Scottish born Craig Ferguson has been a staple of American television for decades. He first appeared on the ABC sitcom The Drew Carey Show for eight seasons and then became the host of CBS’s The Late Late Show for nine seasons. In How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, he reprises his role of Gobber, the village blacksmith and mentor to the young Vikings.
Screen Rant: Craig, wonderful job. It's been a long twelve years.
Craig Ferguson: Yes.
Screen Rant: But a fulfilling twelve years.
Craig Ferguson: Yeah. No, it's good. I feel like I'm in denial about this thing is ending. It's not ending. I know that everybody's saying it’s ending, but that’s just people talking.
Screen Rant: I'm going to use that as a quote. “It's not ending.” There's going to be a fourth one. Hear it from Craig Ferguson.
Craig Ferguson: Yeah, that’s right. I officially speak for everyone here.
Screen Rant: Exactly. First question, how has Gobber changed over the course of the series?
Craig Ferguson: Well, in the first movie, Gobber is a traditional Viking of the old school. He fears and despises dragons and they are enemies to be fought.
And over the course of listening to the young people and the new ideas that are coming in about dragons, he realizes that dragons are not creatures to be feared and destroyed. But rather to be welcomed and to be incorporated into a society which is more tolerant of dragons than it was initially. I think it's very nice that the lessons of this franchise come from the youth, not from the aged. I think that's good.
Screen Rant: I like that too. Yeah, that's a great, great point. One thing that's obviously changed in the last twelve years is the voice recording process. You told me a story earlier about how you and [Dean DeBlois] were in a booth together and now the technology's changed where you were, in Ireland, I believe?
Craig Ferguson: No, in Scotland, Glasgow.
Screen Rant: Scotland and he was in Burbank.
Craig Ferguson: Yeah. I mean, we can do it with the technology now. I don't think they have this facility in Ireland, but in Scotland that you can-- In Ireland it's still, you know, just a couple of sheep. But in Scotland, they have recording studios. So, I was there, and Dean was here in America and we did some of the work right then. Actually, I remember, one of the executives, and it wasn't Dean, but one of the executives in the voice recording said, “Excuse me, you're standing a little Scottish.” And I was like, “You see the first two f***ing movies?” [LAUGHTER] But I think maybe I was sounding a little Scottish cause I was in Scotland.
Screen Rant: I like it. Next question is, talk to me about Gobber’s influence on the maturation process of Hiccup.
Craig Ferguson: I think that Gobber would see himself as being a very important figure in Hiccup’s life. And I think Hiccup would agree to a point. I think that what Gobber provides for Hiccup is an unconditional enthusiasm and love, which is actually good parenting. And what Hiccup gets from Gobber is a sort of annoying, fussy, older person, which is, you know, what a good person appears like to someone they’re parenting.
Screen Rant: Can you talk to me about, some of your favorite Gobber moments throughout the course of this franchise? You told me a great one earlier about an ad lib you did, which I thought was brilliant.
Craig Ferguson: Well, in the second movie, I did an ad lib during a session with Dean. It was an argument. The scene was an argument between Stoick and his estranged wife Valka. And they were arguing, arguing. And Hiccup and Gobber, we're watching it. And I had a line that I had to turn Hiccup and say, “See, this is why I never married.” And I said my line. And then I added, “Oh, and uh, one other reason.” And then, we kind of giggled at it at the time. And then, Dean thought about it. And Dean ran with the idea and created a backstory for this old Viking, which was perhaps a little different than you would expect.
Screen Rant: Well, Craig, it's not over according to you.
Craig Ferguson: That's what I say. You know, everyone else says it's over. But I'm, no.
Screen Rant: Well, thank you so much. And it's been a great run. Thank you so much.
- How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) release date: Feb 22, 2019