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John C. Reilly Interview: Ralph Breaks the Internet

John C. Reilly is a prolific actor and comedian who has appeared in a wide range of films, including The Aviator, Step Brothers, and Kong: Skull Island. He reprises the title role of Wreck-It Ralph in its sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet. In the movie, Ralph and Vanellope need to keep Vanellope’s game Sugar Rush from being scrapped. The two travel into the Internet to find a rare replacement part that can fix her game.

Screen Rant: You look great man.

John C. Reilly: Thank you.

Screen Rant: Since we last saw Ralph, he was wrecking things. What has he been up to since?

John C. Reilly: Well, he continues to wreck things, that is his day job wrecking stuff. He also makes a lot of mistakes. He's a good-hearted guy who means well.  But he often gets things wrong. And in this movie, it's the extension of their friendship. In the first movie he was lucky enough to find a friend for the first time in his life. Leading this very lonely and misunderstood life as a bad guy. And then he made this friend, Vanellope, played by Sarah Silverman. And so, we find him like six years later and they're deep into their friendship. They spend all their time together, like best friends do.  But then some things start to happen. Like Vanellope starts to like wonder what life would be like outside of this little family that she's in. Like many kids do as they grow up and they want to kind of expand and spread their wings. And that is one of the central conflicts of our movie, is like Ralph's desire to hold onto the friendship. And Vanellope’s need to become a more mature person or move onto the next chapter of her life.

Screen Rant: At some point in our lives, I feel we identify with Ralph at some points and also Vanellope. What did you identify within Ralph in this film specifically?

John C. Reilly: Well, what I identified with Ralph. I mean, it's similar to the first film, but what I identify with him is his sort of fallibility as a human being.  I think cartoons in particular, really tend to either, what do you call it? Cartoons attempt to sort of present an idealized version of things. And Ralph is a very flawed character.  He gets really wrongheaded ideas and he goes-- Like this thing, he tries to trick her into wanting to stay in her game, and he means well, but it's a stupid trick that he plays. So, I related to that. Of like being someone who means well but makes mistakes sometimes. And ultimately, what he's doing, he's doing because he loves his friend.  I had a lot of compassion for the character in the same way.

Screen Rant: You and Sarah have great chemistry. And six years ago, you did too. Is it any different coming back six years later? And did you guys record together?

John C. Reilly: Yeah, we recorded all of our stuff together. That was something we made a pact with each other on the first movie. A lot of animated films are made where people were coming to record separately, alone. And that just sounded like a really uncollaborative, lonely way to do this work. And I also think it's very fruitful to be in the same room as the other person because you can generate ideas and improv things together. What was it like getting back together with a gang was like, I mean, these things take a long time.  So, this job, the first movie, and now this movie, this is the longest I've ever been employed by one employer, ever, in my whole life. So, because of the span of time that we're all together, you get really close to people and you form these friendships and a shared sense of humor about things. And so, when we came back to do this one, I just felt really lucky to see my friends again. Then also, to continue the storyline of these great characters.

Screen Rant: Now, switching gears for a second, talking about great comedic chemistry. You have that with Will Ferrell as well, and Holmes & Watson is coming up soon.  Talk to me about that film and just the chemistry that you guys have just rejoining.

John C. Reilly: I'd be happy to talk to you about it at the junket for Holmes & Watson, which I'll be probably sitting in the exact same kind of chair across from you talking about them. But I know today we're really trying to focus on Ralph Breaks the Internet. I understand that there's a big anticipation for that movie, but I'm happy to talk about it at another time.

Screen Rant: Fair enough, fair enough.

John C. Reilly: We only have five minutes.

Screen Rant: I know. This movie is great. It is. I'm a huge Disney fan. There's a lot of Easter eggs in here. Did you find any Easter eggs that you loved in this film?

John C. Reilly Actual Easter eggs? No. I haven't seen the film yet. No, I'm seeing it for the first time tonight at the premiere, or tomorrow night at the premiere. I've seen little sections and obviously I made the movie with everyone, so I know what happens, but in terms of the little visual surprises and the inside jokes about the Internet, I'm as excited as everyone else out there to see what's, what's in the movie.

Screen Rant: Great. Thank you so much John. It's a great film.

John C. Reilly: Thank you.

More: Read Screen Rant's Ralph Breaks the Internet Review

Key Release Dates
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet/Wreck-It Ralph 2 (2018) release date: Nov 21, 2018
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