Get to know Will Arnett from Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Will Arnett is best known for his work as an actor and comedian, but what stands out about him are his memorable voice performances and dedication as a dad.
Most notably are his work in the television series Arrested Development, and the movies Blades of Glory, Hot Rod, RV, Jonah Hex, When in Rome, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies. He is the creator, co-writer, producer and star of the Netflix comedy series, Flaked. But if you ask Arnett’s two young sons, Archie, 10, and Abel, 8, about his crowning achievements they will point to their dad’s voice work in Ratatouille, Monsters vs. Aliens, Despicable Me, Batman in the Lego Movie franchise, and of course, his latest animated endeavor, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.
Currently, the 48-year-old, Canadian-born funny man is proudly front and center, starring in and producing Teen Titans Go! To the Movies an engaging, upbeat, humorous, and colorful feature from Warner Bros. Animation.
The much-anticipated action-packed movie, slated to be a summer family-friendly blockbuster, opened around the nation on Friday, July 27.
About Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
The Cartoon Network’s endearing superheroes are on the big screen for the first time, a fresh, gleefully clever, kid-appropriately crass and tongue-in-cheek play on the superhero genre, complete with rousing musical numbers. Their cutting-edge comedy makes this movie appealing to both children and their parents.
The plot centers on the fact that all of the superheroes out there are starring in their own movies these days – everyone but the Teen Titans. Their leader Robin is determined to remedy the situation, and to be seen as a star instead of a sidekick. If only they could get the hottest Hollywood film director to notice them.
With a few madcap ideas, a songs in their hearts, the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town, ready to pull off their Hollywood dreams. But when the group is radically misdirected by a serious Super-Villain Cyborg, and his maniacal plan to take over the Earth, things drastically go awry.
The playful and charming movie is delightful for both children and adults. It was directed by Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath, from a screenplay by Horvath and Michael Jelenic.
With a great deal of belly laughs and catchy musical numbers, the team finds their friendship and their fighting spirit failing, putting the very fate of the Teen Titans on the line. In all, the movie is a toe-tapping, time-traveling, road-tripping adventure that takes these hopeful heroes on quite a wild ride.
Watch the Teen Titans Go! To the Movies trailer
The message behind Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
The film’s motto: believe in yourself is certainly an important one. Other important take away messages from Teen Titans Go! To the Movies are that: ‘fame is never worth more than friends,’ to ‘never turn your back on your friends no matter the circumstances’ and that ‘you don’t need to be a superhero to be super – you just need to be true to yourself.’
The cast of Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Reprising their roles from the Teen Titans Go! television series, the colorful characters are voiced by Greg Cipes (TV’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Beast Boy; Scott Menville (TV’s Spider-Man) as Robin; Khary Payton (The Walking Dead) as Cyborg, Tara Strong (My Little Pony franchise) as Raven; and Hynden Walch (TV’s Adventure Time with Finn & Jake) as Starfire.
Also, lending their voices are Kristen Bell (Frozen) as the powerful Hollywood director Jade Wilson, and Arnett as the evil villain Slade.
Going Big With Will Arnett and Teen Titans Go! To The Movies!
A recent special screening inn Manhattan was hosted by The Moms SiriusXM Radio hosts Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein, who use social media and broadcast media platforms to highlight family-friendly movies and events, and underscore both the joys and challenges of motherhood, parenthood and family life.
Arnett took some time out from his busy work schedule and family time to chat about Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, his noteworthy film and television career, other voice characters, fatherhood, and more after watching a screening of his clever and engaging new movie.
My interview with Will Arnett from Teen Titans Go! To The Movies!
Will Arnett is a voice actor and a producer of this movie. How did he get involved in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies?
Will Arnett (WA): I was sitting in the kitchen and I do what most parents do, I sometimes hear some shows going on the background in the other room, and the sound of it might kind of drive you crazy. We’ve all been there before, for something that we’re not exactly liking the sound of. I am sure a lot of parents will be able to relate to this.
Debra Wallace (DW/Entertainment Correspondent) They definitely will.
