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.
Big Hero 6 is such a great movie. My entire family enjoyed it. I could greatly appreciate that my daughter, who’s adopted from Korea, can now see people who look like her on the big screen. That was a dream come true for me. This movie has it all. While in LA I was able to find out a bit about Scott Adsit who plays Baymax in Big Hero 6. I love learning about how the animation process works. So let’s learn a bit about Scott Adsit.
Was it a challenge for you to bring the Baymax character to life?
Yeah it was. I think the audience does a lot of the work for Baymax. He doesn’t really have an emotional life. So the audience has to infer it and take it from there. So I had to be careful on which way I was leaning and make sure to keep the emotion out of it. It’s all programming but the emotion did creep in here and there.
Was it difficult to find the voice of Baymax?
Yeah so when they brought me in to audition I had to figure out his voice. Was it very robotic? But then I saw the design of how Baymax was going to look. He was this soft huggable guy so I tried to find a benign bedside manner if you will. Then I kind of married it with this automated phone voice. That’s what you ended up with.
Going into this process did you look at any past cinematic robots for what to do or what not to do?
I more looked at soft, huggable family members than past robots. So no I didn’t research it. If I did I would have had to stay away from C3Po or CAnine or whoever.
How did your character evolve throughout the film?
We had the voice early on. But then they decided to give him this other dimension and take away his power and when they take away his power he’s almost like drunk. So my dilemma was how do I take that robotlike character and make him drunk because he’s such a straightline voice. I said, “you want him to sound like a robot who’s drunk?” And they were like, “no just be drunk.” So I just played an over the top drunk. Then they put this filter on him when he’s drunk like that and that leads your mind to believe this is what a robot looks like whose drunk.
They decided that they wanted to then filter my voice. So they had this process that they went through and the boss, John Lassiter kept saying to filter my voice and they kept having to dial it back, dial it back. Well they dialed it back so much at the end of the movie it was just my voice. So in the beginning of the film I’m filtered and at the end of the film I’m just me, just my voice.
Did you find youself going home and staying in character?
Yes, I did. Daniel Henney and I were just talking about his character in Tadashi and how great it would be if we could stay in character and be this altruistic, selfless person all the time. It’s not sustainable. But I did find myself staying in character and having to tell myself to not do that. Casting directors might think it’s annoying.
I did find myself making phone calls to friends and their children. So I would leave these messages for them like, Hello, this is Baymax your personal care companion. Thank you for visiting Hiro and me in San Fransokyo. Currently I’m saving Fred from peanut butter jalepeno pizza.
Did you used to do a lot of improv?
Yes it’s a very collaborative process which I appreciate because I have an improv background. So most of the time it was very scripted and that was good. A lot of the low battery scenes were more improv they just let me play around with it and say whatever I said. So the fist bump is mine…balalala. To think that this huge company actually listened to what I had to say and then incorporated it was amazing. Best job in the world.
Since the movie came out how many fist bumps have you been forced to do?
Ha. Well I’ve done it a few times a week. But not that many people know I’m the voice of Baymax. Most people recognize my face from 30 Rock.
Has being the silent hero changed you any?
I see the value of being and receiving immediate responses from an audience. But I see the value of entertaining without the need to feed my own ego.
May I say well done Scott Adsit! Fist bump to you! Check out Big Hero 6.
Check out what Baymax had to say when I got to interview him with a few questions.
Keep in touch with Big Hero 6.
BIG HERO 6 (On Blu-ray and Disney HD 2/24/15)
Check out my other McFarland posts: Intro to McFarland, my first trip post of what we did and where we went and my first exclusive interview with Kevin Costner.
And my Big Hero 6 posts where I introduce the directors to you, Fresh off the Boat where we speak with the executive producer and my Bad Hair Day movie review post and interview with Leigh Allyn-Baker.