Plus why he comes up with alt lines of dialogue before stepping on set.
With director Tim Story’s adaptation of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon Tom and Jerry now playing in select theaters and available on HBO Max, I recently got to speak with Michael Peña about making the live-action/animated hybrid movie. During the interview, Peña talked about why Tim Story had puppeteers on set, how much fun he had being in a movie with Tom and Jerry, what he learned about improvising while making Observe and Report and what his character is up to now, how he comes up with alt versions of dialogue before stepping on set, and a lot more.
If you haven’t seen the trailers, Tom and Jerry are now in New York City and their long-time rivalry is reignited when Jerry secretly movies into one of New York City’s most luxurious hotels on the eve of a huge wedding between a very famous couple (Colin Jost and Pallavi Sharda). In an attempt to get rid of the hotel’s mouse problem, the manager (Rob Delaney) asks his event manager (Peña) and his newest employee (Chloë Grace Moretz) to find a way to deal with the situation which includes hiring Tom. Of course, the ensuing cat and mouse battle threatens to destroy the wedding, everyone’s careers, and possibly the hotel itself. Ken Jeong plays the hotel Chef.
Check out what Michael Peña had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.
- What does he think Dennis from Observe and Report is doing right now?
- When he’s hired on a project like Tom and Jerry how much freedom does he feel to improvise and how much does he want to stick to the script?
- How he gets ready for a role.
- How he prepares alt versions of his dialogue before he arrives on set.
- How on Observe and Report he learned that if you make alt jokes they have to help move the story or it will end up on the cutting room floor.
- How much fun he had being in a movie with Tom and Jerry.
- How Tim Story had puppeteers on set to help with the performances with the animated characters.
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