Thank you to Disney for sending me to Los Angeles to cover this Incredible Endeavor!
Bob Odenkirk voices the mega fanboy and tech tycoon, Winston Deavor in Disney*Pixar’s record breaking Incredibles 2. His character has a boy-like quality that is full of excitement and wonder.
His sister, on the other hand, voiced by Catherine Keener is worldly, cunning, and skeptical.
The pair are the perfect embodiment of adult sibling relationships.
They don’t agree on many things but find a way to connect through it all. They banter and manipulate one another and through it all have a thread of love connecting them. Their voices are perfect together which is just another testament to what a wizard Brad Bird is with casting.
When we sat down to speak with Catherine Keener and Bob Odenkirk, they both praised Brad Bird as being one of the best directors in Hollywood. They weren’t excited to be in a Pixar film, they were excited to be in a Brad Bird film!
Bob Odenkirk: He knows what he wants and he dials it in just so. That could sound oppressive to an actor, but it’s not. It’s like a challenge that ou want to meet. You feel accomplishment when you do it. He’s willing to let you try your own thing in the late stages of a scene, or even after he gets what he wants you can say, ‘I don’t know, I had a different thought about how to say that.’ and he’ll say ‘Let’s hear it’ and you go down that road together.
You feel like you’re in really good hands and somehow it doesn’t steal your own inspiration.
When it all comes down to it, actors really just want their families to be happy with the work they’ve put out. Neither Catherine or Bob feel like they look like their characters, but their families are happy with the film after seeing it at the premiere.
Bob Odenkirk: I asked over and over, ‘Now that we’re alone, did you like it? Do you mean it though?’
Catherine Keener: You always ask about the thing that you like to make sure they like it.
These two had serious chemistry and being in the room with them was like sitting in on one of their conversations. They talked about the super powers they would have if they were super heroes and how nice it would be to just be able to be back home with the snap of your fingers. Traveling to a place on an airplane is fine, but being able to be right back home once the trip is over is something that both actors wish was reality.
Bob Odenkirk had a special wish that we all share, though.
Bob Odenkirk: I’d like to be able to eat whatever I want and not gain weight. It’s an obsession. It’s too much a part of my life and that’s what I’d like to have, but Catherine’s super power idea is much better.
Catherine Keener: It’s not just that I’d want to be home, though. I want to be there in my pajamas with my bed made and the clothes off the floor and I’m ready to go to bed!
Truly, it sounds like a dream, right? Especially since I have to take red eye flights most times when I get home.
But then Bob said if we were limiting powers to Florida, he’d be “The Dehumidifier”. We need to make that technology happen because Florida is freaking ridiculous and insane and just so, so humid. It’s like living in a sauna for 8 months out of the year.
Even the best actors second guess themselves from time to time. Brad Bird read with each of them during recording, and Catherine would lay down a take, but stop and want to do it over.
Catherine Keener: Brad would say ‘That was good, what are you doing?’
Sometimes you feel like you were in the pocket and you walk away, but often you don’t. Mostly you don’t really know the truth anyway.
Bob: You have to trust Brad because he’s the one putting the movie together so you’re not seeing it. He knows the tone of it all and the other characters. The tone is always changing but you don’t know where and how and you don’t have the whole script. YOu’re guessing at what might work. You give him what he wants first then maybe say ‘What if I try this or that?’
He told me at the premiere that he used a lot of the things that I tried on my own.
The process of recording can be quite tedious, but it’s also a long, drawn out process. Bob Odenkirk’s character, Winston Deavor evolved during the process of recording so he had to go back in for some new takes over the course of a year and a half.
Bob Odenkirk: He changed tonally between the first and second then the second and third a lot. Then the story had collapsed or expanded and he was more innocent and genuine as recording went on. I get to play a lot of sleazy, double talkers. It was fun to play someone who was kinda not. He meant everything he said.
Bob wants people to know that in real life, he’s nothing like his character. To put your mind at ease, if he ever saw Saul in a room, he wouldn’t want to sit next to him. And he wouldn’t want you to either.
Bob Odenkirk: One journalist asked ‘If you saw Saul in a room would you want to hang out with him?’ and I was like, ‘No! I wouldn’t go near that guy!’
Catherine wants you to know that her character was originally a man!
Catherine Keener: My character was originally a man, which clearly means Brad thought, ‘What woman could play this man?’
I love that she’s fully aware of her raspy, deep voice, which is quite alluring, by the way.
The movie is so cool on so many levels. Having Elastigirl be the main superhero doing her thing is great, but this film is fantastic for kids to see for different reasons.
Bob Odenkirk: I’m glad my daughter got to see the scene where Bob is knocking on Violet’s door and Violet is telling him to leave her alone. My daughter got to experience what it’s like for me on the other side of that door. I loved sitting next to her for that scene. I wanted her to see how much I want to help her but sometimes I can’t.
The scene where Elastigirl and Evelyn Deavor are going head to head, picking apart the themes of the movie, woman to woman. It was never addressed as a big deal during recording, it was just presented as every day life, which it totally is. In some sick, twisted crime ring anyway.
Bob: It would not be the same to just have Elastigirl be the super hero. That scene puts it on another level.
Catherine: Brad never made an issue out of that scene. It is unusual, but he just presented it as reality. In our experience as women, it IS reality.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, Incredibles 2 is very empowering for men and women alike. It can teach young men to be vulnerable and lead the charge at home while teaching young women to take charge in the big, bad world and to trust their instincts.