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Larry the Cable Guy on Cars

Published May 30, 2006 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Walt Disney Pictures
Cars Larry the Cable Guy is Mater
Larry the Cable Guy’s voice is unmistakable in the animated film Cars. When Mater the tow truck starts drawling, you don’t even need to hear Larry’s catch phrases to know it’s him. But he still dropped them in there.

Larry the Cable Guy on Cars

“Dag gum, I think I got a git-r-done in there,” Larry said. “Dag gum was definitely something I brought to it. John Lasseter basically had this in his head. He knew what that tow truck looked like. He just had to find the voice to match what that was. When he heard my voice, he was like, ‘That’s the voice of that truck.’ So that’s how I got that, because he thought I sounded like the voice of this truck. But the truck itself was his brainchild. As far as certain phrases, yeah, I came up with certain phrases. Probably pulled it apart from other stuff.”

Cars director John Lassete encouraged Larry to change the dialogue to suit his persona. “I remember when I first started doing it, I did like the first five lines and I then I was starting to do another one, and I said, ‘John, can I do this line a little different because I just don’t feel comfortable the way they’ve got it written.’ And he said, ‘That’s what I want you to do. We love the voice. We want you to be this character so you do it how you want to. As long as you talk about the gist of what it’s talking about. I don’t care how you get there, just get there.’ That was a whole different thing. That’s when I started throwing stuff in and changing lines around. As long as I got where we were supposed to be, I could do that. That made it a lot more comfortable for me. The more I did it, the more I got comfortable in the studio.”

Some of Larry the Cable Guy’s stand-up routines approach the R-rated territory, but he found no difficulties toning it down for a kids’ movie. “I do different shows for different people. I can adapt to anything. It’s like Eddie Murphy. Eddie Murphy is all of a sudden is this big kids’ guy and I’m definitely not even close to anything he used to be as far as PG ratings are concerned.”

Used to playing to live crowds in stand-up, Larry turned Pixar’s directors into his audience in the studio. “It wasn’t that bad because John Lasseter is a real good guy. We got to be pretty good friends. He’s a big NASCAR fan. He was there and Joe Ranft, who passed away [last year], was there as well. I got to be good friends with him as well. It was just us three in the booth there, and Joe would read the line before mine, and then I’d read it, and John would laugh. It was fun, I just enjoyed it. I didn’t feel I was talking to a wall. I was getting into the part, laughing, and it was a lot of fun.”

Cars will be released to theatres on June 9th.

For the trailers, posters, promotional images, movie stills, Super Bowl spot, synopsis and additional movie info, go to the Cars Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Walt Disney Pictures

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