Ginnifer Goodwin plays Judy Hopps in Zootropolis (AKA Zootopia) and she explains how she’s all about the teamwork – until she messes up Jason Bateman’s lines.
How did you get the role of Judy Hopps?
Mr Lassiter described Judy as a glass half full kind of bunny and I would definitely say I’m a glass half full kind of bunny. In fact when I was cast, I came in and I had a plethora of voices to offer and they explained that they cast me to bring me to this performance. And I think I understand what that means. Both Judy and I are fiercely optimistic, determined and ambitious, without that ambition being about hurting anyone else in the process. I’ve never believed that it takes stepping on anyone else to climb the ladder. I think it’s all about teamwork and so does Judy.
Judy ends up paired up with a fox. Does that test her optimism and can-do attitude?
Nick Wilde is a wily fox. Judy has come to Zootropolis equipped with some mace-like anti-fox spray that her family gave her. She believed before coming to Zootropolis that she didn’t have any preconceived notions about other animals. That she could see animals equally. She only took the spray to calm the fears of her bunny family. But she finds when she meets Nick that she naturally responds because of the way she was raised and jumps to the conclusion that Nick is sly and scamming. Unfortunately, that actually ends up being true! Nick is a con artist and Judy finds that very useful – she finds, using good old fashioned blackmail, that she can illicit his help in solving a mystery.
What was Jason like to work with?
Jason Bateman is the fine gentleman who plays Nick Wilde and it is such an honour to work with him. Though it’s difficult for me because I laugh so hard when we’re in the booth together that I mess up his takes and I feel fairly badly about that. But he’s a natural, genius comedian and has such a dry wit that I think really balances out how over-animated I am in general. We play off each other in a really good way – except when I mess up his takes.
Did you view this as a cop buddy drama when you read it?
Everyone keeps calling it a buddy comedy, I’m like, ‘It’s a bunny comedy!’ It’s a bunny buddy comedy. It’s really funny. I really have trouble and I think I waste a lot of everybody’s time laughing, because the script is really, really funny. And Jason’s hysterical and these characters together are a perfectly written comedic balance. But also there’s real heart and it makes me really genuinely emotional at times.
What was it like working with two directors?
Byron Howard and Rich Moore are dream directors – we just play and play and play. They’re very good at setting the scene for me and really staying on the playground with me. We just try different things every single take. They’re supportive, hilarious, cheerleaders. They’re more than directors because in the booth it’s them and the writer Jared Bush and me and we just all play together.
What will audiences enjoy about Zootropolis?
It is a comedy and it is action adventure and I cry when I read it – I think it definitely has that Disney heart and that hook. And there are so many layers of meaning that I see how a child will enjoy it but I’m positive that a lot of references for adults are going to go over their heads and mean a lot to the adults in the audience.
Zootropolis from Walt Disney Studios is released in the UK on 25 March 2016.
Loved the interview? Check out the Zootropolis voice cast B-roll, featuring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba…