Thank you to Universal Pictures for hosting a press trip to Los Angeles, and for the opportunity to interview Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Pharrell Williams for the film Despicable Me 3.
Despicable Me 3 is without a doubt my favorite Despicable Me since the first film. Not only is the film hilariously funny, but the soundtrack created by Pharrell Williams is the best yet. In the latest film to join the Despicable franchise, we take a closer look at Gru's family, the discovery of Gru's lost twin brother Dru, and the truths behind parenting and the difficult decisions we have to make for the love of family, decisions every mother and father in the audience will relate to.
And, if you happen to be a mother of twins or multiples like we are, you'll find bonus humor in how Gru and Dru interact with each other on a daily basis. The writer's perfectly portrayed stereotypical twins with having Gru and Dru finishing each other's sentences, capturing their unfailingly inseparable behavior, sometimes unemotional ‘I love you's' at bedtime, and so much more!
Get the scoop on Universal Pictures latest film with our Despicable Me 3 cast interviews featuring Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Pharrell Williams below, and say “Aloha” to the Minions. Despicable Me 3 hits theaters June 30th. Get tickets now: unvrs.al/DM3-Tix
Despicable Me 3 Breakfast with Duff Goldman
To kick off the Despicable Me 3 press event our family was invited to join Duff Goldman and some of our favorite Minions for breakfast at The Tuck Room Tavern in LA, where Duff served the most delicious banana pancakes we've ever had. But the VIP dish, or dishes, that stole the show was the amazing Bounty Minions cake and the adorable Minions cupcakes Duff created for event sponsor Bounty. Additional event sponsors include Yummy Spoonfuls and Kellogg’s.
Despicable Me 3 Cast Interviews – Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Pharrell Williams
Q: Do you get any input as to stories? When they approach you guys to do another film, do they kind of come in, “What do you think for your characters,” and things like that?
Kristen Wiig: No, but only because they do such a great job writing the scripts and they've got such amazing writers and animators. We're happy to just do a trust fall into these films because we're in such good handsSteve Carell: But if they are having a problem, if they're–especially like character arcs and things like that, they will–you know, they will come to us and say, “What do you think?” “Would you”–?
Steve Carell: But if they are having a problem, especially like character arcs and things like that, they will come to us and say, “What do you think?” “Would you”–?n the first one, when they initially pitched the whole idea and they had all of the artwork for the characters, Gru looked extremely different. He was very angular faced, very, very sinister looking, and then they decided to back off of that and make him a little
In the first one, when they initially pitched the whole idea and they had all of the artwork for the characters, Gru looked extremely different. He was very angular faced, very, very sinister looking, and then they decided to back off of that and make him a little funnier looking. I weighed in and I said, “Now I think you've gone too far to the other side,” because there does need to be a sinister quality to him while at the same time be kind of funny.
What they ended up with was something sort of in between, something that you could laugh at but also that is kind–a little bit spooky but won't totally scare the kids. I agree with the creators that kids like to kind of push the boundaries there. I think they like a little danger.
Q: Steve, you voice Dru and Gru. Did you draw on any experience with your own sibling relationships when you were thinking about changing up between the two characters? And which was your favorite to voice?
Steve Carell: Dru was fun to do because I hadn't done it before. It was fun to just come up with a different voice that was similar to Gru's voice but not exactly the same. I differentiated or tried to, more in their demeanor than an accent. I think Gru is kind of a grouch, and Dru is really effervescent and silly.
My siblings are five, seven, and nine years older, so there wasn't really any sibling in close proximity age wise. But, in terms of best friends and that fun that you have on walkie-talkies at night, I definitely related to that. I thought about a child who has never had that, and not to get too heavy or deep with the character, but, this guy has never had that kind of relationship, certainly not a sibling relationship. I think you would yearn for that if you had never experienced it, especially if it was then offered to you.
Q: How did you like the voiceover process?
Kristen Wiig: We just read. It is very different, though. It's nice to have someone else to act against and respond to and talk to. It's like a different muscle, and I wish that we could record together. We actually don't ever record together. We're sort of in small cold booths by ourselves.
