Cars 3 races into theaters this Friday, June 16th and you’re definitely going to want to see it! I’ve had the chance to watch it twice now and can’t wait to bring my kids this weekend. I had the fun opportunity a few days ago to interview Owen Wilson, Kerry Washington, Armie Hammer and Cristela Alonzo where we talked all about Cars 3 and more!
Getting Involved with Cars 3
We asked all of them how they got involved with Cars 3 and Owen Wilson shared with us how he first got involved with the Cars franchise, “Well, I met John Lasseter, who was sitting next to me. He had a dinner and he was telling me about this sort of idea, and I didn’t think necessarily anything would come of it. I didn’t know who he was or anything, and then it all sort of fell together and now I have this little guy.“
Cristela Alonza who plays Cruz Ramirez shared with us, “I’ll tell you that I actually got a call. I was on my way to do a stand up tour in Canada, and I got a call from my agent asking me if I wanted to go to Pixar. They didn’t tell me anything. They’re just like, do you want to go to Pixar? I’m like, well that’s a random question, but yes. They flew me up to Pixar. I had no idea I was being considered for anything. I didn’t know anything until I got there, and then they made me sign papers and I’m like what am I doing?
And it wasn’t until they gave me a tour and then they sat me down in an office and broke down this Cruz character, and immediately I thought wait a minute, this is a job interview, like I would have dressed up better for you. I mean, I’m wearing my target best, but still, you know, who, what where, right guys? So you know, so I became involved with it and I working with the film in November of 2015.
I had no idea, and honestly I’m glad no one told me because I would have been very nervous. So it allowed me the chance to be myself and not have any time to work on fake me. And I ended up getting it, and it was, I mean, who ever thinks that you’re ever gonna be part of the Pixar world. I mean, it’s incredible.“
Laughing, Kerry Washington said, “I got a call much, much later. There was a role to play, like a super know it all, bossy pants character, super arrogant, so would I be willing to go way against type. I said yeah and honestly, I’ve been a fan of this franchise from a long time, and just was honored to be a part of it and excited to do something that my kids could watch.“
Armie Hammer shared, “I wish I had a really good story. They called me, they said do you want to be in the movie? And I was like yup. I really wish I could find a twist or like an angle in there, but it was really that easy.” Owen Wilson commented, “You were kidnapped, brought to Pixar!“.
Keeping At Your Dreams
Cristela Alonzo shared with us, “I will tell you that the Cruz character started out as a boy, and they decided to make it into a female, a girl car. And John Lasseter actually came into the sound booth when I was recording one day, and I thanked him for giving me the opportunity to be part of a Pixar movie. I started telling him how I just never thought I was going to be a possibility, you know.
It’s like so many people tell you, especially in the kind of hood that I grew up with, they always tell you that you can’t do anything, you know. Everybody in the neighborhood is very quick to knock you down a peg. So John Lasseter took that story and actually ran with it. So there’s a speech where I get upset at Lightning, and one of the lines is dream small, he told me. And that was actually a line that I told Lasseter about my family. My family always told me to dream small, and it was that thing were they told me to dream small because they didn’t want my heart broken.
So, you know, it was that thing where they always said you can’t have big dreams because big dreams don’t happen for people like us. So it’s that story where that speech and these stories that I started telling Pixar evolved into Cruz. So it’s that thing where I try to bring that part of me into Cruz, and I think that that’s when they realized that a lot of the heart of the story came from that.”
Kerry Washington Talks Prioritizing and Using Your Voice
When asked what she learned from voicing the role of Natalie Certain, Kerry shared, “This is probably gonna seem like a stretch, because it’s such a supporting character, but one of the things it’s made me think a lot about is sort of this disposable society that we live in, because Natalie Certain is so sure that Storm in going to win, because of the numbers, you know. She’s just so sure, and she’s certain that you can kind of discount everybody else because of the hot, new thing is the way to go. And I think we have to be really careful about that as a society, not just in our business but in general.
