Last week, I had the chance to see Finding Dory, which swims into theaters on June 17th. You’re going to love this movie so much because not only does it feature beloved characters you know from Finding Nemo, there are also new characters that you will love too! I had the chance to interview Kaitlin Olson, who voices Destiny, a whale shark!
You probably know Kaitlin from her role in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as Dee but she’s also such a wonderful voice actor in Finding Dory. Kaitlin shared with some of her experience about working with Pixar on Finding Dory.
Being a Mom and Working with Pixar
Kaitlin has two kids and she told us how they saw the movie at the premiere with her. She shared, “They loved it. My little one was scared, he said, I didn’t like the scary squid. I was like, I’ll give you that, there was a scary squid. My oldest one loved the scary squid, he loved it. He thought it (Finding Dory) was really funny and sweet.“
We also asked Kaitlin if her kids liked her to speak whale and she laughed saying, “I try not to speak whale as often as possible because I had to do it so much! And they haven’t asked, I’m sure they will someday!”
When asked why was it important for Kaitlin to take on the role and what attracted her to it, she shared, “I think Pixar movies are amazing, they really truly are my favorite kids’ movies, Wall-E, Toy Story all of them, they’re just amazing movies, they’re sweet, they have good messages. Honestly, when I found out about the project before I even found out what kind of character it was going it be, instantly I was like yeah-yeah-yeah yeah-yeah-yeah anything yes. I’m on a show that’s for adults, you know, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is not something we let our children watch.”
“I was really excited to do a kids’ movie. You know, I had at the time I had one baby and I was pregnant with my second one, so it has been four years, now that little one is four and he came to the premiere last night, I know it was pretty cool. I wanted to do something they, they could watch.”
Kaitlin was also asked if she had thought about Finding Dory being an iconic movie – her grand children will see it- and what does that mean to her.
“I seriously feel so incredibly honored to be a part of this movie for that, for that reason. It’s just a quality project. I believe in- I feel like I’m repeating myself, but all the Pixar movies, they really relate to adults and children. I’m really focused on movies and shows that you want to sit down and watch with your family, because that’s just where I am in my life now too. I remember going to the movie with my family, it was like kind of of a special thing for us. We didn’t go very often.
And sitting down together on Thursday nights to watch Cheers, you know what I mean. It’s important to me to find stuff and work on things where we can all kind of get excited and watch together. So I just feel just incredibly honored to be a part of it for that reason, I believe in Pixar’s model and I really love this movie and I think it’s going to be around for a while.”
Kaitlin also shared with us how she works hard at keeping a good work/life balance.
“My kids are one hundred percent my priority. I don’t take things that will take me away from them too much. I recently agreed to do this pilot called The Mick, it just got picked up on Fox, so I’ll be shooting that next year and luckily we’re mid season, so it’s just going to be twelve episodes this coming first season. I said I wanted to produce it so I could make sure that it was not only the vision that I wanted, but that I could also have a little bit of control over the schedule. I always want to be there for bedtime, there are times when I miss it. It’s rare that I go a day without seeing them. If I do, I’m there in the morning, you know what I mean. I just do the best I can, like everybody is. You know, lot of working moms out there. And I have the luxury of being able to have them come to me after school and play in my trailer and I can’t always hang out with them, because I’m working, but at least they’re close and they feel like I’m not too far away.
The Character of Destiny
Kaitlin was asked what her favorite characteristics of Destiny were and she shared, “I like that she can’t swim well and that she’s imperfect, there’s just something so great about that. All of these characters, there’s something imperfect about all of them, in that they still are making it happen and- and helping each other out. That’s what I like about her most I think.”
I love the friendship between Destiny and Dory and Kaitlin was asked about how kids and adults can relate to it. Kaitlin shared, “Working together for one thing and that your family is really what you make of it. If you don’t have one, you can create one with good people around you, which is really amazing. The just keep swimming thing is a wonderful thing for everybody to keep in mind. You know, nobody has a perfect life, nobody is, is perfect, and that’s okay.
I’m specifically dealing with that with one of my sons who’s just a perfectionist. And he gets so so so upset, I mean even the Legos will fall apart and it really is the end of the world, and he feels personally like he is a terrible person. That’s like a theme of his whole life and I’ve been trying to tell him for a long time, like nobody is perfect I promise and he does not believe me, he really thinks he’s supposed to be. So that’s, that’s a message in this movie that really resonates for me personally- it’s you don’t have to be perfect. There’s no such thing.”
Being in the Recording Booth
Kaitlin spends most of her scenes with Bailey, who is voiced by Ty Burrell. She shared that she “got to work twice with Ty, which was the most fun. Ty is truly the sweetest, kindest, funniest, most generous person. He’s amazing, I loved working with him. The back and forth with him is so fun.
A lot of people don’t like to work like that, a lot of people like to work alone. I’m much more of an actor’s actor, we improvise a lot on my show, it’s just kind of what I’m used to and it was great for me to be able to work with him, we come up with a lot of cool stuff that way.”
When asked how long she worked on Finding Dory, Kaitlin told us, “I probably did eight or nine sessions over four years. But each of them are a four or five hour session, maybe more. It was great, because you go in and you have this great fun day and then you have like a month off and then they send you a new script and it’s different and things have changed and the character is changed and you get to go back in and do it again.
The truth is Andrew Stanton is a really wonderful director. It’s no secret- surprise that my favorite Pixar movies are ones that he’s worked on, I just like his sensibility. He’s wonderful with actors. He’s great at giving direction in a way that helps you figure out how you want to do it differently, you know what I mean. So they were just really fun sessions and I’ve done some voice over before where the people reading the other lines are just kind of reading them, and they’re actually acting them out with you so you do feel like you’re working with other actors which was really nice too.”
Kaitlin also laughed sharing that the script called for Destiny to be a bad swimmer and “they really wanted me to like sound wobbly like I was having a hard time swimming so they got me this weird balance board thing that he wanted me to stand on. The problem is, guys, I have such great balance that I just was faking being off balance. It was just it was so weird, we tried a whole session like that and I was like, guys, can I just try standing here and doing this? We got rid of the balance board.”
Humor in Life
Kaitlin laughed when talking about humor in her life. “It’s number one. Well patience is number one and then humor. It’s, it’s huge. At the end of a hard day, it’s just been like, why couldn’t you have just laughed when he wrote on the wall, rather than you know what I mean. I think it’s of utmost, the utmost importance. It’s a huge part of my life. Our set and our Mick set will be filled with people who are kind to each other and funny, because we’re all putting in all these hours and having a gigantic long day.
You don’t want to hang out with people who are filled with drama and entitlement issues and it’s just- we’re making TV shows and movies. I mean it’s important to me but it’s not that important. As long as I can be a total goofball and they think I’m a goofy idiot, I’m perfectly happy with that.”
Disclosure: Disney provided an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles including travel, accommodations and activities. All thoughts and opinions are my own.