Isaac Hempstead Wright voices a character named Eggs, a boy raised by creatures called Boxtrolls, in the upcoming 3D stop motion film, The Boxtrolls, which releases in theaters across the country on September 26.
The Boxtrolls is loosely based on Here Be Monsters!, a novel from the Ratbridge Chronicles book series by Alan Snow.
“It’s a very expansive, several volume story,” Isaac explained. “It’s fairly different from the final film, just because it’s a bit like trying to fit Game Of Thrones into a feature-length film. You just couldn’t do it.”
Before The Boxtrolls, Isaac had only done live action acting. The stop motion movie put him in a recording studio and tested his talents in an entirely new way.
“It’s really different, because in live action you provide everything,” he said. “You provide the body, the face and the voice. But in stop motion, you really are only the voice, and the second part of your job is done by the animators.”
This makes it especially crucial to get the vocal work just right.
“You’ve got to put more through your voice, because that’s all you’ve got to express the performance,” he said. “Furthermore, you’re not onset, where you feel as though you are where the character is. You’re in kind of a sterile recording booth, so to a certain extend you have to imagine it a bit more and get a bit more into the zone.”
Isaac recorded most of his voice work in a studio with a reader, rather than the other voice actors, but he did get a few chances to work in the booth with the other stars of The Boxtrolls.
“I was lucky enough to do a couple of sessions with Elle [Fanning] and Sir Ben [Kingsley] and Simon Pegg, and those were great,” he said. “The performance comes to life a bit because you are actually conversing with the characters who people will see you conversing with onscreen. You see our real reflections between each other.”
In The Boxtrolls, Ben Kingsley plays the wicked Archibald Snatcher, who sets out to exterminate the Boxtrolls, despite his knowledge that they are kind and harmless creatures.
We asked Isaac what it was like to share a recording booth with the star.
“Absolutely terrifying!” he replied. “If you think it’s scary watching him onscreen, imagine being in a tiny booth with him. I recorded with him in this really quaint little studio in Oxford. You’re in a really tiny booth and things aren’t helped by his very large reclining chair, which he uses to get the voice from the right part of his body. You’re kind of squished into a tiny corner with a Shakespearean actor in the other corner, screaming at you and trying to kill you.”
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