LUCA Star Jim Gaffigan On Getting Into Character For Pixar's Latest Comedy, THAT '70s SHOW & More (Exclusive)

LUCA Star Jim Gaffigan On Getting Into Character For Pixar's Latest Comedy, THAT '70s SHOW & More (Exclusive)

Ahead of Luca's Disney+ debut tomorrow, we were able to sit down with actor/writer/comedian Jim Gaffigan to talk about his illustrious career, working for Pixar, his time on That '70s Show, and more!

Luca arrives exclusively on Disney+ tomorrow, and ahead of its debut, we were able to sit down with actor/writer/comedian Jim Gaffigan (Super Troopers; 17 Again) to talk about his role as Luca's father Lorenzo and recording the latest Pixar film from the comfort of his own home. 

We also get into his career, and he tells us more about how he got started in the industry and what it took for him to find his voice. He was also kind enough to share a quick story about his time on That '70s Show and what was originally planned for his character, Roy Keene!  

Check out the full video interview below or keep scrolling for the transcript!


ROHAN: As a father yourself, did you draw from your own experience and how you speak to your children when recording Luca? Just to determine the proper tone?

JIM: "That all kind of plays into it. I think I tried to make sure Lorenzo, if he was distracted, which all parents are, he’s not disinterested in his kid. I think that’s kind of a fine line. It’s not as if Luca was being neglected at all. It’s just that Lorenzo was distracted.

He obviously cares very deeply for Luca, so I guess you bring some of that into it, and there is something about that parent relationship that anyone that had a parent knows that parents kind of miss the bar, so that’s funnier than being a perfect parent. "

ROHAN: Have you had an opportunity to watch the film with your kids yet?

JIM: "Not with my kids, I got a screener in preparation for this, but my family is back in New York, and they don’t like you to share the link and stuff. "

ROHAN: Due to the pandemic, you had to record the film from home instead of being in the studio with the directors and maybe Maya Rudolph, who voices your wife. What kind of challenge did that present?

JIM: "You know, it’s weird, a lot of voice acting stuff that I’ve done, it’s usually you’re not in your house, you’re in a studio, but there is almost something where - anyone that runs a studio is not going to like me saying this - but if you do have the equipment, cause Pixar provided it, people are comfortable at home, so you’re going to be more comfortable opposed to driving somewhere or getting to a studio and recording. So, there was probably some comfort that I felt in being at home, even though during the pandemic, all I wanted to do was leave the house.

Yeah, I don’t know, even before the pandemic, it always surprises me and I think it’s so fascinating, it’s a real compliment to how this stuff is edited. You’re very rarely ever recording with someone, like I can’t even think of the last time I did, maybe on Bob’s Burgers, somebody else was there, but not all of them. I think Bob’s Burgers was the only time they would have you recording with people that were in the scene. Maybe they’d be in LA or Boston or something like that, but other than that, I often have done lines just by myself and working with the director. "

ROHAN: Was there much room for you to improvise? Or did you mostly have to stick to the script?

JIM: "There’s always some ideas, but I think that with the Lorenzo character - I could improvise, but I also know that I don’t want to get in the way of what this director or writer are trying to accomplish. If you have a character that is trying to communicate that he’s distracted by these show crabs, you improvise around that, it’s helpful, but if you go off on some tangent, that’s not helpful. So, there’s some improvising, but I also have been kicking around long enough where you want to see if you can add some value but you also don’t want to create work for the person doing the project. "

ROHAN: You're a very successful comedian, actor, writer now - but you started out doing something much different. How long did it take or when did you start to really notice that you were able to hone your voice and turn it into a career?

JIM: "I made a living in commercials before - I was always doing commercials, always doing acting - but I would say that I did commercials and then I did a lot of sitcom roles before I really did standup. There was a time, when my first comedy special came out, there was a blurb in USA Today that said “Sitcom actor Jim Gaffigan does a stand-up special” and I remember thinking that’s so interesting because in their perspective, I’m this sitcom guy whereas now people think of me as a standup who does acting.

We try to think that we have some control over the perception, but in some ways you don’t, you know what I mean? So, I’m grateful for the success I have in stand-up, but in this movie, I’m the stand-up comedian that’s doing voice work. As long as I get to be in a Pixar movie, I’m happy. "

ROHAN: You're obviously well known for your comedic roles, like in Luca or something like Super Troopers, but you've also been able to stretch your dramatic chops with parts in films like Chuck or Chappaquiddick, amongst other things. What is your approach to picking roles and do you enjoy that sort of versatility? 

JIM: "To be honest, it really comes down to what’s the most interesting thing to play. The reason I love indies is because you can play a character that usually has a greater arc or a more complex backstory whereas if you play a silly comedy - like there’s an arc for Lorenzo in Luca and that’s voice acting - but in some kind of silly movie, you’re kind of a vehicle for jokes whereas in an india - It’s also like what I enjoy, I enjoy movies where the humor is much more the situation than a line. Does that make sense? And I love kind of playing different characters and it’s just kind of acting.

It’s weird, I think of acting as sort of the closest thing to when you were a little kid, like when we were dressing up as police officers or cowboys or something, that’s all acting is. Like I’m pretending now I’m Smee, I’m Mr. Smee, it’s just absurd and that’s where it’s really fun when you can kind of get into a character and kind of build some motivation because you really end up nerding out about some of the stuff, which is fun. " 

ROHAN: One of the first things I remember seeing you in was That '70s Show where you played Roy, who was a really funny character and you had great chemistry with the cast, but you only appear in six or seven episodes before leaving. Do you remember if there were any talks at the time of you joining the show in a more permanent capacity as a recurring character? 

