Jacob Tremblay’s five favorite films
(Photo by Leon Bennett / WireImage)
Fourteen-year-old actor Jacob Tremblay has amassed quite a track record of acclaimed performances in heavyweight films: he broke in the Oscar-winning film Bedroom as a young boy held captive with his mother, then made us cry as the inspiring Auggie Pullman in Wonder, before shocking us with a brief but heartbreaking turn Shiny after Doctor Sleep. When he has tried lighter dishes, he tends to come up with an “R” rated advantage – think The predator and certified fresh comedy Good boys, in which the cognitive dissonance of hearing the innocent-looking Tremblay say things that were not very innocent was the recurring punchline.
His latest project, Pixar’s Luca, is a definite change of pace – a trip to the Italian Riviera for a story about the titular sea monster (voiced by Tremblay) who just wants to be part of our world… and drive a Vespa. He’s already certified tomato fresh and, says Tremblay, arrives just in time for a world emerging from obscurity and reconnecting with those closest to him. Ahead of the film’s release on Disney +, Tremblay spoke to Rotten Tomatoes about his favorite films, silencing his internal doubts on set (and on the runways), and gives us a little clue of what to expect from the next one. live action movie, The little Mermaid, in which he plays Flounder.
Jacob Tremblay’s five favorite films
Joel Meares for Rotten Tomatoes: this movie, Luca, made me so happy to watch. It is as if you are transported to Italy, it has bright colors, it has beautiful themes. And it feels like it’s just happening at the right time because it makes us happy as we come out of this tough time. And then it’s also about friends and reconnecting with friends and I feel like it’s also something that we all go through. Do you feel like it’s a really good movie right now?
Jacob Tremblay: Yes of course. You know, because of COVID and everything, people are still inside and to be able [go out]… I know this is more of a children’s movie I guess, but I think it will mean a lot to adults too to be able to remember many childhood memories of fun adventures in the summer.
Rotten Tomatoes: Yes, absolutely. One thing that we saw in the trailer that is a big theme in the movie is this concept of “Silenzio Bruno” – kind of demeaning the skeptic that lives in you and saying, “Shut up, I’m going to go. look for that fun and do that thing. Do you have “Silenzio Bruno” moments in your own life or in some of your previous acting jobs where you say to yourself, “Don’t be afraid, I have to go and do this”?
Tremblay: Yes. I guess that’s a big part of acting, for sure, you’re not afraid to put yourself out there and do things. Because if you don’t give it 100 percent, sometimes it will go wrong. But I think another example for me is skiing. I know the ski season is over, but I’m in Vancouver right now and the skiing is amazing here in the winter. So I skied a lot this winter and I think sometimes we have to silence Bruno. Sometimes you can be scared to go out, to try a new jump or something like that. But yes, I definitely silenced Bruno. And I think because of that, I think that by shutting down Bruno, I was able to get a lot better and I was able to have a lot of fun with it.
Rotten Tomatoes: Are you on black diamonds?
Tremblay: Yeah, I managed to do my fair share of blacks.
Rotten Tomatoes: I’ve read elsewhere that you are a huge Pixar fan and a huge fan of Cars in particular. Why is this your favorite?
Tremblay: I think it’s because he longed for me the most because when I was little – or smaller I guess I would always have Lightning McQueen toys. And I even had this Power Wheels car that was Lightning McQueen. It looked like Lightning McQueen or, well, that has been Lightning McQueen. Yes. I always drove this on the street and had a lot of fun with it.
(Photo by © Pixar)
Rotten Tomatoes: And are there any other Pixar movies more recently that have stood out or really appealed to you?
Tremblay: i honestly think Soul was really, really good. I absolutely loved this one. And I don’t know if it’s really, really new, but Cars 3, I suppose. Because I guess it’s like Cars 1 and 2 came out when I was in the toddler stage of my life. Cars 3 came out when I was sort of in transition I guess. But yeah, to be able to see that, it was really cool. I really liked this movie.
Rotten Tomatoes: In this movie, Luca is obsessed with Vespas. He dreams of a Vespa, that’s his goal, that’s what he wants, he covers his jaw as soon as he sees one in the street. Is there something in your life, object or thing that obsesses you as much as Luca is with the Vespa?
Tremblay: So speaking of going out, I just got a bike recently, a new bike. I have always had a bike but had a really nice BMX bike. So I went out and learned to do stuff and stuff, and I also silenced Bruno along the way. So yes, I was able to do that while driving around town. But another thing is… I mean, it’s very, very different, but I got a PS5 the other day, really, really recently. So I’m really excited about this. But I think the bike I just got is definitely more related to Luca than to a video game console.
Rotten tomatoes: Luca is one of the many animated films you’ve made and you have more to come from what I’ve read. What do you love about animation that you can do differently than when you do something live?
Tremblay: It’s almost like a whole different set of acting skills. There are some very, very talented voice actors and I had to learn a lot of things to make this film. I think one of the most important things for me is learning to carry a lot of energy into your voice. So yeah, I guess it was kind of a big learning curve to do that, because a lot of my acting roles have been these big dramatic roles where it has to be very real. And then for something as great as Luca I can let go and have fun with it. So that was really cool. And another thing about this movie is that we got to do a lot of improvisation. Enrico [Casarosa], the director, he’s a really great director. Sometimes he let me get out of the script. It was really, really cool.
(Photo by © Pixar)
Rotten Tomatoes: And lastly, you have another vocal piece coming up… I’m sure you can’t say anything about it, but I have to ask. You return to the water as Flounder in the live-action The little Mermaid. Are you excited about this role and what can you tell us about your flounder, if any?
Tremblay: Yeah, I’m really excited for that one. Just like Pixar and Cars, Little Mermaid is such a big part of my childhood. Mainly because I have two sisters so they always put on Disney movies even though I wanted to watch Indiana Jones. But they still had those movies on it. So yeah, I have a lot of fond memories from that movie. So it’s very, very exciting to be a part of it. And even like when you go to Disneyland too, and there are rides. So cool, so cool.
Rotten tomatoes: will your flounder be different from the original’s flounder? Will he have a Jacob Tremblay spin?
Tremblay: I guess you’ll have to watch to find out. I think they did something really cool with the design of this fish.
Luca is available on Disney + from Friday, June 18, 2021.
Thumbnail: Leon Bennett / WireImage, © Lucasfilm Ltd., © Warner Brothers, © Buena Vista Pictures, © Warner Brothers, © Paramount
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