The highly-anticipated stop-motion animated Kubo and the Two Strings is in theaters August 19. Earlier this summer, I had the special opportunity to interview the stars of the movie, Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, and Art Parkinson.
There is one last must-see summer movie out this week. Kubo and the Two Strings, from LAKIA Studios, is a stop-motion animated movie that will memorize you from the opening scene. Beautiful & rich in depth and color, you often wonder if it’s really animation.
And then there is the story that draws you in, making you laugh and cry. Helping pull you into the movie so easily are the talented voices of the film – Mathew McConaughey, voice of Beetle, Charlize Theron, voice of Monkey, and Art Parkinson, voice of Kubo.
Last month, I was invited to a screening of Kubo and the Two Strings and the press junket the at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons. What follows is our time spent with McConaughey, Theron, and Parkinson.
Cast of Kubo and the Two Strings
I had my reservations going into the screening about these amazing Academy-Award winning actors, Theron & McConaughey, voicing animated characters. I mean both are such amazing actors known for their roles in films not for children. And that is the exact reason both actors pursued an animated role.
“I’ve always joked that my kids would have to be 52 before they could see anything I’ve been in.”, said Theron.
Beyond just wanting to do a movie that their children could see, they were attracted to the roles because of the story and the opportunity to work with Travis Knight, CEO of LAKIA Studios. Kubo and the Two Strings is a very intelligent children’s movie.
“For me, that’s something LAIKA seems to do with all their projects. They don’t really pander down to the age group. They deal with adult themes in a way that’s digestible for kids. There’s always a good moral to the story, that’s learned in the middle of the adventure.” McConaughey explains.
Despite never voicing an animated role, I was surprised how little preparation the actors had to do for the movie, Theron describing it as similar to preparing for any other role. Though all three complimented director Knight’s encouraging & calm atmosphere. Parkinson elaborates, “He always let us sort of bring the characters to life ourselves and he sort of gave us the instruments to do so.”
Though most of the time, the actors did not record together, there was a bit of ad-libbing going on, with McConaughey explained that he gave them enough material to “make 3 more movies.”
McConaughey did take the time to read the script over a few nights with his children, watching their reactions to the plot. And he really enjoyed taking his family to see the finished film, “My wife thoroughly loved it. She still talks about it. She had a really great emotional ride watching it, which is something that I think is true about the film. The kids are going to love it but it’s definitely for adults as well.”
McConaughey admits that it wasn’t terribly hard to get into the character of the Beetle, who he describes as “Captain Fun”. Though he took a serious tone describing what the movie meant to him:
“You have to fight for your own third act. You have to fight for your own happy ending. The truth may burn and it may be hard, but that’s the only way you get through your third act with a happy ending.”