WA: Right? Okay. So, then I heard some jokes and other stuff happening from the family room. And I go in to my two sons who are almost 8 and almost 10, and asked them, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘it’s Teen Titans Go’ on Cartoon Network, and I thought it was really funny. I loved it and I started watching more and more episodes myself and showing other adults. I’m saying, ‘You’ve got to watch this show.’ They’re asking, ‘on Cartoon Network?’
DW: So, are your children all of a sudden okay with the fact that you are watching their favorite show with them?
WA: Are you kidding? They’re psyched. So anyway, I got involved in the process of making this movie and I was asked if I wanted to do the voice of Slade, whose kind of the villain and I said, ‘yes.’
DW: What did your kids say to you about the fact that now you’re in the show that they watch the movie?
WA: They’re very excited. They’ve even got some notes. [He joked].They want to make sure that we’re doing all the right things, and that we’re staying true to the show. When we were finishing the movie, my children got to see it and I sort of gauged their reaction. They’re a great litmus test as to whether or not something is working. We had another screening just like this a couple of days ago, and they wanted to see it again; not just because it’s their dad’s job. They really liked it. So, yes, it’s a cool process for them.
DW: So, that must make you sort of extra happy and proud that you can have your kids celebrate your work. Are you making more choices now that are geared towards family films to involve your kids? Or do you feel like whatever good script that comes your way you are going to take it?
WA: It’s kind of a little of both. It’s such a bonus to be able to do stuff that I can share with my kids, and that they can be excited about the process. When I tell them I’m going to work and this is what we did today, and they can come in and get to meet the people I work with. So, it’s all about experiencing and sharing this stuff together. So, I’m very fortunate that I get to share with them. So, yes, it’s very important to me.
DW: Do you have a special voice that your kids get to have and only them than in your real characters, when you tuck them in bed at night?
WA: I think we all have those things that we do, especially the language that we have with our kids and the special words and things. We definitely have stuff that that we do, that’s our own thing. It’s a thing between a parent and a child.
DW: Are they like, dad…’enough already?’
WA: All the time.
DW: Do you have a preference of voiceover work versus traditional film acting? Is it more challenging because you go in a booth and you have to sort of be into it? Is someone there reading the lines and playing off of you, or are you just like, ‘I’ve got to get into this character and I’m going to try to be as funny as I can right now?’
WA: Usually you work with a director. Well, a lot of people think that they animate the movie and then you put your voice in after. It’s actually the opposite. I go in and we do the scenes, and then they go in and they animate the project for a few months. Then they come back and you work on it some more. So, you’re usually reading with a director, not usually with other cast members, and you’re kind of going through the scenes and finding fun stuff and funny stuff. It’s very different from doing live-action movies, but I find it to be great deal of fun.
DW: Can you talk a little bit about the process of how that works because this obviously has such a great cast; but did you actually work with any of them?
WA: I never recorded with anybody, but that’s not unusual. In the Lego Batman movie Zach Galifiniakis plays the Joker and he and I and Rosario Dawson did a lot of fun stuff together. In the Lego Movie Chris Pratt and I did a bunch of stuff, and it was the best. But usually, you can just work by yourself. Sometimes it can be a lonely process.
DW: How about the voices? How do you figure out what is going to be the voice of this character?
WA: I just kind of try some stuff out. I just kind of get in there, depending on who the character is and you know what he’s trying to do. You’re always trying to find something different. For Slade, he’s kind of over the top and he’s always talking like this. We knew that we’ve seen Batman and they had that growly voice, so with Lego Batman we wanted to hear a guy who does that all the time, even when he’s making food at home and that he’s always got this voice even when he’s just getting changed. You can do stuff like that.
DW: What about the Despicable Me movies?
WA: In the first movie, I play the guy who’s the banker, who Steve Carrell’s character keeps trying to get money from. I thought about, I want to have a guy who sounds like every time he says the word ‘money,’ that he wants to eat it; and he’s a banker. So, I’m like, ‘Are you telling me that you want some money?’ He’s almost like he’s slobbering because he’s just so hungry for money.
DW: How did you like being in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies?
WA: I loved making the Turtles movies. It was a lot of fun. I really like the turtles. We got to shoot them here in New York, so that was really great. That was a bonus. They were a lot of fun to make.
DW: What was your first children’s movie that you did voices for?
