Angry Birds Movie 2 is out in theaters now, critics and audience all agree, you will have a blast! I sat down with Rachel Bloom, who plays Silver and Jason Sudeikis, who plays Red to chat about their characters.
What is it that you want kids to walk away learning from this movie?
Rachel Bloom: I’m really proud to be playing a female character in S.T.E.M. [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math] I know how much, when you’re a kid and a little girl, you’re looking for other characters who remind you of yourself and what they’re doing and people you can look up to. And if there’s one little girl out there who sees my character and goes, ‘I’m going to be an engineer,’ and goes into that even in high school or in college, or just does it and it creates the love for it, then Oh man, you don’t have to pay me for the moon. I mean, obviously, you have to pay me [ room laughes], but that is so incredibly special, and that’s why I wanted you to do the movie.
I like that this movie is really about empathy and radical compassion. There is no straight-up villain in this movie. You understand eventually where everyone’s coming from. And I think that is how we should all live our lives. Everyone wants to be the hero of their story, and everyone’s afraid of abandonment, and everyone’s afraid of people rejecting them. And I think that even the angriest characters like Red, you go into his head and understand that his anger and not wanting the truce in his stubbornness doesn’t come from just wanting to be stubborn for stubborn sake. It comes from fear. And I think that’s really, it’s especially important to, encourage young boys and men to be open with their emotions and to not necessarily resort to just anger. That anger is coming from a place of fear of being hurt. And that’s okay.
Jason Sudeikis: Sometimes people’s positive attributes, even coming from a place of, like him wanting to be a hero, we would consider a positive thing and attribute and like, ‘oh yeah, be heroic,’ but it’s still coming from a place of like pain. So it’s like a little bit inauthentic. And then to be deprived of it. Yeah. It makes him angry and makes him scared. And then that fear fields it with anger.
So it’s nice to see these complex issues being, the medicine going down with the spoonful of sugar of all these jokes. It could just glaze over and be like, ‘okay, this is just a badass action movie.’ But, oh no, there’s something else going on in here. It’s nice because I think it washes over them and may get into the crevices, whether they realize it or not.
In the first movie, you start as the outside, and this one you start out as the hero. Does that make a difference in how you approach the character? Is it harder to be as funny as the hero rather than the angry bird?
JS: No. Cause there’s the opportunity to try to hold on to something. I mean there’s always a fine line between comedy and drama. I think it’s inherently funny to watch someone try to hold onto something that is leaving. A balloon is floating away, and you’re trying to hold onto the rope. If you hold on too tight, you’re going to burn your hands. Just to see the struggle, it can be equally as funny. So it was kind of nice because then I would get an opportunity to come into it completely differently and then get back to the anger as it goes. I mean, it’s in the name.
When you’re improving, do you have the script you’re reading and think ‘I could go off somewhere here’ or does it just naturally happen while recording?
RB: I find it’s a mix that you can read ahead and go, ‘oh, I could say a thing here.’ But sometimes it’s also, I mean they tell you in Improv ‘don’t think,’ and I think a lot of that comes from instinct, but sometimes I’ll plan some stuff.
JS: I think it’s both. A lot of times it’s just fast writing, and you see a thing, do your lines and then think ‘let me go back and that one again.’ But you can’t improvise too much cause in movies you can’t invent a new story. You can’t invent new characters. That costs money, especially even in the animator worlds, a bunch of money.
It always helps. It’s the only way I know how to do it is when the person’s there. So getting to hear people as you go through the process. First you say in the lines all by yourself, and then as people were recording, you’re getting to hear the back and forth and let’s say you were saying like with the speed dating [scene], but it allows you to be like, ‘oh, okay, they’re going that way.’ But you have to sort of know what note that they’re singing so that you can kind of harmonize with it, if I may indulge myself in the metaphor.
It’s about that connection. Sometimes it just needs to be in the tone of a voice versus the content and what they’re saying.
Do you guys ever get to read together so that you can do that too?
BOTH: No, not at all.
RB: When we did the speed dating scene, they played me his takes so I could understand what the rhythm was, and then I could play with that. It really is like being scene partner pen pals. That you’re communicating with each other months apart as if you’re in some sort of beautiful time travel.
We will leave you with a bit of wisdom about dealing with frenemies.
JS: You gotta keep leaning in. You gotta ask if someone closes the door on you to not to take it personally. Maybe know that they’re dealing with something and then maybe try to knock on the door a little bit later. A little softer and then a little louder.
RB: Eventually, with some people, and not in this movie, but you try to make your frenemies, I’m your friend. And then there are some people who just don’t want to be friends. And that has nothing to do with you. And at a certain point, if you try to be friends with someone who really doesn’t want to be your friend, it gets hurtful. So it’s okay to walk away and put up that boundary of saying, ‘I’m going to step away from this person just to protect myself’ because whatever’s happening, they don’t really want anything to do with this right now, and that’s okay.
JS: The old cliche of ‘there’s a lot of fish in the sea’ need not only apply to romantic relationships.
RB: A lot of birds in the air.
JS: Yeah, more on brand.
RB: A lot of birds being slingshotted through the air!