Following four installations of the Shrek franchise, the character of Puss in Boots has spun off into its own thing, starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, and many others. On Sunday, October 23, 2011 at the Fox Westwood Village in Los Angeles, California, Buzzine's Sharon Hinnendael caught up with Amy Sedaris, Antonio Banderas, Billy Bob Thornton, Salma Hayek, and producers Joe M. Aguilar and Latifa Ouaou on the red carpet to talk about the challenges of this film and the projects they're working on next!
Sharon Hinnendael: Can you tell us about your character, Jill?
Amy Sedaris: She’s about 8’2”; she has a fantastic husband – we love each other; and she likes barbecues and hairstyles.
SH: How did you become a part of this project?
AS: They called me and asked me, and they said Billy Bob (Thornton) would be my husband and that Puss in Boots was going to do his own film, and there was nothing not to want to do. And I love the Latino audience, and it’s always fun to have a different audience.
SH: Did you love wearing sweatpants to work on the film?
AS: I don’t wear sweatpants when I’m out because it’s just so awful, but yeah, it’s great being able to go to a booth and you don’t have to worry about that stuff. And being able to just take direction, and then when you see the movie, you can’t believe it because you don’t even remember recording.
SH: Did you have any horror moments with your voice going out or anything like that?
AS: When I first started doing voices, we went through several voices until we found one, and we went with one that was the least painful. [Laughs]
SH: What are you working on next?
AS: The Good Wife. I get to work opposite Alan Cummings, so I can’t wait.
Sharon Hinnendael: Can you tell us about your favorite part of filming Puss in Boots?
Antonio Banderas: My favorite part is just actually to have the opportunity to work with a character that was very well-conceived by a wonderful team of people behind us, but they don’t take so much credit. But I am part of a team, and I am very proud.
SH: Do you dance and stuff while you’re doing the voice?
AB: You should have seen me actually performing the character, because sometimes I went out of the microphone and they have to put me back near the microphone. Because the voice is the first thing that goes in the process of this movie, we can have as much freedom as you can have. You can do practically anything that you want – any idea that you come up with. So it’s about putting the voice, but at the same time to provide this character with a personality that is interesting, that is contradictory sometimes.
Billy Bob Thornton
Sharon Hinnendael: How did you become a part of this project?
Billy Bob Thornton: They just called me up and said, “Hey, do you want to be Jack in Puss in Boots?” I said, “Yeah, sure.”
SH: Do you have any pre-game rituals that you would do? Any sweatpants you would wear to go to set, or anything like that?
BBT: That’s only for baseball. I have a lot of superstitions when it comes to baseball, and right now my Cardinals are in the World Series, and I’m very nervous.
SH: Oh, you’re Cardinals? You just beat my Brewers.
BBT: The Brewers? Oh yeah. Sorry about that.
SH: Do you have any other projects coming up? Are you going to be producing or directing…?
BBT: I just directed for the first time in ten years. It had been since All the Pretty Horses. I just directed a movie called Jayne Mansfield’s Car, which stars Robert Duvall and myself, and Kevin Bacon, John Hurt, Ron White – some great people.
SH: Is that all done?
BBT: We’re in post-production right now, and I’ve got to say it felt good to be back in the saddle.
Sharon Hinnendael: How was it playing Kitty Softpaws?
Salma Hayek: It was great. This is harrowing. She’s strong, and as good with the sword and as good dancing as Puss in Boots, but I think she’s a little bit smarter.
Joe M. Aguilar & Latifa Ouaou
Sharon Hinnendael: What was it like producing this, as opposed to other movies you’ve done in the past?
Latifa Ouaou: It was fun!
Joe M. Aguilar: It was fun, yes. We had a great character that drove everything, and it was a blast.
SH: How did you pick Puss in Boots over all the other characters in Shrek to get his own movie?
LO: It seemed so easy because he’s so cute and he’s so beloved, and he’s also so mysterious. People want to know: Where did he get his boots?
SH: Are there any horror stories from the set? Any Strep Throat or anything that happened?
SH: How long was the process of doing the whole thing, and how excited are you that it’s finally…?
JMA: If you look at when we first started, which was many years – six years ago…
LO: Seven even. In 2004, Joe and I were starting to develop it.
SH: So it’s like your baby…
LO: Yes. We’re giving birth.
Paramount Pictures' 'Puss in Boots' is released on October 28, 2011.