Izumi Hasegawa: Did any of you have a chance to record together, or did you all just meet today?
Jay Baruchel: We had a couple of times where we all got to work together, each of us different permutations of the three of us [America Ferrera and Gerard Butler]. It’s always more fun when you get to do it with others as opposed to just in isolation.
IH: Over how long of a period of time?
JB: Three years for me.
IH: When you watch the movie, do you see yourself and recognize your facial expressions and mannerisms?
JB: We’re all actors, so we’re pretty narcissistic, so I assume we’d see ourselves in everything. For me, I totally did. It’s like a real kind of symbiotic process because they record you and videotape you, and then animate accordingly. But then they bring you these sequences they put together and you have to tailor your acting to the sequences — so back and forth for three years. And then, at the end of it, you have a little cartoon version of you, which is pretty thrilling.
IH: One of the themes of this movie is the idea of getting to be who you are versus what everyone expects you to be or thinks you should grow up to be. How did you relate to that on a personal level? Sometimes it’s a tough choice to tell your family you’re going to be an actor.
JB: To me, the movie is kind of an analogy for any kind of artsy kid in high school — any kid that isn’t playing football or hockey or whatever. The point of the movie, to me, is all the things when you are young that you are taught are your failings or your inadequacies are ultimately what sets you apart and makes you kind of special, and that’s what Hiccup is. To me, the chicks are more alpha male than he is, and he’s forced to be in the back designing his own weapons. But by the end of it, he is the one that changes everything for them. It’s about finding your place and time, I think.
IH: What you would do if you had a dragon like this to do your bidding?
JB: Go to the storeroom, buy Coca-Cola… I don’t do much. It’s slim pickins in my life. I don’t aim so high, so the dragon would be lost on me, I think.
IH: Have you considered doing a live-action family-oriented movie?
JB: That sounds like a lot of fun.
IH: I know you’re Canadian…
JB: Stereotyping is part and parcel with every actor. I struggle with being Latino typecast all the fucking time. [Laughs]