In this interview, we sit down and chat with Ryan Potter (voice of “Hiro Hamada”) and Scott Adsit (voice of “Baymax”), becoming a part of the Disney legacy, meeting the rest of the cast, and finding the famous “Baymax” voice. Follow #BigHero6 for more interviews and behind the scenes information celebrating this great movie's upcoming release Nov. 7th, 2014.
Interview: Big Hero 6 Actors Ryan Potter and Scott Adsit
Q: Are you guys ready for the windfall of little kids coming up to you and saying “Do the Baymax voice!”. And the parents coming up to you saying “Can you do the voices? My kid loves your movie!”, and being part of the Disney legacy?
Scott Adsit: I don't know if I'm ready for it, but I'm looking forward to it. I see, just in the few screenings we've had, I've seen kids come up to me and they're just beaming, and that makes me feel great. A friend of mine does the voice of Spongebob, Tom Kenny, and I've seen him be on the phone for an hour with kids doing various voices. He looked more joyful than they did. If that happens I'll be very happy.
Ryan Potter: It's interesting, because I am so very much in that same position, where I go up to people and I'm a huge fan. The cast that I get to work with, I'm a huge stand-up fan, and a huge comedy fan in general, so sitting next to Scott, working with Damon, working with TJ, working with Maya, it's hard to hold a conversation with them because I just want to scream “I love you. I am such a big fan.”, so I know where these kids are coming from. I'm going to be ready for it, because I'm going to just love seeing these kids come up to me and go, “You're Hiro right?”, and I'm gonna go “Yeah,” but then they don't know what else to say. They're like, “Yeah, um, OK cool, bye!” They have so many questions in their head they don't know what to ask you know, and that's the same thing as when I come here.
I'm a huge Babe fan. I have no idea what I'm going to say to James Cromwell. I'm gonna go “C-c-c-can you do the line, that'll do, that'll do pig. Please.” You know, then after that I'm probably not going to say another word to him. [Laughter]
Q: Since you guys didn't record together what's your experience been getting to know the rest of the cast?
Ryan Potter: We didn't miss a beat. I get it- like it sounds kinda corny to say, but we've been-working with each other for a year and- a year a half and when I first met Scott, I was like, “Baymax?” “Hiro?” It was like, like it- there was no awkward…
Scott Adsit: We were walking in to see the completed film.
Ryan Potter: Yeah. Last week.
Scott Adsit: Yeah. That's when we met. But, but we feel like we've been together, as I said, like in a, theater company for a year.
Q : Did you see any of the rest of the cast?
Scott Adsit: Yeah, John Lasseter had a very nice dinner and cocktail party screening, here in this building.
Ryan Potter: It was the first one they did.
Scott Adsit: Yeah. The cast and some of the crew, about two hours after they completed the film.
Ryan Potter: Yeah. It was the final product and we saw it two hours after they completed it.
Q : How was everyone's reaction to see everything tied together?
Scott Adsit: Well, it's so much grander than anything we saw in our heads when we were recording. That's the thing – there's so much going on that we just never even imagined. I mean we knew what was happening in each scene. We knew what the relationships and all that, but all the bells and whistles and the tiny, bits of acting that the animators did for the characters, it enhanced what we did so much. And, each character is really an ensemble piece, of animators and lighting and effects and voice.
Ryan Potter: I mean to put it into perspective what the creators helped create visually in our heads when we were recording was nothing like the thirty second teaser that they released of the trolley car going down the city. But that teaser did- no where close to what you see in the film. You see how massive the city is. And they built everything from the ground up. They built the city.
Scott Adsit: There are five thousand people in that…
Ryan Potter: Yeah.
Scott Adsit: That first shot over San Fransokyo.
Ryan Potter: And you can't even see half of that, you know? It's like, Scott said, it's way- grander than anything we'd imagined. And that's kind of the-the scale that you can see. What was in our head, a thirty second teaser? Maybe even the trailer will go in between the actual film. We're excited to see if it goes from that to something else.
Q: One thing about the animation process is that when it starts there's a lot of build-up and tear-down. Did you hear about what Hiro and Baymax were in the early stages and how they changed?
Scott Adsit: I don't think their relationship changed that much. I think it became more central as the process went on and became more of the heart of the film. I think originally it was part of the film, but I think the focus was more on the superhero team, and it's formation and all that. And, I think after they started recording and restory-ing everything, we took more of a center stage.
