In “Mars Needs Moms”, Joan Cusack plays the mother of the rambunctious nine-year old Milo (Seth Green). Martians abduct her to steal her essence to raise their kids. Mindy Sterling acts as “The Supervisor”, the heartless Martian leader with an iron fist.
The two recently sat down to talk about their roles in Disney’s latest 3D animated adventure.
Q: Can you talk about motion capture? Whats the difference in the process and how you get ready for a character like this?
MINDY: I dont think you do anything any differently. You still have to act. You still have to portray the character. I didn’t think about doing anything different other than being really specific in your presentation.
JOAN: It’s almost simpler. You’re in a huge room and it’s all gray and there’s cameras everywhere. You have a camera on your head that’s taking pictures of your face with the dots and then you act out the scenes like a play. They do it all at once. It’s sort of experimental theater. There’s no props, no costumes, nothing. It’s just acting like there’s not other crew around. It’s really fun.
Q: You’re both so prolific with your theater work and so on, is it easier from a theater training?
MINDY: Everyone in it has a theater background.
JOAN: I was part of the Piven Theater Workshop, which is Jeremy Piven’s parents that were in Evanston. They came out of the sixties and had improv and stuff like that, but they had a children’s company. It was serendipitous and fortunate for me, which was great.
Q: What goes through your mind in regards to the character’s resemblance to you?
JOAN: It was kind of cool. This was really thought out as a story about going to Mars. The capturing of normal part was superfluous to what they really wanted to capture, which was this amazing world of Mars. I thought it was interesting.
MINDY: Mine was scary. But even more scary is that when you see it, you know it’s me (laughs). I can just look at it and go “Oh my god, those are my mannerisms”. It wasn’t animated. What we did was us. Every facial expression was me.
Our “Moms Needs Mars” coverage will continue through the weekend. Check back tomorrow as we continue our “Mars Needs Moms” interview with Joan Cusack and Mindy Sterling coinciding with the opening of the film on March 11 in theaters nationwide.
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