I heard a story recently, it’s so random, but I heard a story recently about how Rutgers University paid more money than they’d ever paid to any visiting adjust speaker person ever the year that Snooki came to teach. There’s no judgment on that, but she’s a reality star and that was the same year that Maya Angelou spoke at their commencement. It just made me realize that we can sometimes prioritize hot and new more than we prioritize wise and creative. And as a society, we need to be careful about that. Again, no judgment about her.”
Kerry also shared about bringing her daughter to see Cars 3, “We talk a lot about like owning your voice and having a voice and kids can be literal, so when we went to see the movie, my daughter said, that car has your voice. That’s weird. She should have her own voice.“
I’m a huge Scandal fan so while I’m sad that this coming season is the last season, we asked Kerry what were her plans after Scandal was over. She shared, “I’m really excited about going into our last season. A lot of times in our business, you don’t know when the jobs are going to stop, so it’s an honor to go into these last, I think we’re doing 18, knowing like we can give it our all and say good-bye to our fans in a loving and respectful way.
After last year when I did the film Confirmation for HBO – I produced and starred in that film – I started a production company, so we have lots of projects set up at different studios both for television and film. Some of them I’m not in and some of them I’m in. It’s called Simpson Street, which is the name of the street my mom grew up on in the Bronx.”
Who’s Your Mentor?
Throughout Cars 3, there’s a lot of scenes sharing the mentor/mentee relationship between Lightning McQueen and Doc Hudson. The cast was asked who their mentors are, either personally or professionally. Kerry Washington shared first saying, “Well, to be in the movie, we’ve all agreed to say that Owen is our mentor.” Armie Hammer chimed in with, “That’s was a requirement for being in the movie.”
They had some great banter back and forth as Cristela said, “Everyday I wake up in my bedroom and I see every movie poster Owen done.” and Armie said, “He sent them to all of us. Signed, your mentor.“
In all seriousness, Cristela shared, “My mentor is my mother, who passed away years ago, and my drama teachers in school. I went to public high school in a very small town, and these teachers saw something in me. I will tell you my high school was 99 percent Mexican, and we used to do plays. My freshman year, we did the Diary of Anne Frank, all Mexicans. It was so weird because we didn’t think it was weird.
We just did the show and I think that doing something like that actually taught me that you couldn’t limit yourself into doing things, you know. We wanted to do the Diary of Anne Frank, and we did it, because realistically how many plays do you have for Latinos? Hamilton wasn’t around back then, you know. I had a teacher in college tell me that, as a Latina, I could do West Side Story and Chorus Line, and I did West Side Story and I did Chorus Line, and then I thought, well, I guess I have to retire from theater. You know what I mean?
I don’t even think my teachers realized what a great lesson they were giving me by telling me yeah, you can actually do a play about the holocaust and be in it, and actually do it. And I think that’s something, without them even knowing, in such a subtle way taught me so much.“
Armie Hammer Goes on a Road Trip
Since Cars 3 is all about well, CARS, Armie Hammer shared with us a little bit about a recent road trip he did driving down Route 66. He said, “I do it a lot. I love a good road trip. It’s really hard to pick, there’s something so magical in like the American South West. It’s like one of the least densely populated places on earth. You can end up in just like the most remote out of nowhere areas where nothing has changed since Route 66 was the main artery and thoroughfare of the region. So, you can end up in motels where it’s like honestly, the bed probably hasn’t been changed in 50 years, you know, which seems pretty gross, kind of like that.
But if you think about it as I’m really like bumping up and rubbing up against history and bed bugs, then it’s really wonderful. I love a good road trip ’cause you just get on the road, you put it on cruise control, and you just go. You listen to music. You listen to podcasts. You listen to nothing. You just look around. Camping also, Cibola National Forest is a great place to camp.”
Above photos taken by MomStart.com.
Cars 3 in Theaters June 16th
Cars 3 races into theaters THIS Friday, June 16th! You’ll want to bring the whole family because I know that kids – and adults – of all ages will love it.
Thank you so much to Disney and Pixar for bringing me to Anaheim for this fun event!