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John Leguizamo on Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Published June 29, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
John Leguizamo likes to transform himself into other characters. His one man shows often feature him in multiple roles. When he plays Sid the Sloth in the Ice Age movies, it’s another immersive performance. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was easy to return to.

John Leguizamo Talks Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

“It’s harder to get out of character than it is for me to be into character,” Leguizamo said. “I end up talking like thish for about a week. I realize, oh shoot, I’m still [lisping]. I even hear myself right now sounding like that. So that’s what happens for me.”

Sid finds the dinosaurs of the titles, babies who hatch from eggs he finds. “The whole thing is pretty tricky. This one, I was a single mom, representing single moms. Two jobs, three kids, T-rexes are like teenagers, so it was trying to find that vulnerability. I guess it’s easier being alone in that room. I don't know about everyone’s vulnerability, it’s kind of embarrassing to be that soft, whatever. But it was cool to go that far. It’s always really hard to make that voice really pop on screen so it feels alive, so when you’re getting hit and choked and all that, to get yourself really in that physically agitated state so that it really doesn’t get flat.”

The third film joins the 3D revolution, and Leguizamo marveled at seeing Sid come out of the screen. “[They] did some good stuff too because some 3D movies don’t even pay attention that it’s a 3D movie. There was a lot of stuff that looked like it was shot like it was coming towards the screen and played up to the 3D that made it really exciting.”

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

By his third one, Leguizamo is used to the process of recording voices for animation. “I think doing one-man shows, you’re used to being alone and having to create the whole thing by yourself made it a lot easier. At first it was kind of shocking. You’re like, so where’s Ray, where’s Denis? Are they late? They said no, they’re not coming. So I said, so where’s the film? Then there’s no film, there’s just this script that you’ve got to make come to life. Then you start to go wait, maybe this is kind of fun. I don’t have to be worried about being embarrassed. I could be here in my underwear. They wouldn’t even care. You just have a great time.”

Leguizamo also knows what to look for on screen to see the subtle impact of his contributions. “You see little gestures. You recognize little bits that you know you did when you said the line, but the rest of it, you’re not really watching yourself so it’s hard to tell.”

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs opens to theaters on July 1st.

For the posters, trailers and more movie info, go to the Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of 20th Century Fox

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