Abigail Breslin takes on animated role in RANGO

14-year-old actress Abigail Breslin’s career skyrocketed five years ago where she casted in Little Miss Sunshine along with Steve Carrell, Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin. Her performance got her nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actress category that year. Since then, she has starred in several movies with movie stars like Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jodie Foster, Cameron Diaz and Woody Harrelson.

Breslin stars alongside Johnny Depp in the latest animation film Rango, where she plays a mouse by the name of Priscilla who lives in a small-town called Dirt where Rango (Depp) wanders into town and accidently becomes the hero and eventually sheriff of Dirt. I took part of a roundtable interview with Breslin at the Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell that included other critics from the South Florida area where she talked about her character and the movie.

Question: How did you get involved in Rango?

Breslin: Gore Verbinski, the director, sent me a sketch of Priscilla and a letter that asked me to be in the movie. I love the story and I thought the character was hilarious.

Question: Can you tell us about your role as Priscilla in the movie?

Breslin: Priscilla is a very morbid, draw, tough mouse. There is a technical name for the type of animal she is, but I can’t remember it now. At the beginning of the movie, she is not sure about Rango and she sort of makes fun of him. She was a fun character to play.

Question: If you were to play another character in the movie besides Priscilla, who would it be?

Breslin: Oh…that is really hard. There is one, but I would not want to another character to play because I think Priscilla would be awfully offended.

Question: How were you able to come up with the way your character speaks in the movie?

Breslin: Gore had a very specific accent he wanted me to do with my character. It is not a pretty Southern accent, but a raw and real Southern accent. In order to work on the accent, I saw a dialogue coach in New York and Los Angeles.

Question: Was this your first time meeting Johnny Depp?

Breslin: Yes. He is a really nice guy. We filmed all of our scenes together, which was a really great to do because it is good to work with him and the other actors.

Question: You have done voice work on Quantum Quest and Air Buddies, but with Rango, this is different because the director Gore Verbinski uses the “human experience” method. What was it like to not be trapped in a just a sound booth to record your lines? What kind of results did you see between doing something in that process as opposed to recording it by yourself in a booth?

Breslin: On Rango, I got the chance to play off of the other actors. We had the chance to say our lines differently than what we had in mind, which made the process real fun. Being in the booth is fun sometimes, but I had more fun where we were acting like we were in a play.

Question: For an animated movie, I found this movie to be very mature and adult. It also seemed to me that it did not dumb down the subject matter for children. Did that sort of thing appeal to you?

Breslin: What I think is really great about Rango is that it does not talk down to kids. It is obviously something that kids can enjoy and have fun watching.

Question: What is the message that you want people to take away from this movie?

Breslin: I think it is a kid’s movie, but I also think that it something that everyone can enjoy. It has a really great story, jokes that the adults would like and stuff that kids like If you look at everybody in the town of Dirt, they are all pretty crazy and strange looking characters. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is where Priscilla and Rango are picking on each other’s flaws. The message that people can take away from this movie is just to be who you are.

Rango opens in theaters everywhere March 4. 

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