Ginnifer Goodwin is like a fairytale princess come true. The pregnant mom of 1 wasn’t able to make it down for the #ZootopiaEvent so she had our interview via satellite and was simply adorable. She loves Disney with a passion and has done other voice work as a fairy and of course is Snow in Once Upon A time on ABC. I know when I was pregnant I barely was able to dress myself and keep the one kids fed and entertained let alone be like her and fully promoting a movie. Kudos to her. So let’s get right to it!
Q: How did you prepare for your role as Judy Hopps?
GG: I would like to say that I have a lot of artistic integrity and lived on a rabbit farm for a month, but I really just relinquished all control, which was new for me because I think control is something for which actors are always fighting and creating and protecting characters, but this is a new world for me, animation. I really did, I understand that everything physical, everything making up everything that you see, with as much as they might have filmed me with cameras in the recording booth, everything was really in the hands of the animators. This is not an actor’s medium, so all I did was show up and try to be completely emotionally available and said my lines and tried different things and wore sneakers so I could jump around and that’s about it. I mean, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. I mean, no one should get paid to have this much fun. Except me. I’ll totally take it.
Q: What made you want the role?
GG: To be honest, there was one word that convinced me that I needed to take this role and that was Disney. That’s the truth. I was sitting in Mickey Mouse pajamas in my kitchen. I was pregnant. I was in Vancouver shooting Once Upon a Time and I got a phone call that I was being offered this job and I had never heard of Zootopia and I took it immediately and my representatives, who were all on the phone because they knew I’d work out fine which I did.
My representative said, don’t you want to know anything about the character or the script and I said well, of course. I mean, I want to, but we like, just accept the job first and then call me back. So they did and I actually didn’t read the script, I didn’t read the script for a little while. I went in and I sat down with the filmmakers. They showed me the storyboards. They created the world for me, walked me through everything and, and I was shown a version of the script that it’s very, it’s similar to what we made, but definitely would have been a different movie. One of the things that I love most about Disney is that, I mean, it’s the studio of which I’m aware that will start from scratch to make something better, even they’re years into the process which happened with this one, but reading the script, I was really, I was really taken with, of course, not only the scenes, but the fact that, like every great Disney film, it could make me laugh. It could make me cry at the same points every time I read it. I related very much to the character. I understand why I was cast. I was typecast a bit and I’m proud of it and there was no question that I was going to take it the second I knew that it existed.
Q: What did you think when you first saw Judy Hopps with your voice?
GG: Oh, it was a dream. I didn’t see anything, honestly, I didn’t see an entire scene until I saw what became the, the first trailer. The block DMV scene in its like, edited trailer form at D23, so I had saw it while standing backstage with a monitor at the same time that all of the thousands of fans did. Before that, I had seen, I guess they’re called animatics and I had asked, and I had seen all of the artwork, artwork that they had put up for me as reference. They would always decorate the sound booth in artwork which was incredibly inspiring and anything new would go up for me to see. I was really blown away. I still can’t get over it. I do thank goodness, when I’m watching the movie, forget that it is me and I can get completely lost in it which is something that I can’t, unfortunately do when I’m watching something live action because when I’m watching something live action, I’m just going, I need to lose five pounds and I hate the way I said that line. I would say use a different take and, this was a completely different experience. I was swept up in the story, but sometimes I am brought back into it by realizing that, you know, Judy has raised her eyebrows in a way that I raise my eyebrows or, you know, does something with her hands that I suddenly finds very familiar, but I only just saw the entire movie, I don’t know. Six weeks ago. It did blow my mind. I mean, obviously, I’m a bit quick to tears, but I start crying the second the castle comes up and says Disney.
Q: Has your son seen the movie and does he know that’s your voice?
GG: He hasn’t seen it and we only recently decided that we’re not going to let him see it for a long time, but not for reasons that we was expected of ourselves. We kept him from all entertainment, all technology based entertainment until this point. He’s about to turn two. He just had the flu and we let him watch Winnie the Pooh for the first time.Up until this point, he’s been, I mean, he’s a reader. He’s extremely physically active. He’s a player and we really encouraged him to let that be his forms of entertainment.
I thought that we were going to let him see Zootopia and then we saw Zootopia and it’s almost out of our love for it that we’re going to keep animated things of which we are a part as parents, away from them because we realized, Oliver thinks that Winnie the Pooh is real and we don’t, we would never want to shatter the illusion that he’s not and not only does he think that the animated Winnie the Pooh is real, but he, of course, because he’s almost two, thinks that the Winnie the Pooh that he met at Disneyland last month is the same exact Winnie the Pooh that was onscreen when he had the flu. I don’t want to shatter any of his illusions and I want him to, I, I’m just terrified that he would see Zootopia and he’s a smart kid, and he would say, that sounds an awful lot like Mommy and, and so I’m going to keep that from him as long as, as possible. I want to push him to be imaginative.
Q: Have you overcome any stereotypes in your life the way the two characters have in the movie?
GG: I think becoming an actress in the way that I’ve become an actress was overcoming other perceptions because I am proud of the fact that I am not some like stereotypical, classic package of a Hollywood actress. I was certainly early on I would never be a leading lady and I thought that was ridiculous because there are all kinds of ladies and all stories need to be told, so why wouldn’t my kind of lady, lead a film at some point? I think that maybe just yeah, being an actress in general, takes exceptionally thick skin in that we’re rejected on a daily basis for a number of reasons and I think I’ve always been pretty good at letting it all roll of my back.
Q: As a mom, what would you like kids to take away from the film?
GG: Oh, from the character. I mean, there’s so many incredible themes in this movie. The one that I gravitate towards the most because it’s the one my character articulated was that anyone can be anything and I absolutely believe that. I believe that’s in keeping with the answer, yeah, to the question about defying other peoples’ expectations and in stereotyping me and how I am received. I do believe anyone can be anything. I believe that there are infinite amounts of opportunities for everyone. I’ve never understood this idea that there’s so many pieces of the pie. Like, if, actresses are fellow actress haters and are extremely competitive and I mean, not any more so than men. I’m just using actresses because I’m an actress, but I’m sure it’s the same in many, many different fields, but I’ve always felt like why aren’t there, why can’t we just look at it as there’s an infinite number of pies? There’s enough to go around and there’s enough for everyone to carve their niche in life and so that’s the thing that I would hope on the surface that my, I know that like, I hope my kids take away from seeing Zootopia.
Then there are some incredible underlying and very timely and timeless themes, just about the human condition and the state of our world that I think are powerful. It may take a little more maturity and social interaction for them to understand them, but I can’t wait for my kids to be old enough to really, to really talk about it.
Q: What qualities do you find in yourself that you see in Judy Hopps?
GG: We’re both fiercely optimistic. We’re both idealistic. I think we’re both a bit self-righteous which can then get into the flawed territory which I also love. I don’t like playing characters who don’t have some flaws and I think that that our flaws are similar. I love that she, which is something that I hadn’t really, honestly, articulate for myself ever until playing Judy, I love that she believes that before one can of course, make the world a better place, one has to make one’s self better. There’s nothing more responsible than that. I would love to be that responsible. I also wish I were as fearless as she is because I’m a tryer like she is, but I try things and when I try things, I’m often secretly a bit scared and I feel like she didn’t get the scared gene somehow.
As you can tell Ginnifer is just a doll and is a lot like her character Judy. I too believe we can be anything we want to be….Don’t you?
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a
place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But
when rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a
police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia,” a comedy-adventure directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled,”“Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Simpsons”) and co-directed by Jared Bush (“Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”), opens in theaters on March 4, 2016.
***Disclosure: I attended the #ZootopiaEvent My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***