After watching The One And Only Ivan (and loving it!), I had the chance to attend a virtual press conference with its amazing cast. There was just so much awesomeness in one place and it was fabulous! Bryan Cranston, Angelina Jolie, Sam Rockwell, Danny Devito, Helen Mirren, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Phillipa Soo, Brooklyn Prince, Ariana Greenblatt, Ramon Rodriguez, Ron Funches, Mike White and director Thea Sharrock joined in on the fun and shared some really interesting fun facts about the film (and themselves).  It was a fun group and definitely worth watching.

Ivan the gorilla

10 Fun Facts from The One And Only Ivan Virtual Press Conference

  • Thea explained that hooting this movie was very much like simultaneously working on two movies at the same time because of the technical aspect of it. They started the whole process with the voice actor (because the animators needed their voices to begin to be laid down for the animation journey to begin) and then they shot all of our live-action stuff and then they went back in and we shot the virtual aspects of the film.
  • For Thea it was important to capture the heartfelt spirit of the book
  • Ariana Greenblatt drew during breaks at school and some of those drawings made it into the movie.
  • Brooklyn Prince recorded some of her lines in an elephant onesie. She even bought a matching one for Angelina Jolie, who also wore hers while doing some of her lines. Angelina also bought Brooklyn a stuffed animal with a little baby elephant and a big elephant holding each other’s trunks for Easter.
  • Phillipa Soo looked up some parrot videos when preparing for her role.
  • Bryan Cranston would break into his little Walter White character every once in a while on set.
  • There was someone on set that would play Ruby by getting into this small, baby green elephant outfit and we walking around the set.
  • It was Bryan who suggested that his character wear a wig and have a belly so that his character would be seen as someone who is dealing with vulnerabilities, therefore making him more relatable.
  • When editing, they were very intentional about making sure there were no bars to be seen whatsoever in certain scenes and other scenes where they were intentional with the presence of bars.
  • They also made the choice to have next to no green used in the movie unless it was for representing the Congo or times when Ivan was free. They made those scenes as green and as lush as possible.


5 Fun Facts about the cast

  • Bryan Cranston has picked up baking sour dough bread while in quarantine
  • Chaka Khan ran away from home at the age of 16 and joined the circus as a rope girl. So, doing this film really brought back some memories for her.
  • Apparently Angelina Jolie has been spending a lot of time studying foreign policy during the quarantine.
  • Angelina Jolie credits her creativity to her kids. “…Being with them and making up stories before bed or just being silly with them…”
  • Ariana Greenblatt is an animal lover and wants to spread awareness for kids her to help animals.
    in every way possible.

To check out the entire virtual press conference, you can check out the video below

The One and Only Ivan is a movie the whole family will love and it will be available on Disney+ on Friday, August 21st! For my full review of the film, click here.

About The One And Only Ivan

An adaptation of the award-winning book about one very special gorilla, Disney’s “The One and Only Ivan” is an unforgettable tale about the beauty of friendship, the power of visualization and the significance of the place one calls home. Ivan is a 400-pound silverback gorilla who shares a communal habitat in a suburban shopping mall with Stella the elephant, Bob the dog, and various other animals. He has few memories of the jungle where he was captured, but when a baby elephant named Ruby arrives, it touches something deep within him. Ruby is recently separated from her family in the wild, which causes him to question his life, where he comes from and where he ultimately wants to be. The heartwarming adventure, which comes to the screen in an impressive hybrid of live-action and CGI, is based on Katherine Applegate’s bestselling book, which won numerous awards upon its publication in 2013, including the Newbery Medal.