You may recognize the face of Kyle MacLachlan, from shows like “Twin Peaks,” or “Sex and The City.” Or maybe you recognize him from “Desperate Housewives” or most recently “Agents of Shield.” Now you can recognize his voice too as he is the voice talent behind “Dad” in the new Disney/Pixar movie “Inside Out.” Recently, I along with 24 other bloggers had the opportunity talk to Kyle MacLachlan about being a dad both on and off the screen as well as the special joys and challenges of being the voice in an animated movie.
Mr. MacLachlan was greeted with a round of applause. All of us were big fans for one reason or another, and in many cases more than one so it was really exciting to be able to talk to him about being a dad, both to his 7 year old son and to “Riley” his 11 year old “daughter” in “Inside Out.”
We first discussed some of the challenges of doing vocal acting, as it’s different from his prior acting experience. One advantage that stood out to me was there’s no hair and make up and costume and wardrobe to deal with. But the challenge can be there is nothing but you, the microphone and well . . .your imagination. The scene is verbally set for the actor but then he would have to decide how exactly his voice and tone should be to convey the emotions of the Dad as he is for example dealing with Riley or with the financial burdens of moving and starting his own company.
After more discussions about the movie we had a chance to talk to him about being a parent of a 7 year old boy and what his son thinks about his latest movie.
What is Kyle MacLachlan’s son’s favorite scene? Has he seen the movie yet? (This interview was on the day of the premiere)
No, he’s seen a few of the trailers, like the Dinner scene. He loved the Dinner Scene. He says, the foot is down, the foot. He loves that part.
For myself and my family, both my current family and while I was growing up the dinner scene is just so true, so real. I wondered how real was it for Kyle?
That moment is so perfect in so many ways because it’s recognizable for everybody. It’s universal whether it happens to be the Dad or the Mom but it’s funny that it’s the Dad. But on a deeper level, you realize he is probably had like a crazy busy day where his brain is totally fried and he just wants to come home and sit down and sort of not think for a little bit and he chooses the wrong time to go into his fog.
How does Kyle deal with those kind of days?
It’s challenging especially when you have little ones. You know, you really need to be present with them. I try to be present with my son as much as possible, without being sort of intrusive. You kind of want to draw them out and I think you have to be up for wherever that little brain decides to go. Oftentimes, it’ll be bedtime, I’ll be sitting down and we’ll be just sort of reading a book, tucking him in. He’s getting all his animals around him, and he’ll just pop out with something and I was like I’m tired. But, OK, hold on a second. You want them to feel A, that they can talk to you about stuff, and B, that if they have any kind of weird stuff that they’re holding onto that you know, you cam make it a little bit better.
Has being a Dad shaped the way he takes on new roles?
Definitely I think, it’s added another dimension of consideration, you know. How is this going to affect my family both in my being around or not being around and also just, is it something that I’m comfortable putting out there? Do I want to carry whatever remnants of that work environment back home with me? I’m not one of those people that sort of does that, clings to stuff, that needs to be engaged in the part 24/7. That said, certain scenes require that when you get to work that everything else kind of disappears and you really stay in that focus for the run of that scene. And then when the scene is over, you can drop it. I like to just drop it all away, just let it go.
He shares his son has said something like, “Oh Dad, I didn’t even know you were gone.” But, I just hate being away from him.
See him be the Dad to Riley in “Inside Out” now playing in theaters!
Disclosure: This interview was part of a press junket, sponsored by Disney Studios. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.