Alain Chabat: “Shrek is a very, very sensitive ogre”

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Alain Chabat: "Shrek is a very, very sensitive ogre"
Dreamworks

The first part of the Dreamworks saga returns tonight to Gulli.

Update of October 28, 2021: On the occasion of the rebroadcast of Shrek at 9:05 p.m., we repost an interview with the ogre’s voice actor, Alain Chabat.

A reboot for Shrek

Interview of July 17, 2014: You, Manu Payet, José Garcia … Is there a “DreamWorks family” of French VFs? A secret association? If I tell you about this secret association, I would have to kill you.

What was your first contact with DreamWorks? Why were you cast to play Shrek ? How and according to what process? It was in 2000 I believe. My friend Jean-Paul Rougier, who worked at UIP and in charge of the distribution of Dreamworks films, calls me and tells me “I have something to show you that can make you laugh”. Intrigued, I say ok and he arrives an hour later with a VHS (the medium of the time) with 15 minutes of an animated film, not fully finalized, in black and white: the first quarter of an hour of the first Shrek. I love. Jean-Paul tells me that they are looking for a French voice, I give it a try, I’m taken and that’s it. I thought it was an experimental borderline animated film, for a rather adult and “specialized” audience. I never imagined that it would become this incredible franchise with 4 films, special episodes, a Musical, an amusement park …

Did you work with the directors on your character? Has the success of the saga changed things in the organization or the work? I haven’t worked with the directors but Jeffrey Katzenberg Immediately integrated me into the Dreamworks family and introduced me to the talents (screenwriters, cartoonists, animators, directors …) of films Shrek. I often visited the studios to observe the process of creation, of manufacture … I saw that the success of the saga only made everyone to do better with each film by telling a bigger story. and complete. I love animation and I was very privileged to be able to experience it all so closely.

Alain Chabat: “I feel close to Franquin’s vision of the world”

Over time, were you able to imprint your “mark” on the character? When we arrive at the time of the French voices, 98% of the work is done, the American actors have already brilliantly embodied the characters. It is up to us to find this energy and to remake these emotions. I put all my heart into it but printing my “brand” is not what I’m looking for at the start.

What is your room for maneuver on the characterization of the character, the voice effects, the timing …? The characterization of the characters, the timing, all of that is already there when it comes to the dubbing. The team that leads us is super precise, which never prevents us from making proposals. If I always record what is written, it may happen that I try one or more alternate versions of a line, if I feel better. Afterwards, they choose to keep or not in the final mix. For the voices, Mike Myers gave Shrek a Scottish accent. I took a voice slightly more hoarse than mine naturally. An almost artificial raspy, as if to conceal Shrek’s inner fragility. He’s a very, very sensitive ogre …

Have you met Jeffrey Katzenberg? An anecdote ? A feeling about the producer? Jeffrey Katzenberg is a genius. He has a sixth sense to detect a universal story, he adores and has a great respect for artists and he is a tireless worker. Each meeting with him was a real moment. I remember having lunch together in Cannes during the Festival. He was totally available when he had, as the boss of Dreamworks, about 2356 things to do I imagine. An hour later, I was having coffee with a French producer who spent half the meeting on the phone. The contrast was instructive.

Katzenberg often explains that the hallmark of DreamWorks, what can characterize ALL of the studio’s films, is humor (edgy). What do you think of this statement? What do you think especially of DreamWorks humor? When we see the actors chosen by Dreamworks – Mike Myers, Eddie murphy, Cameron Diaz for Shrek, Jack Black for Kung Fu Panda, Will ferrell, Jonah hill Where Tina Fey for Megamind, Ben Stiller and Chris rock for Madagascar, Jerry Seinfeld for Bee movie, etc. – it still gives a good idea of ​​the spirit. I am a big fan of all these actors and actresses. The marrade is a mission for them and all their energy goes in this direction. It’s very inspiring.

Shrek Quiz: Are you really into the Dreamworks animated classic?

Have you been able to meet Mike Meyers? And if so, what do two Shreks say to each other when they meet? I have met Mike Myers several times for Shrek and once, a long time ago, to offer him the role of Didier, when there was talk of an American remake. So, we talked a lot about dogs …

Your favorite DreamWorks movie? Apart from the saga Shrek of course, i’m a big fan of Kung Fu Panda. The first is for me a pure masterpiece. And I love all of them Madagascar (with a preference for the character of Marty, the Zebra played by Chris rock).

Your favorite DreamWorks scene? The scene where Shrek explains to the donkey that ogres are like onions. She tells the story of the inner turmoil that constantly agitates Shrek.

Your favorite DreamWorks replica? In Shrek (again, I know …): The donkey – “And in the morning …. I’m making waffles!” (for the way Eddie Murphy says “waffles”).

Interview Gaël Golhen

We laugh heartily in front of Shrek [critique]

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