On the surface, she’s feisty and precocious. Known as “the glitch” in Disney’s latest animated film Wreck-It Ralph, Vanellope von Schweetz has endured years of rejection, hardening her. But inside, “she’s protecting this scared little girl…this rejected kid who just wants to play with everyone else” (Sarah Silverman).
I recently had an opportunity to sit down with the Primetime Emmy Award Winning Actress to discuss her role in Disney’s latest animated film that immerses audiences in the world of video games. Her voice is unmistakable, and according to Silverman, “it just came to me…there was very little searching for that voice.” Silverman might be a surprising choice for a Disney film, however, the filmmakers wanted someone who was “acerbic and quick, and could carry the more serious parts of the performance.” The actress, known for her quick wit and charisma, was surprised that Disney wanted her to voice Vanellope in the film but was pleased that Disney was willing to risk hiring her.
When you look at Vanellope, it’s hard not to miss the subtle similarities. Everything from her eyebrows and little black ponytail to her hoodie is reminiscent of the comedian. But beyond her character’s look, Silverman felt incredibly connected Vanellope. “She’s so scrappy and so aggressive…people are aggressive so that no one else can get to them first and I just related to her…her insecurities and her strengths that come from those ways you survive because you are scared (Silverman).” Silverman’s favorite part of her character was “her strength and perseverance and her scrappiness.”
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Silverman and co-star John C. Reilly worked together in the recording booth…something that is uncommon in voice over animation. “Just to be able to look at each other and improvise and talk over each other was great” (Silverman). As Reilly commented, there was a dynamic between the two of them that allowed for subtle nuances that wouldn’t have been evoked if they were recording alone.
As Disney continues to evolve it’s stories and characters, we are seeing a new trend in the classic princess concept. “Brave was the first Disney/Pixar movie to feature a girl hero that wasn’t saved by a boy” (Silverman). In the character of Vanellope, it is revealed that the power is within her and Silverman was honored to be “that girl.”
See Silverman in Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, now playing in theaters nationwide today!
No compensation was received for this post. I was invited to interview the talent and filmmakers which facilitated the writing of this post.