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Paul Newman on Cars

Published May 31, 2006 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Walt Disney Pictures
Cars- Doc Hudson Paul Newman is Doc Hudson
Screen legend Paul Newman lends his voice to Pixar’s latest animated masterpiece, Cars. As Doc Hudson, a ’51 Hornet, he teaches young hotshot Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) a thing or two about racing. With his own veteran status, Newman tries not to speculate too much on the pitfalls facing young Hollywood.

Paul Newman on Cars

“It’s a really complicated question, a whole different way movies are made, different kinds of pressures, different audience, a completely different audience,” Newman said. “I don't know, there are just too many components to answer that question fairly.”

When it comes to filmmaking, he knows what’s what. Although it was his first voice role, Newman found Pixar to be among the most consummate professionals and artists he’s worked with. “They have an extraordinary sense of detail, both in the creative and the technical. And they don’t get rushed which I think is critical. They have the luxury of control and they have the luxury of time. That gives us a terrific effect. Let alone the gifts that they have.”

Though Owen Wilson is his costar, the nature of animated film production has the actors work alone. The fact that they did one session together is an anomaly. “We worked together for a half a day,” Newman recalled. “[He’s] very spontaneous, he was inventive.”

In addition to acting, Newman is also a legend on the racing circuit, holding the Guinness World Record for the oldest driver to win a race. This gave him some clout as a racing advisor behind the scenes. “I helped a little bit I think on some of the racing techniques,” he said.

With all his acclaim, any performance by Paul Newman is sure to generate awards buzz, but as there is no category for voice actors at the Oscars, it is unlikely this time around. Newman does not mind if the Academy does not single out voice performances. “It’s too late for me to make a difference.”

With such a versatile body of work, it’s hard to know when we’re seeing the real Paul Newman, but he says Cars may be it. “The 51 Hornet’s pretty close,” he joked, knowing that his wife disagreed. “Joanne says Mr. Bridge. I deny that. There’s always little parts of you that you drop on the floor but I wouldn’t say that any one character came close.”

At 81, Newman keeps saying each film may be his last, but even now he is developing another potential swan song. “I don’t seem to be living up to my timetable. I may have one more movie in me. I’m not sure what it’s going to be now. Redford and I are working on something but it’s not by any means a slam dunk. We’re working on the script right now.”

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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