Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Disney and the Walt Disney Animation Studios. I received an all-expense paid trip so that I could gather and share this information. However, all experiences and opinions are always 100% honest and my own.
Ryan, how excited were you to work on this film? Did you geek out on all the science?
It wasn’t the love of robotics and science as much as it was the love of creating through robotics and building. I had this lego robotics kit. That kit was awesome. I built it and models and I just had a love of creating and using my hands to create what was trapped in my mind. It was awesome.
Daniel: I had it too.
This question is for Daniel. You’ve been in the Wolverine movie and now the Big Hero 6. Were you a fan of comic books as a kid?
I was a fan. I was into Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk and stuff like that. This movie was very special. You could feel the Marvel influence in it. It was bigger than anything I’ve been a part of. I really didn’t make the connection to Wolverine and Big Hero 6 until after the movie was made. But it was awesome to be a part of.
Daniel even though your character was a small part of the film it made a huge impact. How is Tadashi different from yourself or your personality?
I dress like him. No really, I walk out of the house and take a look at myself as I’m about to leave with my baseball hat and cardigan on and think I look just like Tadashi. He’s made me a better person. It’s easy in this world to get caught up in things and forget the people who matter. It was a beautiful opportunity to play this wonderful guy. He’s such a great role model and person. He’s smart, caring, selfless and such a great big brother. Everyday when I left I felt like I just left a therapy session. One that was awesome and amazing. I’d run into people at the grocery store and still be smiling. I’m sure they thought I was crazy. It’s great. He’s really helped me a lot.
What challenges did you face in tackling the emotions you had to put forward?
Ryan: I’m Hiro so I didn’t go into that room being anything other than myself in his circumstances. I walked out of their like Daniel said having gone through a therapy session and feeling awesome.
Scott Adsit (voice of Baymax) said a lot of you met at the first screening. Did you guys get to meet beforehand?
Daniel: No we actually met at the screening. We felt a kinship with each other right away because of the story. I was most excited about meeting him.
Ryan: Yeah you just didn’t care about the other people.
Daniel: yeah. When we walked in I just gravitated towards him. I just felt we needed to connect and we did.
My daughter is from Korea and I was so excited to see this movie be made for her. For there to be another face like hers on the big screen. How did that affect your decision to do the movie?
Ryan: Yeah it was such an honor. To be the first multicultural multiethnic character for Disney was a huge honor. I would have paid them to be in this movie.
Daniel: You didn’t?
Ryan: You know it’s a wish fulfilled to be in a Disney film. To be in this one where you break the mold and it’s so diverse. I didn’t even think about it until after when people were coming up to me saying, “how does it feel?” I was like Mulan, no, Pocahontas, No. Oh wow we are the first. Awesome.
Daniel: It was really cool. You’re daughter is from Korea?
Daniel: Has she been to Korea?
Me: No we said we’d take her back when she’s older but she says she’d rather go to Hollywood.
Daniel: You’ve got your hands full. She’s going to love Korea. It was definitely on my mind when I saw the first scenario. It’s on my mind when I choose roles. I grew up in Michigan and there wasn’t anyone with a face like mine on tv. If there was one it was a martial artist with a heavy accent I couldn’t understand. My dad’s caucasian and I have that connection but I’m very much asian. It’s very satisfying to know I can do projects like this for children like yours for that little moment. Not only that but they’re strong men and women in the story too.
Since you were a Marvel comic fan before how does it feel now that you’re one of those characters?
Ryan: It’s still so unreal. It’s a wish fulfillment. I’m blown away like did that just happen? Still.
Daniel: I grew up on anime and manga. When I moved to the US I started reading Marvel and I always wanted to be a superhero. I got to. Wow.
How do you feel about the small fan base? Like when you see the kids playing with the toys that you played?
Daniel: It’s just the funniest thing. It’s like when you get an action role people think you have action figures thrown at you. I really had to work to find my figure in Wolverine. When I was in the airport I saw these 6 year olds playing with the Big Hero action figures. One had Tadashi I got to walk up as the weird older guy and I asked, “Hey, where did you get that kid?” It was surreal.
Does this film celebrate science and robotics?
Ryan: Um yeah definitely the film celebrates science and robotics and being a smart person in general. But what it celebrates is really being yourself. I mean, Fred has just as important a part as the rest of them. They’re all trying to be superheroes.
Daniel: They don’t celebrate being a superhero they celebrate being who they are. They’re nerds. It celebrates being a young person of high moral character. Like I still to this day binge watch anime when I’m home. I still play a video game like Yugi-oh. It’s who I am. I don’t mind telling people this. This movie celebrates your interests.
What’s next for you guys?
Daniel: I have a tv show coming out in the fall. I can’t talk much about it. But I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s not a role that is normally cast to an Asian so I’m excited about breaking another barrier.
Ryan: I’m off to college. Art college. My educator parents are all like go to USC and I’m like going to go to Cal Art’s. It’s a top school.
Thank you Daniel and Ryan for letting us get to know you a bit more!
Here’s a picture of us with Daniel and Ryan.
Available on Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere TODAY!
Meet the directors who just won an Oscar for Big Hero 6 in this interview.
Read my review of the movie Big Hero 6.
and here’s the Big Hero 6 trailer in case you’re not familiar with it. What? How can you not be familiar with it? Do you live in a barn?
Keep in touch with Big Hero 6.
BIG HERO 6 (On Blu-ray and Disney HD 2/24/15)