Self-expression, to me, is something that you worked on, that you have mastered a skill to say something in the most artful way that you can. It's not just blurting stuff out and having verbal diarrhea.
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But when you are doing an animated voice, it has to have more energy than usual or it falls flat and doesn't work. For myself, I found that I had to put myself in the same physical or emotional state as Sid, in order to make that voice sound alive and authentic. So if there was a scene in which he was running, I would be running beforehand to sound out of breath. That's important because the audience can tell intuitively if it does not sound real.
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We see them [animals] as the Ice Age is ending and we know that actually in the long run, they're not going to make it. And there's something beautiful about that, beautifully sad. The way the characters are woven together in the film adds to the emotion because they need each other. The message is that it doesn't matter what species you are, you can still love each other and that is a fantastic message.
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I did 40 voices for Chris Wedge, the director of the first film, before coming up with the version we used. He was hard to please, I don't know why. I gave him really slow talking voices. then I thought perhaps Sid could be an Indian sounding sloth. To find out more about my character, I watched footage of sloths. I discovered that the food they store in their pouches rots and ferments and half the time they're drunk.
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I don't think it's my responsibility, but I definitely try to create my own projects that are Latin-based with a Latin crew and Latin cast. I try to give all my characters Latin names whenever I can and make sure that they are of Latin heritage. But that does not work with every project.
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Well I was about to be expelled from school, I had been arrested and a teacher said: "Why don't you try acting, instead of distracting the class? Why don't you use your comic talent for something more productive?" My maths teacher suggested I do comedy and I decided to have a go. I pursued it after that. I was about 17.
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Voices come to me but to maintain them is hard work. They go away just as easily, so I have to remember them and that takes work. With Sid, I needed to make sure you could understand what he is saying, his enunciation. Sometimes I couldn't even say my own name [his name] in his voice. It sounds like 'Shid', it sounds a bit like he has a lisp.
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t is for me because I needed to do this. I really think actors shouldn't act unless they really need it in their lives. I think it has to be something that is so much a part of your chemistry, such a passion, that you can't live without it. You should not do it just because you are seeking fame or want to get rich.
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