I had the chance to sit down and chat with the actor, Eugene Levy, who plays the voice of Dory’s Dad, Charlie, in Finding Dory. This was certainly a “different” kind of Dad role for Eugene Levy who we all know from his hilarious fatherhood role in the classic comedy, American Pie.
Thoughts on viewing Finding Dory for the First Time
Eugene shared his experience on seeing the movie during the premiere for the very first time.
“Last night when I saw the movie I think what impressed me the most was number one just the brilliance of the entire project and how beautifully the animation is.
What a great, fantastic job they did! Just when you think you’ve got a handle on where the story’s going and then it just kind of opens up and then it opens up some more and just when you think you’re bringing it home it’s opening up some more and then it gets into such an adventure of it’s like an action. It turns into an action movie at some point and it’s so incredibly real. That animation is so brilliant!
I looked at a shot of the ocean at one point maybe just before, you know, Destiny hops into it and I'm looking at the ocean going I wonder, did they actually shoot the ocean? That’s the real ocean because you’re seeing a million actual white caps and waves? And they said no, that was all animated. It’s just incredible animation but that was the thing, the story just keeps going and going and going and just picks up energy and picks up pace and wow, you get caught up in it.”
On Dory’s Dad’s Parenting Style and Helping Children with Disabilities
Q : I really like the parenting that Dory’s parents used in the film. Do you think that kind of has a way to get extra hope or extra advice or support to parents who have children with disabilities?
“Well, I mean I hope so but I mean I really think that parents who that do have kids with disabilities I think they, I think by in large they kind of know, you know, what they have to do and how to do it because it takes an incredible amount of patience and perseverance. I know a couple of friends who have kind of autistic kids and I know how much energy it actually takes to get through a day or even part of a day.
If you’re not at all familiar with that you would have no idea how much energy and perseverance and patience that it takes. I think parents that have kids that have any kind of impairment are doing the job, you know. If they pick up anything, you know, from this movie then that would be a wonderful thing.”
On Dory’s Dad’s Parenting Style vs. his American Pie role
We chatted about how Charlie, Dory’s Dad is so affirmative and positive about her disability with short term memory loss. Eugene shared his thoughts on the various Dad roles he’s played including the FAMOUS American Pie role.
“Well it’s, it’s all, it’s always great to play a parent who is that supportive and, you know, kind of life affirming. It was a different story slightly in American Pie where, you know, you have a discovery like I did walking into my kitchen and then thinking as the parent instead of okay, we’ve gotta do something about this, taking it upon himself thinking it must be something I’ve done or not done as a parent.
One of the great things again about how this was written is because this dad always tries to be funny, to lighten the load sort of speak and not make it quite so heavy and not make it quite so scary for Dory.
So it’s almost like you want, you’re hoping this kind of positive feedback that you’re just putting out there might actually help trigger something that you know probably won’t happen but maybe you get enough positive vibe out there and things will start to happen with Dory and of course it does because she does manage to figure out how to, you know, navigate very difficult situations.”
Finding Dory Movie Trailer
FINDING DORY swims into theaters everywhere on June 17th!
Note: Disney covered my travel expenses to LA for the Finding Dory Red Carpet event and Disney press junket. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.