JIM: "There was - it’s weird, I kept going back and forth because I was recurring on that show and I was also recurring on this show Ed, so Ed was in New York and ‘70s Show was in LA, but I think it was one of those things where there was talk of them adding me, but I have a hundred stories of “Almost!," you know what I mean?”" 


Luca starts streaming on Disney+ tomorrow!

DISCLAIMER: Comic Book Movie is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Related Headlines
LIGHTYEAR Director Explains How The Movie Ties Into What We Saw In The TOY STORY Franchise

LIGHTYEAR Director Explains How The Movie Ties Into What We Saw In The TOY STORY Franchise

Lightyear director Angus MacLane explains the movie's premise, revealing his approach to the story, how it ties into the Toy Story franchise, the decision to cast Avengers: Endgame's Chris Evans, and more.
LIGHTYEAR Trailer And Poster See Chris Evans' Buzz Lightyear Suit-Up As The Iconic TOY STORY Character

LIGHTYEAR Trailer And Poster See Chris Evans' Buzz Lightyear Suit-Up As The Iconic TOY STORY Character

Disney and Pixar have released the first trailer and poster for Lightyear, and trust us when we say this definitely isn't what you were expecting. You are, however, likely to get chills watching this...
Disney Enlists LOVE AND MONSTERS Director Michael Matthews To Helm MERLIN

Disney Enlists LOVE AND MONSTERS Director Michael Matthews To Helm MERLIN

It looks like Love and Monsters director Michael Matthews has found his next project, as he's signed on to helm Disney's Merlin, an adaptation of T.A. Barron’s novel series of the same name.
OLAF PRESENTS Poster And Trailer Teases The Beloved FROZEN Character's Retelling Of Disney Classics

OLAF PRESENTS Poster And Trailer Teases The Beloved FROZEN Character's Retelling Of Disney Classics

Disney has released the first trailer and poster for Olaf Presents, a new series of shorts coming to Disney+ featuring Olaf retelling The Little Mermaid, Moana, The Lion King, Aladdin, and Tangled...
CAPTAIN MARVEL's Lashana Lynch Reveals How She Found Out About Her Character's Death In WANDAVISION

CAPTAIN MARVEL's Lashana Lynch Reveals How She Found Out About Her Character's Death In WANDAVISION

WandaVision revealed that Maria Rambeau, Captain Marvel's best friend, had passed away. Now, No Time To Die star Lashana Lynch has explained how she learned about her character's fate.
Latest Headlines
DUNE Director Denis Villeneuve Hopes To Be Able To Helm DUNE: MESSIAH After PART TWO

DUNE Director Denis Villeneuve Hopes To Be Able To Helm DUNE: MESSIAH After PART TWO

We now know Denis Villeneuve will get the opportunity to return to Arrakis for a Dune sequel, but the director is hopeful that he'll be able to follow Part 2 with an adaptation of Dune: Messiah.
ETERNALS Review: Marvel Superheroes Have Their First Existential Crisis In Chloe Zhao-Directed Family Drama

ETERNALS Review: Marvel Superheroes Have Their First Existential Crisis In Chloe Zhao-Directed Family Drama

In a little over a week, we're heading back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Chloe Zhao's superhero epic Eternals! Check out our review to learn more about what we thought of the film!
GHOST RIDER: Johnny Blaze Finally Returns In New Ongoing Series From Marvel Comics Next February

GHOST RIDER: Johnny Blaze Finally Returns In New Ongoing Series From Marvel Comics Next February

Marvel Comics has announced that a new era of Ghost Rider begins next February with an ongoing series that finally puts the original Spirit of Vengeance, Johnny Blaze, front and centre. Check it out...
LIGHTYEAR Director Explains How The Movie Ties Into What We Saw In The TOY STORY Franchise

LIGHTYEAR Director Explains How The Movie Ties Into What We Saw In The TOY STORY Franchise

Lightyear director Angus MacLane explains the movie's premise, revealing his approach to the story, how it ties into the Toy Story franchise, the decision to cast Avengers: Endgame's Chris Evans, and more.
MY HERO ACADEMIA: WORLD HEROES' MISSION Actor Clifford Chapin On Bakugou's Character Development (Exclusive)

MY HERO ACADEMIA: WORLD HEROES' MISSION Actor Clifford Chapin On Bakugou's Character Development (Exclusive)

We had the chance to speak with the cast of My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission before the film's release, and Bakugou voice actor Clifford Chapin talks about his character's development in the movie.
Savage He-Man Strikes In The First Trailer For MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION - PART 2

Savage He-Man Strikes In The First Trailer For MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION - PART 2

The first trailer for Netflix's Masters of the Universe: Revelation is now online, and it features a new, "Savage" version of He-Man doing battle with the now all-powerful Skeletor. Check it out...
ETERNALS Is Currently Marvel Studios' Most Poorly Reviewed Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

ETERNALS Is Currently Marvel Studios' Most Poorly Reviewed Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Well, we didn't see this coming. Despite Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao being at the helm, Eternals hasn't struck a chord with critics and is currently Marvel Studios' lowest-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes...
SCREAM: Ghostface Stalks Jenna Ortega In A New Image From The Upcoming Horror Sequel

SCREAM: Ghostface Stalks Jenna Ortega In A New Image From The Upcoming Horror Sequel

Following the recent trailer, a new promo still for the upcoming Scream revival has been released featuring Ghostface stalking his latest victim, The Babysitter: Killer Queen actress Jenna Ortega.