There are many wow-worthy qualities of Pixar films, but a big one is often their A+ voice casts and the animation studio’s upcoming film, Luca, looks to be no different. The movie puts the spotlight on two best friends, Luca and Alberto. They appear to be average boys having the summer of a lifetime in Italy – until they come in contact with water. When that happens, it’s revealed that Luca and Alberto are actually sea monsters able to transform into humans when on dry land. With the very first trailer for Luca dropping today, I got the opportunity to chat with director Enrico Casarosa and also the actor voicing the film’s title character, Jacob Tremblay.
Back in January, Casarosa noted that Luca draws inspiration from a connection he had when he was a kid. When he was about 11 or 12-years-old, a young and shy Casarosa had a best friend who he described as a bit of a troublemaker. So who’s Casarosa in the Luca equation? Is he Luca or Alberto? Here’s what he said:
“It’s definitely Luca. The protagonist is the closest thing to me. And Alberto, who is the other kid, is definitely the troublemaker. Actually, my best friend’s name is Alberto, so we left the name. It was such a wonderful friendship. We were close. We found each other around 11 or 12, right when you step [towards], ‘I need to kind of try and separate from the family a little bit,’ try to look for yourself. And he had complete freedom and he was passionate and he had a new thing every day, so it really helped me kind of get out of my comfort zone.”
In the movie, Luca is also mighty keen on traveling and embracing different cultures according to Tremblay:
“He really wants to explore the world and I can really relate to that, especially now. I really want to get back out there and just learn about different cultures, just like Luca. He really wants to go to this town in Italy and learn about their culture and become part of it.”
As for the rest of the ensemble, Casarosa took a moment to unveil his impressive line-up, beginning with the young star voicing Alberto Scorfano, Jack Dylan Grazer. As Casarosa put it, Grazer brings a natural confidence and vulnerability to the character who’s a free-spirited teen sea monster with unbridled enthusiasm for the human world. Then there’s Giulia, an “outsider, misfit girl” that Luca and Alberto meet in town. That role is filled by newcomer Emma Berman, an actor from San Francisco who’s said to bring a natural intensity to the part.
Casarosa also revealed the two very familiar names lending their voices to the roles of Luca’s parents, Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan playing Daniela and Lorenzo, respectively. As one might expect, Rudolph and Gaffigan did get the chance to improv a bit, but Casarosa also highlighted the depth and warmth they bring to the roles. He warned, “She’s a stern mother. She’s a difficult and very controlling mother, but there’s this other warmth to her that balances it.”
On top of that, the Luca supporting cast includes two Italian actors. Casarosa revealed who’s voicing the film’s villain and also Giulia’s father, Massimo:
“We found an Italian comedian as our villain. He’s a bully kid in town. His name is Saverio Raimondo. Massimo, the big fisherman, Marco Barricelli, who’s this theater actor and director who has this booming voice.”
Clearly there’s a lot to look forward to when Luca arrives this summer, but Tremblay noted one of the things he’s most excited for audiences to enjoy is the special connection between his character and Alberto:
“I think that the relationship between the boys is gonna bring back a lot of memories when people watch this and I’m hoping that when people watch this, they’ll be able to forget about COVID. But I mean, hopefully when this comes out, COVID would slow down. But right now, I think especially a lot of kids are really missing their friends and this movie is all about friendship.”
We’ll be able to experience that special bond between the two boys/sea monsters when Luca makes its way into theaters on June 18, 2021.
‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ hype is huge.
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