Jayma Mays and Hank Azaria Video Interview SMURFS

     July 4, 2011

Jayma Mays and Hank Azaria Interview SMURFS slice

A few weeks ago, I attended a Smurfs movie presentation at Sony Studios in Culver City, California. While there I got to watch a number of clips (some were in 3D) and I watched an interesting and informative behind the scenes presentation by Sony Pictures Imageworks visual effects producer Lydia Bottegoni, visual effects supervisor Rich Hoover, director Raja Gosnell and producer Jordan Kerner.  They explained the challenges of bringing Smurfs to the big screen and the technical hurdles they had to overcome.  While I love learning about new movie technology, I know most of you just want to know about the footage.  My quick answer is kids are going to love the movie and I thought the 3D looked great.

Shortly after the presentation ended, we went to a small conference room and we were able to conduct a small roundtable interview with director Raja Gosnell & producer Jordan Kerner (watch it here) and then we spoke to Jayma Mays and Hank Azaria. Mays plays Neil Patrick Harris’s wife and Azaria plays Gargamel.  During the interview, they each talked about bringing their characters to life, the improv, the challenges of working with characters that will be added in post production, filming in New York City, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Jayma Mays and Hank Azaria

  • 0:10 – Azaria discusses how he goes about “blending into” characters and his approach to voicing Gargamel
  • 1:25 – Did he base the character of Gargamel on any actual person in his life
  • 2:20 – How often does he discover a new voice
  • 3:15 – Does he match the physicality with the voice even when doing voice acting like on The Simpsons
  • 4:30 – How many takes did the two of them typically do when shooting the film
  • 5:40 – How is Mays’ character in the film different from other characters she has played
  • 7:30 – Was there any improv used when shooting the film
  • 9:55 – How big of a role did the original Smurfs series play in their pop-culture experiences
  • 11:35 – Were they apprehensive about doing the film
  • 12:45 – How much collaboration was there between actor/filmmaker in informing the characters
  • 13:40 – What is Azaria looking for in other work
  • 14:35 – He discusses original Gargamel voice actor, Paul Winchell
  • 15:15 – Do kids from this generation ever recognize him for his voice work
  • 15:50 – He discusses shooting scenes with Azrael
  • 17:00 – Mays talks about working with Neil Patrick Harris
  • 19:30 – How much of the final cut of the film have they seen
  • 19:40 – What about the film do they think will be most appealing to younger audiences
  • 21:05 – Azaria discusses how he was inspired by Jack Lemmon
  • 21:45 – Azaria does his “Comic Book Guy” voice from The Simpsons


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