Jason Segel talks Vector
American television and film actor, screenwriter, musician, known for his work with producer Judd Apatow on the short-lived television series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, the movies Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, I Love You, Man, and Gulliver’s Travels, and also for his role as Marshall Eriksen in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
Here he talks about his character of Vector in Despicable Me which arrives on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on February 21.
So this is the first voice work you’ve ever done?
Yes, it was very exciting to be part of such an amazing movie.
What was the experience like?
You are not acting with the rest of the cast, you are alone in a recording booth but I quite enjoyed it actually. You get three hours alone to let loose and improvise.
Is it freeing in a way?
You just go for it and do whatever you feel. You know they will only use it if it’s funny.
What did you like about Vector?
I like the idea of the insecure victim. He is cocky and insecure at the same time which is a fun thing to play. It gave me so much to work with. He is such a dynamic little guy.
Did you see any of yourself in him?
Well they film you while you do the voice over and definitely some of the movements made their way in. They did such a great job animating the character. They made us all look fantastic.
Did you have to voice it younger?
I just tried to make it a bit nerdy because he is a nerdy guy and a bit evil. Those were the two main elements for me.
Did you relate to anything in this character?
He is a bit more petulant than I ever was. I have a little sister and there is a memory of her being petulant to my parents that I put in there. The script was so fantastic I didn’t have to do that much work on my own.
Did you like his weapons?
Most of them were totally useless but awesome.
What did you like about the film once you saw it finished?
I was blown away. I was amazed for such a family film they managed to make it so complex. I might have even cried a little bit – I shed a tear. It’s beautiful – Steve Carell did an amazing job.
Was it cool to hear Russell Brand as well?
What’s great is that it’s hard to pick out who’s who because everyone is doing a voice. No one sounds like themselves. It’s pretty great that we are all on the same page and not limited by how we sound normally.
Did you have a chance to improvise?
They encouraged improvising. I think the goal for them was to get as much material as possible to have as much fodder as they could in the editing room.
Do you think this will appeal to a lot of people?
I think it’s a real family film and everyone in the family can walk out and feel genuinely happy.
You seem to be working a lot now?
I like to stay out of trouble and work seems to be the best way to do that. The busier I am the better for me for sure. I’m writing, filming and I have a TV show. I have three movies coming out next year.
Does this feel like there is a style of comedy now that suits you?
We’ve been lucky because we write our own material so we get to create it from the ground up and luckily it’s been well received. In some ways we have created a style. We all acknowledged that we are not typical leading me – like me and Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. I think we realised the only way we would make it is if we started writing our own material and so that’s what we did.
Is this success a surprise?
We are all surprised, honoured and counted our blessings. We worked very hard and we got lucky.
Are you growing up now?
We are all growing up a bit – the material we are writing is bending in that direction and the movies we are picking now are more grown up.
Do you like DVD extras?
Yes, I like the behind-the-scenes and I like deleted scenes because a lot of times amazing stuff gets cut out and it’s often just as finny as other things in the movie.
Despicable Me releases on DVD & Blu-ray 2D & 3D 21st February 2011