Cars 3 comes to both Blu-Ray and Digital soon! So let’s go back to my chat with Director Brian Fee and Producer Kevin Reher when I was out in Charlotte. Both have come far in their careers. Brian Fee started out as a Prop designer, and storyboard artists at PIXAR and Cars 3 are his first time as both a director and a writer. While Kevin Reher has been both a casting director and producer at PIXAR for years as well. I love that the guys over at PIXAR are truly like a family. Personally, I think this is what always makes PIXAR films so widely popular. That family atmosphere translates to the story and on the screen.
One of the most important characters in this film for me is Cruz. Yes, we all love us some McQueen, but I truly enjoyed seeing a strong female come into the world where she wasn’t a love interest. So we went deep into that with Brian Fee and Kevin Reher and I wanted to share that with you guys.
Q: How do you feel about Cruz and Cristela and that character and what she brought to the movie?
Brian Fee: “She started off as a male character. Really early on in the process of this film. While we’re trying to constantly evolve and enrich the story, and we just doing it. We eventually realized that we’re missing an opportunity here. I mean, I have two girls at home. And I go home every day, and we have a very heavily male-dominated movie. You know. It’s a male-dominated sport! I wanted something for my daughters. So I wanted a character for them to look up to. For them to identify with, because my daughters, I would see them afraid to do something. If they thought they were gonna be bad at it, they just wouldn’t even try it. It’s human nature, but it still breaks your heart as a parent. ‘Cause well everyone’s bad at everything at first.
That’s just how it goes! There were other things. I remember talking with my girls about playing a musical instrument, taking lessons, and I said what about guitar? And they said, Guitars are for boys. I just thought. You’re too young to start assigning these labels. And therefore not being not interested because you’re deciding that’s for that other group. It’s a male-dominated sport. We’d come back to work with this kind of.. our lives, when we go home, with it… Everything that happens at home, it gets put in our back pockets, and we come to work the next day, we start talking about story. We don’t right away start talking about that kind of stuff. But it comes up. It slowly starts to blow up and, and one of our writer’s also has girls, and she’s feeling the same thing. She was talking about her own experience where animation is also a male dominated business! You know, we’re trying to get more females interested. In animation. That is changing…That tide is changing very quickly. She also talked a lot about her feelings, coming up through the business as a female! She pointed to articles and stuff with the confidence gap. When we talked to a lot of story artists at Pixar, a lot of female from producers to story artists, and got to learn things that I would’ve never have known. People that I’ve worked side by side with every day at work. And admired their work. I never realized that they’ve never thought they were any good. Like, immediately, as soon as they walk through the door, they said in their own personal story, they didn’t feel like they were good enough to be there, and they would work their tail off just to feel like they were just able to continue to have the privilege to be there.Whereas, you know, [STAMMERS] This is… Perhaps this is [STAMMERS] over-generalizing, but from their perception, the, the male counterpart doing their same job just seems naturally confident! You know? And they didn’t have that kinda confidence. Just the awareness of that gave them even less confidence. So we started just paying attention to all this stuff, and we thought Chris needs to be a girl character. On every level. There’sno way that she should not be a she.
First thing we did was, we made her a female. We do these rough screenings. You know, where It’s all storyboards, and it’s all just us doing the voices and stuff. Like this just to try out the story while we work on it. So we, we decided let’s not rewrite the part. Let’s just make it a female and that didn’t work. Having a female character speaking former lines by a male character.”
Kevin Reher: “Well, it wasn’t a strong character. Yeah. If you look at the deleted scenes, you also can see her journey as an actress and how she found the character, ’cause some of it’s, like, ugghh.”
Brian Fee: “Yeah. The original Cruz as a male character was working at the time. He was very funny because he wasn’t confident. Right? He didn’t have any bite to him. That was somehow entertaining as a male character, ’cause you fell in. He was a puppy. Soon as we gave it a female voice, it was just was all kinds of wrong. We just try things out. We learn our lessons, and quickly learned that one. So we started to write the character with more bite. That’s why we have the scene where McQueen starts blaming her, ’cause he’s just upset. He’s just frustrated, and kinda lashes out at her and she just, like, bites him back. That’s the reason we wrote that scene that way is because we thought what would Cruz really do? You know? So it’s all a learning journey. She was easily the hardest character and she was also quite frankly, the most important character in film. So we spent a lot of time. Sorry, long answer.”
Disney and Pixar present CARS 3, a fast-paced new tale of Lightning McQueen, his classic CARS friends and a new spirited trainer Cruz Ramirez! Lighting finds himself pushed out of racing by a new generation of faster and younger cars and goes on a journey to discover where he belongs in this new type of high-octane competition. CARS 3- the third film in the now-iconic CARS film franchise—will cruise home Digitally in HD on Tuesday, Oct. 24!
***Disclosure: I attended the #Cars3Bloggers Event My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***