This weekend was Father’s Day and I quickly reverted back to an animated father-son duo that I’ve come to appreciate. Nemo and his father, Marlin, have found their way into homes across the nation for the last 13 years, and it’s no secret why: they have a special bond that we adore. So when I found out the duo would be making an appearance in FINDING DORY, I was ecstatic! After all, the film wouldn’t be the perfect sequel to FINDING NEMO without these two, now would it? When I had the chance to interview Albert Brooks (voice of “Marlin”) and Hayden Rolence (the voice of “Nemo”) about their roles, their responses were interesting.
When we asked about this relationship that Marline and Nemo have, Brooks said, “Well in the first movie the idea of a father losing a son, it’s a nice father son story, at any juncture. I liked where it had sort of mellowed, that Marlin felt secure now about his kid. I like this blue tang, but I don’t know, do I want to risk my life and then he sees how important it is to the kids. So he does it for the kid and it’s a different kind of relationship than the first movie. I sort of thought Marlin was I don’t know a like wise, a little wiser and a little warmer maybe. Because he wasn’t so panicked. I do like how he’s kind of let Nemo go a little bit.” Based on that, we then asked Albert Brooks how he could relate to his character. He laughed and said, “Well when my children were younger, I worried more. Now I worry less and I pay more.” I think many parents could relate to that!
Brooks told us it only took him about 20 seconds to find his voice for this role, even though it’s been 13 years since we first met Marlin. He explained, “Because they didn’t age the character, as long as you’ve got your wits about, you can do it. It’s like no time passed. But if they’re going to make a third one, they better hurry up… I’ll have to have a wheelchair.”
Brooks also added that FINDING DORY is a movie you can take the kids to and sit through and enjoy. “It’s funny without being sarcastic,” said Brooks. “It’s heartwarming without being schmaltzy and I think people will be surprised that there’s more maybe more feeling than they thought. I don’t like to tell people what to do emotionally. But I came out with more emotions than I thought I would. And so I think that’s a good thing.”
When we asked Hayden Rolence about the time he found out he was going to be Nemo, he said, he didn’t believe the news when he was told he got the role. “I was actually at school when my parents got the call from my agency,” said Rolence. “My parents told me that I had an audition that day. So my dad got out the camera and then they told me the news. I was sort of in disbelief at the beginning, I’m like you guys are joking with me right? But once I realized that they weren’t actually joking with me, I was astonished. I couldn’t believe it!”
We asked Hayden about his first red carpet experience, and he told us was excited for his first premiere and also nervous. He really wants to do Nemo justice and he was also excited to see FINDING DORY for the first time. “Last night was the first time I saw it,” said Rolence. “I was really excited to see the film and I just knew all the hard work it took to get to where to where I’m at right now. I was just really excited and astonished.”