I remember seeing “Toy Story” in my local movie theater in Whittier, Ca. I was 10 years old when that film came out. So having the opportunity to interview John Lasseter was a nerve racking and surreal experience. I told myself if I ever got the chance I would simply tell him “Thank You”. Last week I got the chance I didn’t miss the opportunity. Before cameras started rolling on our conversation I explained to the “Cars 2” Director that his feature film debut basically defined my childhood and planted the seeds of what would become my infatuation with film. We also briefly chatted about the fact that we both grew up in the same Los Angeles suburb of Whittier. He talked about how his love of cars grew while working at his dad Chevrolet dealership and I explained that I went to a high school called Whittier Christian High School that wasn’t actually in Whittier (he attended Whittier High – which is actually in Whittier). He’s the kind of guy I felt like I could talk to for hours, and I would have if they didn’t tell me that cameras were rolling. I now had the obligation to start asking some questions.
While I loved “Cars 2” so much more then the original “Cars”, I didn’t really feel like asking a whole lot of questions regarding the film. Actually you’ll see that same theme in my interviews with the voice cast as well. I figured they had probably talked enough about the film over the past three days that I didn’t want to get the same stock answers. I decided I would ask questions from the stance of a Pixar fan in general. With Lassester, my questions were more themed on how he approaches his films as a Director and as the Chief Creative Office for Walt Disney Animation.
And while John Lasseter wears many hats at Disney and has become more or less a household name (I mean my dad knows who he is for christ sakes), I still think of him as the guy who directed “Toy Story”. And now he’s the guy who has directed my favorite film of the summer.
“Cars 2” Opens Today in the US and July 22nd in the UK. My Cars 2 review is here. Check out my interview with John below.