love happen all over again for the first time between Shrek and Fiona because they get to find one another. It’s that, it’s the moment that you’re talking about, your favorite moment from the first movie that you get to experience all over again because we get to take the journey with them of finding that love again. It’s not that you know, you open up on the two of them sort of in routine of a life that they’ve taken for granted or Shrek has for sure and then you get to see him journey back through trying to regain and find his true love and that ultimately is, it’s just a beautiful, lovely story and you get to fall in love with Shrek and Fiona all over again.

Seacrest: For this franchise. Why has it been so successful you think?

Eddie Murphy I think it’s really funny and very well made. I really do think it’s that simple. It’s really well made and it’s very funny and it’s smart and those things you know, those things add up to hit sometimes.

Seacrest: Antonio, how much fun have you had making these movies?

Antonio Banderas: A lot actually. And unexpected because I came to this country without speaking the language and the fact that they called me just for the use of my voice was very, very surprising. Fun every time that I have been actually on recording sessions and I still do have a lot of fun. And also, you asked before about memories. I remember when we opened in the Cannes Film Festival that is happening right now actually and you see the whole totality of Europe in the movie theater and interrupting the movie with applauses for twelve times, there is kind of standing to me, you know, beautiful moments that we have had in promotion all around the world, the whole entire team.

Seacrest: Jon, how did you get the role of Brogan?

Jon Hamm: I don’t know why the character I play on TV would necessarily lend itself to be the first choice to be an animated character but it’s, I don’t know. I honestly can’t believe I’m sitting up here but when it came my way and they were still kind of trying to figure out what I was going to be and was I going to be a love interest or a rival or something, we weren’t really sure and I was like I don’t are. I just want to be part of this. I’ve loved this, the last three versions of this and went and saw the openings in the theaters like I was you know, a 13 year old so I’ve just been, the pure fan of me was like I don’t know, I’ll go play somebody who talks backwards on top of his head and turns around, I don’t even care and the fact that they were able to kind of work with me in my sort of personality and sort of create this person who’s sort of this cheerleader of sorts was fun to do.

Brogan (Jon Hamm), Cookie (Craig Robinson), Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) in ‘Shrek Ever After’
Viva The Resistance: Brogan (Jon Hamm), Cookie (Craig Robinson), Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss In Boots
(Antonio Banderas) in ‘Shrek Forever After’
Photo Credit: © 2010 DreamWorks Animation, LLC

Seacrest: Craig, was playing Cookie fun for you?

Craig Robinson: Yes, playing a female ogre named Cookie was….

Seacrest: Bit of a stretch? Bit of a stretch? Bit of a stretch?

Craig Robinson: A little bit. I mean I think we all you know, have both sides, not just my feminine side just show up and I didn’t know I had an ogre side so that kind of helped out. But it was a good time. We got in there with Mike Mitchell [the director]. We just kept developing, playing and playing and you know, she came out, okay?

Seacrest: Walt, how long did it take you to come up with the devious voice of Rumpelstilskin?

Walt Dohrn: I think he’s been inside me my whole life. I have to say I feel like, as I was walking in here, I thought security was going to grab me and throw me out. You know we worked on the voice for a year, not knowing I would be cast and then once I got cast, we sort of you know, really trying to push him as best we could.

Ryan Seacrest then opened the floor to press conference questions. The following are highlights from the Q&A…

QUESTION: For Cameron, I wanted to ask you. Fiona gets to be very empowered in this movie. She’s a leader and warrior and so forth and I was just wondering for you, did you think that Fiona might have had a better life as this warrior without Shrek?

Diaz: You know for me, Fiona’s always been a warrior. You know, I’ve always seen her as that. She’s been a warrior of love her whole, you know, through all these films. What she’s worked for, what she’s fought for is the love that she has for herself and the love that she has for Shrek and her family and her friends. And so she’s always been a warrior, it’s just been a different tone for this film and her responsibilities are a little bit more obvious as far as you know, the Resistance but she is, she’s just, you know she’s always been a warrior to me and I think through that, her nature, that is part of her nature and it has given her all the things in her life that she values.

