Ratatouille Premiere - Patton Oswalt and John Ratzenberger
Well, I had been a
When they said you were going to be voicing a rat, did you immediately say yes?
Patton Oswalt: "Oh man, if they had wanted me to be a cockroach on a corpse, I was working with Brad Bird at Pixar – that was the yes. That was the two yeses. It didn't matter what I was playing. It didn't matter if I had one line. I just wanted to be in a Brad Bird film."
And the fact that it was a food-oriented film?
Patton Oswalt: "Well, that certainly helped. That definitely helped because I'm a big foodie."
Did it increase your interest in food?
Patton Oswalt: "Well, I had been a foodie for a few years before I got [the part]. That helped me get the part because I knew all these chefs and kind of how it worked. But the more reading I did about a lot of it, especially Thomas Keller and people like that, that got me even deeper into the world."
How tough was it to voice the parts where you have to be all physical and all over the place?
Patton Oswalt: "It was as tough as if you were actually doing a physical movie. It was as exhausting; it was as crazy. You know, Brad Bird would shove me. He would yank on my arms. He would dump water on me. It was nuts. It was really nuts."
So, are you the good luck charm? That's what they always call you.
John Ratzenberger: "You know, if they're calling me the good luck charm, who am I to say no? Who am I to say, 'Nah.' Thank you."
What is it about Pixar?
John Ratzenberger: "I can tell you exactly what it is about Pixar. You know, when they joined forces with Disney, that's the day Walt Disney stopped spinning in his grave because the artists are back in charge. They surround themselves with really good business people, but they're artists first, and everybody recognizes that."
When you first did a voice for Pixar back on their first movie, did you anticipate how far animation would come to Ratatouille? Just the look of the animation that they're able to capture?
John Ratzenberger: "No. I knew that they had a great passion for what they did. After Toy Story 1 I realized they're trying to outdo themselves. Then I realized they are their own competition. That's why they're so good. They don't think about, 'What's that company doing and maybe we should do something similar?' Everybody else does that to Pixar. They know Pixar's going to be doing a movie about whatever it is – toys – and everybody rushes around, 'Oh, we've got to make a toy movie.' But Pixar is so far ahead of the pack because they are their own competition."
How do you find the voices for these films? I know that this one I had to wait until the credits to see who you played because I didn't know it was you.
John Ratzenberger: "Oh, great! Well, you know they said… Kind of like on Cheers, a week before the show started the director said, 'And by the way, use a Boston accent.' So I had to. 'Okay.' Same thing with this. I showed up and, 'John, you're a waiter and use a French accent.' And so that's what you do."
Are you going to be in their next one, Wall-E?
John Ratzenberger: "They've talked about it, yeah. I don't know."
You'd never say no to a Pixar movie, would you?
John Ratzenberger: "I'd do the shrubbery for them. Trim the roses..."