Ryan Potter: Yeah. And they changed the relationships of certain characters around. And when they did it made the story that much more impactful. I wish I could tell you what it is, maybe John will say it one day, but, uh…
Scott Adsit: You talking about Maya?
Ryan Potter: Yeah. Maya's character. And the way they changed her relationship to Hiro, it makes Baymax's relationship that much more important to Hiro and Hiro's relationship to Baymax that much more important when they lose Tadashi; when, when Baymax loses Tadashi you know.
You have to realize, Hiro lost his older brother, but Baymax lost his creator. That's something that you don’t really think about, but like you know, if Baymax were to have a full range of emotions, I'm sure, it hit hard for him too.
Q : That’s why it seems so important when he says he's still here.
Ryan Potter: Absolutely.
Q : How surreal has it been to see the characters in toys and theme parks and stuff?
Ryan Potter: I mean you asking that question is surreal. Like using the word surreal. It's all very surreal. Like I spent my first birthday at Tokyo Disneyland. I'm a Disney fan. My favorite Disney film is Treasure Planet, who the executive producer of that, the creator, is Roy Conli and he worked on Big Hero 6. It comes full circle for me and it's very surreal.
Scott Adsit: And I have in my life collected action figures and had- have them displayed and stuff…
Ryan Potter: Oh yeah.
Scott Adsit: In my twenties.
Ryan Potter: Okay.
Scott Adsit: But I still have them all. And I'm still very much interested and I still buy them. So to then pick up one that speaks with my voice, that’s something- I made in my basement. But then I know that other people are playing with it and that's weird.
Q : Scott, I wanted to ask you about finding your Baymax voice, because it's very specific, and you have to walk that line of not being so robotic. So how did you go about doing that?
Scott Adsit: I started when I went in to the audition after reading the script a little bit, it's all very secretive, in fact, if I'm tangent here for a second, I got a tour of the animation studio just a couple of week ago with my girlfriend and they were showing some clips they were rendering, and suddenly everything stops and “No, no. He can't see that.”, of the film I'm in. I'm one of the central characters of the film and I'm not allowed to see part of the film. So they keep it very close to the chest.
So, I went in with the idea that he had to be very benign because he's a caregiver, and un-threatening, and user-friendly. The first thing I thought of was automated phone systems and the fact they're friendly but there's something a little off about them. So that's where I started, the idea of kind of filling in the blank when there's a variable in a sentence, and that kind of stuck from the audition on. To tell you the truth, I thought I would be doing some kind of robot voice because he has this armor, and I knew that that was coming.
Preparing for the audition I thought I better have a robot voice whatever, I didn't know exactly what they wanted but then I walked into the room, and they had a design photo up on the wall, it was him in his white form and I just said oh, this I can do. I don't have to fake it.
Q : Do you connect right away to your voice in the animation or is it more like hearing your voice on a tape recording?
Scott Adsit: It's weird because it seems like when my voice will come out in the middle of a Disney feature, and I'll go like, oh Scott, get out of there, you're ruining this. But everyone else seems to like it, so I just shut up.
Ryan Potter: Yeah the first time I saw the film, watching the first fifteen minutes of it was very surreal and strange. I was like, my voice doesn't sound like a Disney voice. That shouldn't be coming out of that kid. And I was like, I was being very critical of myself, but then within about fifteen minutes into the film, you hear the other voices and it's – I don’t think it's your traditional voice casted.
Every single character has a very interesting voice. And they all come together very nicely and they all blend together very nicely. You know, Hiro and Tadashi have very deep voices for, for their age. And this robot has a voice that you've never heard before. You know it's not, “Hello, I am Baymax.” It's what Scott has lent to this character.
About Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6 is directed by Chris Williams and Don Hall, produced by Roy Conli, and features the talent of Ryan Potter (voice of “Hiro Hamada”), Scott Adsit (voice of “Baymax”), Damon Wayans Jr. (voice of “Wasabi”), T.J. Miller (voice of “Fred”), Genesis Rodriguez (voice of “Honey Lemon”), Jamie Chung (voice of “Go Go Tomago”). Big Hero 6 opens in theaters everywhere Nov. 7th, 2014.