This Missing Link Fun Facts post is in partnership with United Artists Releasing. I was provided with travel and lodging to cover the Missing Link press event. All opinions are my own!
The weekend before last I headed out to LA for the Missing Link Press Conference that included interviews with Zoe Saldana (Adelina), Zach Galifianakis (Mr. Link/Susan) and Chris Butler (the Director). Given the amount of talent in the room, it was a fun (and informative) interview.
Missing Link Fun Facts
- The idea of Missing Link started with “…a drawing that I did of Mr. Link, which has been described as a hairy avocado, with legs. And there was something about that drawing that I just kept coming back to, and people kept saying, “That is a very charming thing.” And that really ended up becoming Mr. Link in this movie.” – Chris Butler
- “It’s all based on stuff I loved as a kid…It’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, meets Sherlock Holmes meets Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” – Chris Butler
- Zoe Saldana loves stop motion films and that is also what attracted her to this role. “I love stop-motion, there’s just something that is just aesthetically pleasing. And when you hear that it’s time consuming, that means that only people that are a part of this world make the choice to be here. So that means that there’s a level of commitment and passion and devotion and artistry that is invested in this form of art that Laika just refuses to let die.” – Zoe Saldana
- Zoe Saldana Fun Fact: “every script I read, I dread a kiss scene. I’m like, “Is it gonna have it? Bleh.” I’m not one of those actresses.”
- When they first started recording Adelina’s voice (Zoe Saldana’s character), she had a really thick accent. “…when we started working on Adelina, and you (referring to Chris) had it in your mind that her accent was really strong. So I remember going, okay well, cause I asked him, “Do you want my grandma or do you want my mom?” Different kinds of understanding. And he’s like, “I want your grandma,” …So we did that. And then in a year, maybe five months later at our second session he realized, “I think I want to pull it back, because I don’t want Adelina to feel stopped or limited because of her accent or her limited kind of capacity of speaking English to really convey how she’s truly feeling.” So once he made that shift, we kept on shifting and … we had to find what was the right amount of accent that Adelina was gonna have, given the history and sort of like the migratory stories of that time (late 1800s).” – Zoe Saldana
- Zoe and her husband visited Laika Studios in Oregon so she could do some voice work. “But we toured the whole studio, and we were in awe. It’s almost like you’re challenged after you experience a studio like Laika to kind of like up your game.” – Zoe Saldana
- The theme of the movie is fellowship and friendship. “I think oftentimes kids movies are about family, and I think it’s also important to say that family can be about friends. Family’s something you can choose too. A big thing for me, a big message for me in it is that your identity is formed by yourself, and it’s not put upon you by others.” – Chris Butler
- When Chris begins writing these stories/scripts, he hears particular voices in his head that help with the writing process. For this film, he was able to get his first choice for each character. “at the very earliest stages you start writing down a list of potentially, you know, people who could be interesting to do this. And quite often you don’t get who you choose, but I was pretty dogged in my pursuit. And no one stopped me, no one said, “No, you can’t do that.” I was like, “We are getting these people no matter what.” And we did.” – Chris Butler
- Zach’s favorite characteristic about Mr. Link is his innocence. “…the thing that I really like about Mr. Link, is innocence. I miss it, and having kids you get to see it and I’m like, “Oh my god, what happened to me?” I think because he’s in the woods, he has an innocence and purity to him…and I thought that’s just the way this character should be played.” – Zach Galifianakis
- Stay for the credits to see how the movie was made (which also happens to be Zach’s favorite part).
- Doing voice work (compared to being a stand up comedian) has a different energy. “…with comedy, at least stand-up, you have to hear laughs to keep going. So when you’re performing in these booths, or even on sets, you’re not getting laughs on sets cause you’ve done 16 times and the joke gets old…it’s just a different energy and you kind of have to get used to people in the room not giving it up because they’re there to do their jobs. They’re not there as an audience member…you’ll do a joke in the booth that you think is pretty good and you don’t hear anything. Luckily I’m used to bombing on stage– it’s not gonna throw me.” – Zach Galifianakis
- “…Sir Lionel has the biggest journey to make in the movie…” – Chris Butler
#MissingLink hits theaters everywhere April 12, so get your tickets now: bit.ly/MissingLinkTix
This Friday, meet Mr. Link: 8 feet tall, 630 lbs, and covered in fur, but don’t let his appearance fool you… he is funny, sweet, and adorably literal, making him the world’s most lovable legend at the heart of Missing Link, the globe-trotting family comedy adventure from LAIKA. Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, our fearless trio of explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world to help their new friend. Through it all, the three learn that sometimes you can find a family in the places you least expect.
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