Janeane Garofalo brings her funny sarcasm to most of her movie roles. Such an attitude is perfectly suited to play a French woman. In Ratatouille, Garofalo provides the voice of Collette, the only woman in a French kitchen. All of her sarcasm comes with a French accent, which was new to the comedienne.
Janeane Garofalo Talks Ratatouille
"I've never done a French accent before," she said. "It was difficult to not feel that I was doing it badly. I had a CD of a French Gentleman speaking English and I would listen to it in the rental car on the way to the studio in LA and just try and do what he did. But I was never certain I was doing a good job so that was difficult to sort of do lines without doubting or being embarrassed by what I was doing."
Hollywood is a male dominated place too, and especially the technical world. Garofalo never felt like an outcast in the recording studio, because it was just her and director Brad Birdd. "It was just me and Brad, so it wasn't like I was surrounded by the Pixar geniuses of techies at the time. I was just in a studio cubicle with Brad telling me what to do. So I did not have the experience of interacting with the men and women who created this art who are head and shoulders above me technological speaking. I would have no way to know or ever hope to learn what they know computer-wise."
Though she improvises in many of her movies, Garofalo stuck to the script in Ratatouille. "There's people animating the dialogue as you're doing it so it would be rude to change it and then have 'Hey guys, that word you spent eight hours on, she didn't say it.' So no. It wouldn't have been polite to improvise too much."
Many actors have lucrative side jobs in voice acting, but Garofalo only does it occasionally when asked. "There are some people that REALLY are the masters of the business. They are voice over artists that you would recognize their voice immediately but you don't know their name or whatever, whose income is enormous. Voice over after voice over, whatever the Rolodex is that they do, and they have a voiceover agent. No, not at all. I occasionally get these opportunities but no, I'm not known as a voiceover person or I don't have a voiceover agent per se and stuff like that."