The great thing about voice acting is that it is a lot easier to not get typecast. Without seeing their faces, it is harder to associate their voice with a previous role or style. If you don’t watch the credits, you may be surprised by the fact that 20th Century Studios’ Ron’s Gone Wrong is led by Zach Galifanakis (G-Force) and Jack Dylan Grazer (Luca).
Galifanakis does not play the role of B-Bot Ron as a comedian. While comedy comes from the situations, he had to balance not being too emotional while also not being too robotic. As he said at the recent press conference, “Sometimes I would be too emotional, I think, and then I would get feedback from the booth like, “We're hearing a little crack of emotion there". And I thought, I think I'm doing this wrong.
He continued to explain that, “It was a little tricky just to find it because you don't want to do a robot. Obviously, they didn't want that. They wanted more of my voice. But then how do you walk that line of not too much emotion, but likeable or lovable? So I had a lot of help, really, because I needed it. Also, it's a tone thing too, in an animated thing there's a lot of it. There's a lot of imagination that's required in the beginning, because you don't see a lot of visual stuff quite at the beginning. You've been told what's happening and that's a little bit of it. Sometimes it's a little challenge, but honestly, I had help and they were very patient with me, which when you don't know what you're doing like me, it's helpful.”
Jack Dylan Grazer voices a character that is the near opposite of Luca’s Alberto. Barney is introverted and reserved. But much like Luca, Ron’s Gone Wrong had a long production process that had to deal with the 2020 situation. “I started back in 2017,” Grazer said, “I was 13 and I'm 18 now, so it's been a while. But it's been a whirlwind of a process and there's so much evolution has happened, especially with Barney and the story as a whole.But I'm so glad that I stuck around and here we are now, and I'm so thrilled.”
Ed Helms, who voices Barney’s dad shared a little bit about the process by saying, “Throughout the process, all the filmmakers, the whole gang, was so great about showing us kind of works in progress and showing us little sequences that were sort of coming together for animatics, which are kind of these like, basically, storyboards, but with voices, and that is so helpful and so fun.”
He also acknowledged Olivia Coleman who is the comedic highlight of the film by playing his mother Donka. “Her performance is so exuberant. Even just hearing that voice. I kind of knew in my imagination how to play off of it.” I mean, who else could play a grandmother who escaped communist Bulgaria to come to the United States but also brought her sausage skills and chickens.
Through all the craziness of Ron’s Gone Wrong, the cast never lost sight of the emotional themes of love and friendship, which the movie is actually all about. While the stars may be playing roles that differ from their previous roles, there is no question that they brought their skills to make a fun film. You can catch Ron’s Gone Wrong in theaters now.