WA: My first kid’s movie was Ice Age 2. I also played a bird in that, one of the vultures. It was a small part. Then I did, I think after that, was Ratatouille. I played of course the chef, the German sous chef.
DW: Why are there superheroes in the movie when it’s supposed to be Teen Titans Go?
WA: Cyborg’s a superhero. But there are superheroes because they are kind of from that world. We’re opening it up and seeing the whole bigger world where the Teen Titans came from. So, there’s a whole thing about origin stories and stuff. I don’t know if you know about that, but you’re going to find out right here.
DW: What made you decide to do voice the villain Slade in this movie?
WA: I didn’t really have much of a decision because everybody else, my partners on the film, the writers and the company and stuff, they were like, ‘We’ve got the role of Slade here and I think that you have to do it.” I know a lot of people feel like, you just got to put this movie together so that you can cast yourself as the bad guy. But that’s really how it came about and I was really happy to be able to do it.
Also, because I played Batman in the Lego movie and Batman is in this movie we got – Jimmy Kimmel plays Batman this time, which is a lot of fun. We got Nicolas Cage playing Superman. Kristen Bell from Frozenis amazing in the movie. We’ve got some really fun – yeah, this is a great cast.
DW: What do you like about your character of Slade?
WA: He is a villain, but even though he’s kind of like a bad guy, he’s also not that confident at what he does. He has moments where he kind of doubts himself and then the Teen Titans end up frustrating him a lot. He’s like, it kind of makes him question what he is doing a little bit.
DW: Was it difficult or easy to make this movie?
WA: It’s always a challenge because there are a lot of things going on at the same time. There are so many awesome, talented people who are part of it. Great artists, great musician and great writers in that whole process. It’s a lot of people collaborating, and that part is not necessarily hard but it’s always a challenge. It’s all about problem solving, and learning to work with other people and sharing of ideas and creativity. All of this was truly awesome!
DW: Do you ever use your Slade or Batman voices in your everyday life?
WA: I’ll tell you what, I don’t yell at my kids when they’re bad. I just don’t. I don’t believe in it. But I will sometimes be like,’ guys, turn off the iPad.’ And then they don’t. And I’m like using an animated voice saying, “Hey, turn off the iPad.” That usually works.
13 of Will Arnett’s Favorite Things
- Favorite animated movie to work on – I loved making the Legomovies because I loved Batman. He’s really fun. I like making this movie because I’m such a fan of the characters and of all the Teen Titans characters, much like you probably are. But each one is kind of a different little project that’s really fun to do. So, I guess for right now, because it’s so fresh in my mind, probably this. But, it always kind of changes. It’s not really favorite, but they all have a great special place in your heart because of what you did. Great question.
- Favorite voice – Batman is pretty fun. In the movie Horton Hears a Who, I played Vlad, the mean bird who steals the thing. He was Russian and he was like, [Russian accent] “With this clover, I will do this.” That was really fun to do.
- Favorite character in Teen Titans Go – I would say, Cyborg. I like Cyborg because he shoots meatballs. Come on what’s there not to like; he shoots meatballs and he’s always got the party horn. This guy with the hat on backwards, I like his style.
- Favorite superpower in the Teen Titans – That comes up a lot in the movie, and it’s going to come up, you’re going to be able to follow that and remember your question with regards to Robin. Kind of like Batman, you can say that Batman doesn’t actually have a superpower. But, it’s a really important part of the movie and that’s a great question. So, I’m not going to answer it but you’re going to answer it yourself when you see the movie. How about that?
- Favorite part in the Teen Titans Go To! The Movies – My favorite part in the Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is the music.There’s a lot of great music in the movie, a lot of big numbers. If you all who know this show and are fans of the show know there’s always been great music and great songs, original songs. We have some amazing original songs in this movie that are really fun and I think they’re actually quite catchy.
- Favorite profession besides acting – A pro hockey player
- Favorite place to travel with his kids – Eastern Long Island
- Favorite musical group – Led Zeppelin
- Favorite concert – U2
- Favorite actress to collaborate with – Meryl Streep
- Favorite date night activity – Going to bed at 9:30 at night.
- Favorite food – Ice cream
- Favorite flavor – Chocolate
Go check out Teen Titans Go! To The Movies! maybe it will be your FAVORITE movie!