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Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz Talk About ‘Shrek Forever After’

Shrek and Fiona photo from Shrek Forever After

Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz) and Shrek (Mike Myers) in ‘Shrek Forever After.’

© DreamWorks Animation

Mike Meyers returns as Shrek and Cameron Diazreturns as Fiona in Shrek Forever After, what’s supposedly the final film of the popular franchise. I say supposedly because tagging a ‘the end’ onto any franchise isn’t a smart move. Hollywood loves to revisit successful franchises, and Shrek has definitely been a box office powerhouse for DreamWorks Animation.

The fourth Shrek film finds the beloved green ogre tired of being looked upon by the villagers as completely non-threatening and domesticated. After a particularly bad day, Shrek makes the biggest mistake of his life by signing away a day of his life to Rumpelstiltskin (voiced by Walter Dohrn) in exchange for a day of complete ogre-ness.

Together for a press conference in LA (moderated by Ryan Seacrest) to discuss Shrek Forever After, Myers and Diaz talked about their time spent bringing in this colorful characters to life.

Shrek Forever After Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz Q&A

Mike, looking back over the Shrek movies, what’s been one of your favorite moments over the last 10 years?Mike Myers: “When Jeffery [Katzenberg] said would you like to be in an animated movie, I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘It’s a movie called Shrek.’ I said, ‘That’s the worst title I’ve ever heard in my life.’ I didn’t know it was going to be. In the process, the first time I saw it with an audience the line, ‘But you are beautiful to me,’ got gasps from the crowd. People were so into the whole romance and the whole heart of it that I was just blown away that animated movie could move people. It was something that people would be invested in, and I think that’s been the most satisfying thing for me.”

Cameron, the emotion of this one goes back to the roots of the first one a little bit, doesn’t it?

Cameron Diaz: “Yeah, I think since you get to see true love happen all over again for the first time between Shrek and Fiona because they get to find one another. It’s the moment that you’re talking about—your favorite moment from the first movie that you get to experience all over again. You get to take that journey with them of finding that love again. You open up on two of them in the routine of a life that they’ve taken for granted—Shrek has for sure and then you get to see him journey back through trying to regain finding his true love. And that’s just an ultimately beautiful lovely story, and you get to fall in love with Shrek and Fiona all over again.”

Your characters are starting all over again in a new relationship. What was that like for you two?

Mike Myers: “The writing is so great and all the filmmakers were so committed to having it be so excellent that you’re just kind of…”

Cameron Diaz: “…following the script.”

Mike Myers: “Yeah, just that. It’s kind of like this Lamaze birth back into the thing every time.”

Cameron Diaz: “I agree. It’s well structured and it’s clear as to what the two of them are going through.”

But you made it so fresh. How did you do that?

Mike Myers: “Mike Mitchell, who is a great director, and Jeffrey is a great filmmaker.”

Cameron Diaz: “The animators are great and they’re really the great actors. They are the ones who put the looks in our eyes and make the chemistry between us.”

Fiona gets to be very brave in this movie – a leader and a warrior and so forth.

Cameron Diaz: “For me, Fiona’s always been a warrior. I’ve always seen her as that she’s been a warrior of love through all of these films. What she’s worked for and what she fought for is the love that she has for herself and she has for Shrek, and her family and friends. So she’s always been a warrior. It’s just been a different tone for this film. Her responsibility is a little bit more obvious as far as the resistance. She’s always been a warrior to me, and I think through that her nature, that is part of her nature, and it has given her all of the things in her life that she values.”

In this film, one of the themes is wanting to have a do-over. Is there anything in the other three films that you would like to do over?

Cameron Diaz: “If I had known that Fiona’s parents both had British accents when I first started – that they were being voiced by Julie Andrews and John Cleese, I might have, you know…because when I first started the movie, when I did my voice, I didn’t know who was playing my parents. So it was one of those things where I was like, ‘Wait a second! How come I sound like I am from California?'”

Mike, in this movie, Shrek doesn’t want the attention anymore. Is there a parallel in your own life with the rise of your career?

Mike Myers: “I do now live in the swamp! I like my privacy. When I do something like this, I love being a part of this. And when I’m not doing stuff, I like to go away. I enjoy being a person a great deal.”

Do you think being Canadian gives you a different sensibility at all about that stuff?

Mike Myers: “Yeah, it’s hard to be super full of yourself in Canada. If there was a motto of Canada, it would be: “Who do you think you are, eh?” I think it’s very good training, just to be a person, is growing up in Canada. People say a lot of things about Canada – that it’s boring and stuff, but if you look around the world, I think it’s a very civilized place to grow up. I’m very proud of it.”

What you would do on a perfect dream day?

Mike Myers: “When I was a kid in Toronto, I wanted to, you know when you have your nose against the window, looking south to show business, ‘Showbiznia’, the United States. I feel like every day I get to do what I do…it’s a dream day. So it’s kind of an amazing thing.”

Do you think the message this time is more towards the adults?

Mike Myers: “I think that Shrek is a little bit like Flintstones vitamins. You’re eating Barney and Dino and you don’t know it’s good for you. It has built-in vitamins, but the delivery system is very enjoyable.”

Cameron Diaz: “I think it’s for both adults and children. You’re never too old or too young to learn these lesseons, and I think that’s the case with all the Shrek films and why they’re so successful. They’re not just speaking to one audience, they’re speaking to everyone. Anyone who watches it can understand exactly what Shrek and Fiona are going through relevant to their own lives.”

Would you want to revisit Shrek 10 years from now?

Cameron Diaz: “I’m in.”

Mike Myers: “The final chapter reunion movie? Can you believe there’s a final chapter? Yeah, sure. I just play the voice of Shrek. I don’t really know what goes on.”

Cameron Diaz: “It’s easy. People ask me if I’d do Charlie’s Angels 10 years from now and I’m like, ‘What?!’ It’s a little bit different fitting in those pants 10 years from now. But, Shrekof course, is just we get to go back to whatever they will be 10 years from now. But, hopefully we don’t have to wait that long…Jeffrey Katzenberg.”

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June 1, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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