It was a star-studded event when the cast and creatives hit ZOOM for Disney’s The One and Only Ivan press conference and Chaka Khan literally stole the show when the panel was asked to share a little bit about themselves and something we not necessarily know about our favs…
BRYAN CRANSTON: In-in this world of COVID-19 and lockdown I, uh, I’ve actually started baking sour dough bread. And I’m quite-quite proud of it actually.It’s, uh, it’s fun. In-in our-in our world of-of self-motivation and developing your own characters and-it- it takes a lot of, um, it takes a lot of energies. And but you-you don’t really follow any rules. And so, I thought, you know what, following a recipe is kind of fun in that regard. But it’s been fun.
CHAKA KHAN: On the artsy thing what first came to mind with me is, when I first ran away from home at, um, 16 I actually joined the circus. I ran away with this guy named Robert. I didn’t know what I was doing, where I was going, but I met this lovely guy named Bob, at a club. He was with the circus and asked me to come on… I went. I actually was a rope girl and rode an elephant named Calcutta. It was great… I traveled…we went a little bit west and came back.
DANNY DeVITO: ” I’ve been, hanging out, doing a lot of talk-communicating. You know, texting, Zooming, whatever I can. I had a tree planted in my yard…a red maple and I decided to hang a couple bird feeders on it. Now, there’s so many birds out it’s like a deli where I’ve got grab a number, because they’re all waiting in line to go to the bird feeding.”
Angelina Jolie:” I think my creativity is my kids. Being with them, making up stories before bed or just being silly with them. Just watching each of them become uniquely who they are. My mom was like that. She was always loved seeing other people’s creativity.”
“The One and Only Ivan” was inspired by a true story about a real-life gorilla that lived for almost 27 years in a shopping mall in Tacoma, Washington, before being moved to a sanctuary. Author Katherine Applegate came across the story when it was featured in a New York Times article. “I still remember the headline,” says Applegate. “It read ‘a gorilla sulks in a Tacoma mall as his future is debated.’ And I was astounded that A, that there was a gorilla in a mall and B, that he’d been there for 27 years.” Adapting this story into a live- action feature is not without its complexities and balances. Director Thea Sharrock breaks down dealing with nuanced script, yet addressing all the technicalities required to make the story sail as smoothly as possible.
THEA SHARROCK:” I’ll say two things. One, shooting this movie was very much like simultaneously working on two movies at the same time because of the technical aspect. So, we started the whole process with the voice actor. The animators needed their voices to be laid down for the animation journey to begin. Then we shot all of our live-action stuff. Then, we shot the virtual aspects of the film (just animals in a scene together). Those scenes we often re- revisited, did them several times to get tiny, tiny nuances like changes in the actor’s voices or changes in their performances. In that sense the technicality of it was certainly unlike anything I’ve ever done before.”
There are also some very important, big issues captured within the (Katherine Applegate) book. I First read the book with my kids, who are were nine and 10 at the time and just absolutely loved it. They connected with it emotionally on a level that they really appreciated the journey these characters go on. I knew reading it as an adult and as a parent that I was appreciating something slightly different in certain aspects. We wanted to monitor the humor, always wanting to balance it, but not to be afraid of connecting with the emotionality of what is a really very powerful story.
Did you ever wonder what outfits these artists wear while recording, especially in quarantine? Angelina and Brooklynn get the award for this outfit for sure…
BROOKLYNN PRINCE: “When I saw her (Angelina Jolie) at the Critic’s Choice awards I was like, hey, we should wear elephant onesies in the recording room. I go home and I’m like Mamma, please buy me and Angie elephant onesies. And my mom was like, I am buying Angelina Jolie an elephant onesie to match my daughter.She comes in and she’s like, you got in it before me? She put it on and me and her have a selfie together wearing our elephant onesies. But in the end it got kind of hot, so we just tied it around our waists. Angie also bought me this stuffed animal with a little baby elephant and a big elephant holding each other trunks for Easter.”
ANGELINA JOLIE:” I think it’s safe to say we became like the elephant family.”
This is just a taste of what a hoot this conference was and the film will be when you get a chance to watch The One and Only Ivan when it drops on Disney Plus August 21st.