Having starred in sensational films including Shutter Island, Match Point and Harry Brown and worked with some of the best directors and actors, Emily Mortimer has lent her voice to the new Pixar epic, Cars 2.
InStyle caught up with the Brit beauty to talk all things animated plus found out her key style tips, how much she misses London and which designer she’s championing…
You star as the voice of Holly Shiftwell in Cars 2. What was it that drew you to the film?
Well my little boy has been obsessed by Pixar ever since he was little. Embarrassingly enough, one of his first words was “Nemo”! My husband and I used to watch these movies over and over again – The Incredibles, Toy Story – and just marvel at how brilliant they were. The story telling is just so impeccable, the characterisation is so brilliant, the humour is brilliant, everything about it. So when I got offered this part, there was just no way on earth that I wasn’t going to do it.
Many actors say that voice over work can be more difficult than character acting, would you agree?
It’s a different challenge. In movies you’re trying to not do too much because it’s irritating having big, over the top performances when you’re watching live action whereas on the first couple of sessions [for Cars 2] I would go for a subtle performance and it just didn’t fly at all. It was much better when I was larger than life and throwing my voice to the back of the room, a bit more like doing theatre I suppose. I would be very physical, gesticulating wildly while doing the voice just because it helped put emphasis into what you were saying . That was interesting, it was quite counter-intuitive.
SEE THE CAST TALK CARS 2
Michael Caine and Owen Wilson are in Cars 2 too. Did you spend any studio time with them or was it just by yourself?
No, it was just by myself but with John Lasseter every day doing all the other voices. He is so into what he’s doing and so brilliant at his job and so enthusiastic about it that you actually don’t really miss not having actors there. Although it would have been great to.
You wore a gorgeous emerald green dress to the LA premiere by the relatively new label Honor, do you like to champion emerging designers?
Yes, if I can I think it’s always really exciting to help less known designers find a place and become better known. I was psyched about that dress because it somehow managed to be very elegant but also easy at the same time.
Do you have a go-to designer?
I really just pick and choose depending on what’s going on. For this movie it seemed like it was good to wear bright colours , something that kids would be into. Honor’s clothes are really good with colour. They use bold colours but the fabric is always incredibly beautiful - very supple, wonderful silks and chiffons. The combination works really well.
How do you get red carpet ready?
It’s pretty intense actually. I wasn’t expecting the banks and banks of photographers [at the Cars2 premiere] and I think it’s lucky I wasn’t because it’s nerve racking. I was wearing Spanx underneath [the Honor dress] and I was completely convinced that just as I stood onto the red carpet you could see them through the dress. Basically all I was thinking was: “Can they see my Spanx?
What's your no.1 style tip?
Only you know when you look good and you shouldn’t try to be somebody else. Feeling uncomfortable makes you less attractive I think. People who are happy in their own skin are people that you’re drawn to.
You grew up in London but you’ve lived in LA and New York, which is your favourite city?
London! I miss London a lot and wish I was there more than I am but I go back all the time. London’s the best city in the world, I think. And that’s a totally objective answer!
And do you think London's got the best style as well?
I like English style, I like the fact that it’s not all about being polished and having perfect teeth. I think sometimes the English sensibility of not taking yourself too seriously is taken to an extreme. I have it quite bad but that is one of the great things about England and it goes for fashion there too.
Disney/Pixar's Cars 2 is released in cinemas 22 July, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D.
By Sarah Smith