Zootopia is on Bluray/DVD June 7th!
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet and interview some legendary and incredible talent! Like the time I interviewed Michael Douglas on his role in Ant-Man, that was definitely a top 5 moment! Well, add my exclusive interview with FLASH from Zootopia to the “incredible interview” list. Flash is definitely my favorite character in the film and a pleasure to interview. He was charming, thoughtful and yes girls, he’s as good looking in person as he is on screen!
When I walked into the studio to interview Flash, I had a major fan-girl moment. I mean, wouldn’t you? It was Flash, after-all!! He was sitting over in the interview chair being the mega-star he is, I couldn’t resist snapping a selfie with him in it. Before I began my interview with Flash, I was able to meet with Raymond Persi, voice of Flash.
Raymond, raised in the hills of California, has worked on The Simpsons, Wreck It Ralph, Frozen and the Short film Feast; to name a few. His most recent project was being a story artist for Disney’s Zootopia AND the voice of Flash. Here is some highlights from the Q&A with Raymond:
On Being An Artist To Doing Voice-over Work
Just to tell you how it happened for me, a lot of times when we are creating our rough versions of the films, we don’t really know who’s going to be cast yet. We don’t even know if characters are going to stay in the film, so they’ll bring in a lot of artists and other people from the studio into the recording room and do some scratch. You might be at your desk working and all of a sudden you are asked to be a gorilla and you got to do it. Now and then they like what the voice sounds like and they’ll stick in there. In my particular case, I got to be that little annoying brat Gene from Wreck It Ralph and then the Zombie. Then in Get a Horse I was another little annoying character – the horn, and a horse collar, I’m doing a couple little laughs here and there and what was fun was they got Walt Disney to do the voice.
Then for Frozen, one thing that was cool, was although I just had one little line in there, the guy talking – his wife calls after him and she says “faster Persi”, so they used my last name which was a fun little treat for me. For Feast I didn’t do any voice work in it, but my dogs did. I have four little Boston Terriers, so we brought them in, gave them food and we made them grunt so that we could use their little voices for the dog in Feast.
About this character [Flash] was when you’re asked to do a sloth, what’s your first instinct? You think I’m going to talk slowly, but Rich and Head of Story, Jim Reardon had a different idea. They wanted him to speak normally, but with a lot of pauses in between. I sat down and we recorded scratch for half an hour or so and then I guess my voice sounded stupid enough because they kept it in. During the rough version when we’re still working on the story we’ll do a lot work over the course of two years to get the story right. We’ll show it to everybody in the studio and have everybody critique it to really ask the tough questions to make sure that the movie’s going to be good.
On Preparing His Voice
Sometimes when you’re doing scratch, you’ve got to scream and stuff like that. So I’ll say, “Can we wait and put the screaming part’s at the end?” because otherwise you’ll lose your voice, like when you go to a rock concert and you leave and you don’t have a voice anymore. You always have to make sure you’ve got water because sometimes they can hear your mouth if your mouth gets dry. It’s weird because those mics pick up every little thing.
On A Stand Alone Flash Movie
You have to ask the directors about that one. I don’t know. I think even if you wanted to make a short, it would end up being a feature.
Family’s Reaction To Voicing Flash
For the first time, I think my mother understands what I do for a living. My nephews and my nieces, they like it, so that’s fun! What’s great, they’re really hyper, but when I go there, they want to walk really slowly so it’s a great game for me because then I don’t get tired.
It was a pleasure to speak with Raymond and meet the man behind Flash! But now, here is the moment you have all been waiting for! My EXCLUSIVE interview with Flash:
As some of you know, I have an extensive collection of “Selfies with Celebrities.” So of course, I had to add Flash (peace sign/ sloth lips) into that collection!