Negotiations: Shrek and Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn) Hammer Out a Deal in ‘Shrek Forever After’
Negotiations: Shrek and Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn) Hammer Out a Deal in ‘Shrek Forever After’
Photo Credit: © 2010 DreamWorks Animation, LLC

QUESTION: In the movie, you know, Shrek just wants to get, he doesn’t want the attention anymore, he wants to be able to do the things he used to enjoy without people watching. Mike, Is there a parallel let’s say in your own life, in the rise of your career to that moment that Shrek had where he just wanted to freak out and did freak out?

Myers: I do not live in a swamp. I like my privacy. I like to, when like something like this, I love being part of this and when I’m not doing stuff, I like to go away. I enjoy being a person a great deal.

QUESTION: Do you think being Canadian gives you a different sensibility at all about that stuff?

Myers: Yeah, it’s hard to be super full of yourself in Canada. If there was a motto of Canada, it’d be who do you think you are, eh? You know and I think it’s very good training to just be a person I growing up in Canada. It’s a very, you know people, you know they say a lot of things about Canada, you know, that it’s boring and stuff but if you look around the world, I think, in praise of boring. I think it’s you know, it’ a very civilized place to grow up and I’m very proud of it.

QUESTION: Do you see it more, like the adults are, the message is towards the adults or it’s really a kids’ film?

Myers: I think that Shrek is a little bit like Flintstones vitamins, you know? You’re eating Barney and Dino and you don’t need to know it’s good for you. It has built-in vitamins of a message. But the delivery system’s very enjoyable. Would anyone like to hit me in the face right now? No? No? Okay, thank you. I’ll be here for a free hit.

Diaz: I think it’s for both adults and children. I think that you’re never too young or too old to learn these lessons. I think that that’s been the case through all the Shrek’s and why they’ve been so successful. You know they’re not just speaking to one audience. They’re speaking to every, you know it’s anyone who watches it can walk away understanding exactly what Shrek and Fiona are going through, relative to their own life and I think that’s you know …

Banderas: It’s about the balance of both things. There are obviously references to things that they have to do with people of our age that are right there in the movie and I’m telling you that because I saw Shrek for the first time when I was not part of it and I love that type of thing. And at the same time, that first time that I saw it, I was with my baby and she took the whole entire story in an totally different way. She just loved the adventure, the plot of the story. But I could pick from there things that were straight launched to me and I think we kept going in that direction all through the four movies, all the time.

QUESTION: Can you talk about your relationship to the voice and the kids who love you?

Murphy: I’ve had people come up and do lines from the movie to me. They don’t ask me, they don’t really ask me to do, the only time I’ll do that voice of that Donkey is I can do a shadow puppet of that Donkey so if I’m watching movies at home on the screen and the movie’s not good, I’ll have the Donkey come up and do commentary.

QUESTION: I think you see this movie and it just makes you love life and love and happiness. Can you each talk about what you love about your life and what else makes you happy at this point in your life?

Diaz: I’m in love with life. Think it’s pretty awesome when you’re engaged in it. And I love my family and my friends and that to me is the biggest, that’s the wealth of my life is my, are my friends and family and the experience that I get to share with them and makes me, puts a smile on my face and my heart so.

Murphy: I feel the same way you feel. I just love everything and just love everyone and and I love love. Love is the mother of life. It’s something. How do you feel about love? Does anybody not love love?

Diaz: Gotta love love.

Myers: I have a love/hate relationship with love.

Diaz: Really?

Myers: Yes.

Murphy: A love/hate relationship?

Myers: Yes, of course I do. It’s…

Diaz: Canadian, right?

Myers: It is, yes.

“Shrek Forever After” opens everywhere May 21st in RealD-3D and IMAX 3-D. Check local listings. Featuring the voices of Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Jon Hamm, Craig Robinson and Walt Dohrn, written by Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke, directed by Mike Mitchell. Rated “PG

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Senior Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2010 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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