Disney’s Big Hero 6 is now in theaters – and won the weekend box office over Chris Nolan’s new blockbuster tentpole, Interstellar. Aside from being the first joint animated venture from Disney/Marvel, and introducing a new star/cash-cow in inflatable robot Baymax, Big Hero 6 also features some strong and smart female heroes.
With Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Go Go Tamago (Jamie Chung) we got a brainy chemical genius and thrill-seeking speed demon, respectively, who come complete with their own unique superheroine abilities and catchphrases (“Woman up!”) to go along with their impressive mixes of brains and brawn.
We sat down with Rodriguez and Chung to talk about the experience of making their first animated film ever.
Screen Rant: At the risk of making a fool out of myself, I looked into this and I believe this is the first animated feature for both of you…Jamie, I know you did some animated games, but have either of you done a full-length movie before?
Jamie: Not a film. I did an animated show and we all got fired (laugh) so it wasn’t a great experience…
So we won’t count that.
But Genesis, this is your first.
Genesis: My first, yeah.
So what were your expectations doing this and what were the challenges of doing an animated film?
Genesis: Expectations, I knew this was going to be a special movie. Just the comic book feel of it was something brand new to Disney in terms of animation, and the struggles I guess were, you know, we worked all on our own. We didn’t get to work with the other characters. So it was a totally different experience for me. You just kind of have to go with the flow and try many different ways to be honest in the acting.
Jamie: It’s interesting, you know, the difference between doing an animation film and, you know, one that’s live action is that you make the choice to hold back, and in terms of animation, you have to just let it all go and not hold back. So ultimately it’s a lot more fun and you play with different variations, as Genesis said, and…it’s hard, though. It’s just as challenging, if not more.
Genesis: Definitely. I was exhausted by the end of the day.
Jamie: But the challenge is also you don’t get to see the animation as you’re recording, you know, and so the rewards are higher at the end when you finally get to see the final product.
Do they show you the character designs?
Genesis (gesturing behind her at concept art): Kind of like this, that’s all you kind of get. You don’t see your character moving and walking and talking, so you kind of have to imagine everything.
Your characters are super smart. Everyone in the Big Hero 6 is super-nerdy but they’re also very different. Talk about your two characters — Go Go’s a little more of an adrenaline junkie, she’s a little more physical, Honey Lemon’s a little more cerebral and has all that cool stuff in her purse…
Jamie: Yeah, you know, the great thing about this group is everyone is unique and what Go Go brings to the table is strength and action. You know, she’s kind of the first one to get the ball rolling and she’s the first one to stand up against the masked man.
Genesis: Yeah, and Honey is — her looks are deceiving because she’s so pink and she’s so accessorized that you don’t think she’s a brilliant chemist and she really is. She’s a little brain.
If you could have any of the gear or abilities of the other members, which ones would you have?
Genesis: I guess Hiro’s ability. He’s so creative and he’s the one who gets the whole gang going.
Jamie: Yeah…I mean, who doesn’t want to be Baymax? He’s just so lovable. And not only can he scan you and determine what you need, I think it’d be cool to take it even further, and like from a singular touch, like, heal you.
What’s coming up for both of you after this?
Genesis: I have Run All Night, it’s an action movie with Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, and I play Joel’s wife — very pregnant wife.
Jamie: I have Resident Advisors. That comes out in February.
Big Hero 6 is now playing in theaters everywhere.