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Robert Pattinson In ‘The Boy And The Heron’ Is Being Hailed As A Rare Positive Example Of Celebrity Voice Casting


Famous actors and actresses, as opposed to voice actors and actresses, often give uninspired performances in animated movies. Chris Pratt isn’t doing a Mario voice in The Super Mario Bros. Moviehe’s doing a Chris Pratt voice with a slight Italian inflection (it’s even less disguised in The Garfield Movie). Call it the “Zendaya is Meechee” effect. But every so far, celebrity stunt casting works out, like Robin Williams in Aladdin, Tom Hanks in Toy Story, or that master of chaos himself, Robert Pattinson, in The Boy and The Heron.

In the dubbed version of the majestic Studio Ghibli film (which debuted at #1 at the box office), Pattinson voices the titular heron, a nasty little guy who teases Mahito (a.k.a “The Boy”) about his dead mother before they go on an adventure in an alternate world together. GKIDS president Dave Jesteadt told IndieWire that Danny DeVito was originally considered for the role, but Studio Ghibli wanted to go in a different direction. “They said, ‘Oh no, in Japan it’s actually going to be played by a young, 30-year-old hot singer-actor guy [Masaki Suda]. “I was like, ‘What!?’ They said, ‘Yeah, so for the English dub we want someone who matches that age and would also be unusual in the role.’”

They landed on Pattinson, but voice director Michael Sinterniklaas was initially hesitant. “There was nothing in his body of work to indicate that he could do this crazy thing,” he said, but when The Batman star “came to our studio in L.A., he was like ‘OK, I’ve been thinking about this role and I recorded some stuff. Do you want to hear it?’ And he whips out his iPhone and plays some stuff that he’s just been doing in the Memos app and it was already the voice.” Sinterniklaas added, “I was like, ‘Oh, bingo, you’ve already got the character.’”

Plus, it’s a The Lighthouse reunion with Willem Dafoe.

You can hear a croaky Pattinson as the Heron below, and see some reactions to his performance.

(Via IndieWire)