Anna Paquin is the voice of Ramsey in the new Disney animated film “The Good Dinosaur.” Ramsey, her father (Sam Elliott) and brother (A.J. Buckley), are a Tyrannosaurus rex family who are ranchers in the film’s alternate world where dinosaurs have evolved more than humans.
The film opened Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Paquin sat down for an interview to talk about the new film, her career and being a mom. Here are her answers to some of the questions. See if you can guess what she’s talking about.
ANNA PAQUIN: “It was already open when I got it.”
The actress is talking about the plastic dinosaur toy of Ramsey she’s carrying. Her response is to how much value the toy has lost being opened. She understands the worth of collectibles as she has 10 Rogue toys from her “X-Men” days stored away.
ANNA PAQUIN: “I did little bits and pieces. Quite a lot when I was in New York and mostly doing theater.”
She’s talking about doing voice work. Her other credits for animated TV shows, video games and films include “Phineas and Ferd,” “Steamboy” and “Mosaic.” She’s better known for more onscreen work from “The Piano” to “True Blood.”
ANNA PAQUIN: “I know this sort of bad-ass, Southern cowgirlie thing came from them listening to samples of ‘True Blood.’ ”
Director Peter Sohn selected her to be the voice of the dinosaur because of the similarities between the voice of Sookie Stackhouse she used in the cable series and what he wanted for Ramsey. Why she was selected is not as important as the fact she’s become part of the Pixar voice family. She and her husband, Stephen Moyer, have been trying to figure out a way to work with Pixar for years.
ANNA PAQUIN: “Small supporting parts are equally fleshed out and real and realized in a way that makes the audience want to see more.”
Her character is only in one segment of the movie, but the way she and Elliott and Buckley play the roles make them rootin,’ tootin’ fun. Paquin points out that such attention to detail for supporting cast members can make the difference between a live action movie working or not.
ANNA PAQUIN: “There was something kind of fun and ridiculous about it.”
Viewers saw the dark side of “True Blood,” but for cast and crew, there was a real absurdity factor to face with almost every line of dialogue. It was impossible not to laugh at conversations about the technicalities of how much you would have to be bitten/eaten by a werepanther to really turn into a werepanther. The laughter helped the cast and crew get through some very long and hard shooting schedules.
ANNA PAQUIN: “This is just pure joy.”
Getting to do the voice of the fun-loving dinosaur was a pleasure for the actress, because unlike so many of her heavier roles, she didn’t have to find a deep, dark place to play Ramsey.
ANNA PAQUIN: “I was not particularly looking for work.”
After making 80 episodes of “True Blood” over seven seasons, Paquin was ready to spend some time at home with her four children. Working on “The Good Dinosaur” was perfect because she could do the recording sessions when it best suited her schedule. The only downside was that she didn’t get to work in the recording session with the other actors.
ANNA PAQUIN: “We registered as Carl and Ellie Fredricksen.”
Paquin didn’t grow up seeing a lot of animated films and TV shows, so she was not a real fan. Despite her misgivings, her husband convinced her to go see “Up.” The movie moved her so much, the pair registered for their wedding under the name of the film’s central characters. Now Paquin sees the power and emotion that can come from an animated movie.