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Jon Heder Talks Surf's Up

Published June 5, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of WireImage.
Jon Heder Jon Heder
Jon Heder even does Hawaii like Napoleon Dynamite. Plaid shorts and a colored white shirt with brown rims doesn't seem like the normal beachwear, but who needs to be normal? He's one of the only characters in Surf's Up not playing a penguin anyway. He's a chicken. Surf's Up wasn't made like a normal cartoon either.

Jon Heder on Surf's Up


"I did one voice on another movie, Monster House and even then I’ve never done a normal voice over, because that was all motion capture," said Heder. "So, that was like shooting a film. Like, we had props and everything. And this was the closest because we had the little music stand with our dialogue and stuff, but it was kind of in a big open room. And I saw a lot of the footage. I mean, for me, I only have one scene that we did it with [everyone], a couple with Shia and then one with Zooey. It was kind of cool and different because it was interactive because we would actually wrestle and move around and that helped around."

Heder studied animation before becoming a movie star, so he was right in his element. "I’ve always been in love with animation. Getting involved with it this side, I never really expected it, but was definitely kind of jumping it like, ‘This is cool.’ I remember when they asked me to do this role, that’s one of the biggest reasons I took it, because I loved the character design and I loved how they were doing all the technology with the waves. The look of it looked really cool. And I was like, 'This looks like a really cool picture to get involved in,' but I’m still planning on getting involved with animation on the other spectrum, writing and directing and hopefully producing some day."


Don't worry, fans, he still likes live-action movies too. "It’s the whole process. I mean, shooting the film is really fun. The pre-production and of course you’re getting really excited when you read the script and then you shoot it and then you have a lot of time. And then it’s really just the waiting period. ‘All right, let’s see what happens when it comes out in theaters.’ And you want it to do well and you see the preview and you are excited. Whether or not it does well, I love seeing the finished product. I love having my own little private screening."

Since the message of Surf's Up is to never lose the joy in your craft, Heder is careful not to let financial success dictate his happiness. "I think if you have something that isn’t a hit, than you’re like, ‘I’ve got to try harder.’ It can be a combination of anything. But, still, to me it’s not so much about whether a movie is a hit or not, if you enjoyed your own performance or you buy it. Of course, at least I am thinking with most actors you are going to be critical of your own work. And you are watching it and you’re like, ‘Okay, I don't know if this is going to be a big hit or not.’ You want it to be, obviously you want success, but even with a successful film you are still critical of, ‘Okay, I can do this better’ or ‘Alright, I can see how I could have done a better job here.’"

Surf's Up opens to theatres on June 8th.

For the trailer, more posters and additional movie info, go to the Surf's Up Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.
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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of WireImage.
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