Behind the Scenes: Zac Efron on voicing an animated character

The Lorax hits theaters on March 2 and after our sit down with Zac Efron, we got the inside scoop on his thoughts about voicing his 1st animated character for a film. It was interesting to get his perspective on what it was like lending his voice to a 12 year old animated boy searching for a Truffula Tree in the movie The Lorax, based on Dr. Seuss’s classic story. If anyone could make that adventure sound manly, Zac sure can!

If you haven’t caught the trailer for The Lorax – check it out here too:

Here’s us ladies hanging out with handsome Zac.

On being in the recording studio:

Blogger: Did you have to be alone in the animation studio? How do you get yourself psyched up when you do the voice over?

Zac Efron: You would usually film really early in the morning, and my voice is not my best. So, normally, we’d sit around for about a half hour and drink green tea while my voice recouped. Then, we’d get going, and I’d raise it two octaves. It was very fun, yes.

On working with Taylor Swift:

Blogger: Did you work with Taylor Swift at all or hear her lines before?

Zac Efron: Sort of, not really. That’s not the way it works. We didn’t get to hear each other’s performances that much. But, the further you go and the more recording gets done, the more they’re willing to show you. Animation starts to progress. You get more stills. So, you start to really get a feel for what’s going on.

And I remember I heard Taylor’s voice and they showed me what her voice is going sound like in the movie. And it’s angelic. It’s soothing. She has an incredible speaking voice.

On the challenges of voice recording:

Blogger: What did you find to be the most challenging doing an animated voice?

Zac Efron: Challenging? It was fun. I think the hardest part about it, and it’s just like anything else, is you’ve just got to let go. You’ve got to be free.

And the first two days I did it, you’re self conscious. There’s a camera in your face. You know you look like an idiot. You’re saying ridiculous lines and making big hand gestures. Someone’s going to see this footage.

Once you let go and commit and just be free and have fun, that’s when the real spontaneity and improvisation comes out, and it just turns into one of the most fun things in the world. So, just letting go, forget where you are.

On what Zac Efron wore to work for recording sessions: 

Blogger: Did you ever show up in your PJs or anything?

Zac Efron: Oh, yes. I think you guys have a bunch of pictures of me.

Blogger: Just one. You just have a t-shirt on.

Zac Efron: Yes, I definitely came straight from bed.

Blogger: We don’t know what you have on.

Zac Efron: See, look at her when she does it.

Blogger: All dolled up.

On the time commitment of recording:

Blogger: How many hours a day were you in there doing your lines? Just the mornings like you mentioned, or was it all day?

Zac Efron: Most of the time, it was in the morning. We’d do anywhere from an hour to three and a half, four hour sessions. Yes.

On being environmentally aware:

Blogger: I just want to know if your involvement with the film made you more environmentally aware and if so, how?

Zac Efron: It did. I always have this feeling in the back of my mind that I’m never doing enough, you know? And it’s true. It’s like you can never do enough.

So, I was really searching for a way to get involved. What is the way I’m gonna jump in and how can I take charge and make a difference? And that was one of the best parts about this movie is I feel like, finally, I’m representing a cause. This is gonna plant those seeds out there. People are going to see this movie and maybe it’ll tip one or two people to become more green. And those are the small things that really count.

Other than that, I try and do the regulars. I try and conserve as much as I can, yes.

Disclosure: Thanks to Universal Pictures for paying for my travel expenses to attend the press junket for The Lorax – which hits theaters in 3D on March 2nd, 2012. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


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