Steve Carell: They're so collaborative, and they encourage us to play around and improvise and try different things. There's really none of these lofty expectations. There's really no pressure. It's just let's explore and see if we can find something funny, and make the sentimental moments not treacly, and something that resembles humanity.
They're really good about the writing there too. When some moments are more sincere, they don't push them too hard and they don't try to elicit a response. They're just part of the storyline.
Q: The best part for me was the music. Is there a memory that you have listening to this type of music to you guys?
Kristen Wiig: Oh, yes. For me, those were my first records I bought, my first tapes. MTV was huge, music videos, and it influenced so much fashion, which when you're a young girl, is everything for me and for you as well.
Q: Pharrell, you have some amazing hits with all three movies. What attracted you to the franchise.
Pharrell Williams: Just the opportunity to work on something new and different, and to be a part of something much bigger than I could ever be. That's amazing. Working with this team of people, a comprehensive team of people, hundreds of people who are all working on, you know, this film that's an hour and a half long or whatever it is.
It doesn't have to work out, but when it does, it's like this is great. I'm just happy to be a punctuation in that sentence.
Q: In terms of the creative process, you write a lot of the songs, particularly Fun, Fun, Fun. Can you tell us about the creative process? Is this you on your own? Do you collaborate? What's the creative process like for you when you write your music?
Pharrell Williams: Yes, I did it on my own. I think more than anything else, it's about zoning out and making sure that anything that I'm contributing is going to add to the vision of the director, 'cause when you're working on an animation film they need no distractions.
If the color is off and you're watching it and you start asking questions, then it doesn't work. Everything has to be acutely executed and has to go along with the intention of what the director wants because there's an emotional flow. When you're meant to feel down, you're meant to feel down. When you're meant to feel up, you're meant to feel up. No matter how good you think a song is, if it is a disruption from what the director wants, they're not going to use it.
Q: My question is about Yellow Light; love it. What is your message in the song? It has a lot of catchy phrases, and Yellow Light has a bigger meaning than just yellow light. Can you tell us about that?
Pharrell Williams: It does. It does have a deeper meaning, but I want other people to have that same experience of discovery that you did. So, I won't go into it, but your notion is correct. All of you haven't told me what you think it means. That's what it means. You would only know if you had asked the question.
That was one of the things that I really like about working on this, it allows me to hide things in there and build songs that are not just songs, but they're these curious treasure chests. There's a treasure in it if you go looking. If not, it's just a song. But you found it.
Q: What was the most challenging part about putting this soundtrack together? We know you're not new to this series, so I just wanted to know what was the challenge this time around?
Pharrell Williams: I don't think that there was a challenge. It was just a lot of fun. Each seeming problem was really not a problem. It was more just like another challenge.
Q: Well, what was the most fun?
Pharrell Williams: Playing music that was a little bit radical in comparison to what we've done before, just like Despicable Me 2 was different than Despicable Me 1. Being allowed to continue to do different things as long as it fit the parameter was so much fun.
Q: What would you like kids to learn from seeing the movie? What's one lesson you'd like for kids to learn from seeing the movie?
Steve Carell: To me, the whole series is about the power of love and family. I think that just underpins everything. This family has grown exponentially over the three films in different ways, the children, the spouse and the marriage, and now the siblings. I hope that resonates with kids. There are all sorts of little life lessons woven through it, in terms of telling your kids sometimes this isn't the way it is, and sometimes they just have to hear the truth, but sometimes the truth is actually better than what your fantasy might have been.
In very gentle ways, I think the filmmakers are able to infuse the movie with stuff like that. It's not a sexy way to sell a movie, infusing it with life lessons. But, ultimately it's funny.
About Despicable Me 3
After Gru is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother—a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps—one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.
Say “Aloha” to the Minions. Despicable Me 3 hits theaters June 30th. Get tickets now: unvrs.al/DM3-Tix
Portions of this material for this Despicable Me 3 cast interviews event have been provided courtesy of Universal Pictures